Putting the moves on

Last night we brought you our First Impressions of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier from Microsoft's Christmas showcase, and next on our travels was the sequel to Rare's Kinect Sports, without doubt one of Kinect's best launch games.

We were quickly told that the motion tracking had been vastly improved from the first game, and that voice commands had been added. These commands could for instance, enable you to call for team plays in American football rather than having to select them via a menu screen. That's no use to me or anyone else in the UK though — no one over here understands what the Hell is going on in that game...

We were then thrown straight into a game of golf. My avatar was activated by a simple wave of my hand and then all of a sudden I had complete control of the little guy's arms. To the dismay of the demo team I tested this by swinging my golf club around my head while making lightsaber noises until I was politely asked to raise my hand to my head in a salute/peering motion. This instantly took the camera off my avatar and sent it gliding down the fairway, across the various bunkers and water hazards until it reached the hole. It was a lovely little touch and was very useful for working out exactly what awaits on the course.

A golf club: NOT a lightsaber.

To initiate a shot, I was instructed to stand side on to Kinect, which recognised the change of my position and set the Avatar into golfing mode. Small steps forward or backward swivelled the character on the spot so I could aim my shot before the quick swing of an imaginary golf club sent my ball cruising through the air to land snugly on the putting green.

Although there seemed to be a little lag between my swing and the Avatar's swing, we put this down to a developer choice — you take your eye off the action to swing, so the game gives you time to look back at the screen and observe your shot. In general however, Kinect Sports: Season Two is looking to be an incredibly responsive game, and one of the best examples of Kinect motion control so far.

Sadly golf was the only sport shown on the day, but if the other activities follow suit there's no doubt the game will definitely be one of the best Kinect titles this Christmas.

Come back on Monday for our take on arguably Kinect's most anticipated games, Kinect Star Wars. You won't want to miss it.

Thanks to Ian Higton of Platform32.