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Capcom games inspired by Microsoft hardware

If it wasn't for Kinect there would be no Steel Battalion sequel.

Gallery Photo: Lost Planet 3 screenshot gallery
Gallery Photo: Lost Planet 3 screenshot gallery

The power and innovation of Microsoft hardware inspired some of Capcom's creations.

Gamers wondering what inspired the look and aesthetic feel of Capcom's Sci-Fi-inspired Lost Planet franchise need look no further than under the hood of the first Xbox 360.

Speaking at Capcom's annual "Captivate" event in Rome, Lost Planet producer Jun Takeuchi says the graphical power and capabilities of the Xbox 360 console inspired him to begin thinking about ways to create a world that would be both visually striking and aesthetically simple for Capcom's launch title success story.

"We were given the opportunity to create a visually arresting world," says Takeuchi-san. "To create something that you can identify with, but that you could never see in real life. That was the main reason for proceeding down that path, visually."

The latest iteration in the Lost Planet franchise, Lost Planet 3, returns the stark snow blown world of EDN-3, but this time allowing players to explore the world more fully, free of the arcade-like restrictions of past Lost Planet games. Takeuchi-san says this more Western style of exploration and mission progression more closely resembles his original vision for the game, but that time and technology played a part in streamlining Lost Planet for it's original release.

Similarly, fans of the walking tank shooter Steel Battalion released for the original Xbox in 2002 may be wondering why that game — of all games — is making a comeback this year. The producer for Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor, Tatsuya Kitabayashi, says the reason was simple: Kinect.

"We never had the intention of making a sequel in the strict sense," says Kiabayashi. "Because we didn't want to release another set of controllers."

He says that all changed when Microsoft showed Capcom the early version of Kinect, codenamed Project Natal. At Capcom, the lightbulbs went off, and they realized they had a perfect game for the motion sensing device.

"We said 'This is it. If there's anything we can make for Kinect, it's Steel Battalion.'"

Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor uses a combination of Kinect gesture controls and a gamepad to allow players to switch between the various functions of their "Vertical Tank," and move and shoot. The game will be released June 19th for Xbox 360 and will use the Kinect instead of the original game's $200 controller.