Review: Kinect Integration for Skyrim
Let’s face it, ever since we bought our copies of Skyrim we have been running round pretending we are Dragonborn and trying to “Fus Ro Dah!” everything, right? No? Well perhaps that was just me.
So how lucky was I to find that Bethesda had released a patch to integrate my Kinect into the game that had pretty much become my life since I entered the Realm of Skyrim for the very first time back in November? The answer to that question is “VERY lucky, indeed!” There was a dance of mirth… or two, I must be honest!
My piece of advice to readers would be: Don’t be worried about the amount of time it takes to set up. Because it is certainly worth it in the long run. I found myself coming to grips with the varying commands for around an hour before I tried everything in game.
For maximum efficiency it is best advised that you pimp out your in game favourites menu with everything your Dragonborn should need at short notice. Varying types or armour, essential spells and favourite weapons. I, for one, am never caught short without my twin Daedric daggers! And using the Kinect voice feature you can assign functions to your favourite items. To do this open your favourites menu, highlight the item you wish to assign (e.g. twin daggers) and say “Assign dual weapons”. What you have just assigned can now be equipped and used in battle. And its just as simple as that, this process can be repeated for all manner of spells and sword/shield combos too. Depending what you have in your inventory, the possibilities of customisation available at your command are almost endless.
These commands are most useful in battle, and take effect almost instantaneously. For example, if my Dragonborn character comes across a horde of Draugr in a burial mound and the sword and fire spell combo I am using just isn’t cutting it, I can simply say the command “Equip dual weapons” and presto chango! My character is now armed with his favourite twin daggers and the hacking and slashing can commence once more!
With the Kinect integration patch for Skyrim you may never need to directly approach a follower to speak to them again. With what may be considered one of the the top and best thought out features for this patch. The “ALLY” command allows players to take command of their followers without pressing a single button. While muttering the command “Ally” followed by “attack, wait or trade”, you have unilateral control over you followers actions throughout their time with you. No more waiting tediously for followers to catch up with you while you are attempting to fight of a collection of Bandits, now you can simply order your follower to attack outright without waiting for your adversary to make the first move.
Now onto the good stuff, the aspect of this patch that almost everyone has been waiting for since release day on 11.11.11. Perhaps my personal favourite thing about Skyrim is the clever and simply brilliant Dovah language. Giving players a chance to speak the language of the Dragons as their character does gives this game an extra layer of immersion and complexity. There are a multitude of shouts, each containing three words in Dovah speak. So that adds up to a lot of extra curricular study! But for some gamers who just want the story and to play the game rather than feel immersed into the world of Tamriel, there is an option to speak the English name of the shout too. A resounding rendition of “FUS RO DAH!” or indeed “UNRELENTING FORCE!” will unleash the full force of the shout upon unsuspecting enemies, Dragon, Nord or Creature alike. Unlike equipping weapons and trading with your follower, this part of the patch requires no setting up whatsoever. If your character knows the shout, you can use it with the Kinect.
A list of all voice commands can be found here. Be sure to tweet me with your Kinect for Skyrim experiences!
Overall this is a great achievement for Bethesda; I feel it is a fantastic way of placing a gamer inside of an already deep and rich world and then giving it an extra layer of depth. The only slight drawback I gather is the tedious set up if you don’t have enough items in your favourites menu. Or if you are slightly obsessive and have to have everything matching, then Kinect for Skyrim may just drive you insane! A great piece of kit for a great game play experience. 4/5 from me!
For more Skyrim goodness around the web, be sure to check out Felicia Day’s Skyrim Videos on YouTube. Skyrim Confessions on Tumblr and Top 5 Skyrim Mods of The Week at the GameSpot YouTube channel. Tell ’em Comic Booked sent you!