When you think what you’d like your games to be based off, especially your Kinect ones, I bet you immediately answered with, “The Old Testament!” No? Weird. Especially since this game actually got made. If you don’t know the story of the Tower of Babel, basically Noah’s bros who survived the Great Flood decided if they built a big ass tower that went all the way up to the heavens, they could live in peace without retaliation or a repeat. God got all pissed off that these mere mortals thought they could commit such an act and started doing silly things like chucking rocks at them and shooting lightning about. This is where you step in. Or should I call you God?
I’m not going to hate on the game. It is a ton of fun. The concept just is one out of left field. It’s almost like Black & White but with a little more comedic relief. Using your Kinect or controller, you use four different elements to keep those foolish humans at bay so they won’t build the tower. This sounds fun and all but is it really worth it?
Babel Rising, while being a Kinect game, should honestly not be played with the Kinect. It just makes you look awkward while you try to zoom your God camera around the tower with hands waving in every direction. While I guess that’s pretty much the Kinect in general, this one felt ultra goofy. You even have to do things like clap your hands to change each level of element (because it didn’t respond that well to verbally speaking it). That just weirded me out.
You start each level with two of the four available powers. It’s not until the later levels you really get to choose the two you have. The game pretty much decides for you. It didn’t really matter to me because all four were pretty damned fun. The four powers are fire, water, Earth, and wind. Each element has two “levels.” One is your standard which uses a little bit of power and the other requires a charge up of power. Fire, for example, has you chucking fireballs while the charge up lets you essentially blow fire across the landscape and incinerate all in your way.
While the gameplay was fun, even the standard ability has a charge so you can’t rapid fire. You’re not really paying attention to the meters too much between the constant waves of humans climbing the tower and making sure you’re on the right power. This led to me just getting pissed when I would find myself on the wrong power and use it accidentally or when I was swinging my arm away like a wild man trying to keep shooting boulders, never knowing exactly how much power each shot uses. There’s things like multipliers for longer streaks and I found myself getting frustrated that I could barely hold them.
The enemies come in three levels. Two are fair. One is pretty bullshit. The first are just mindless idiots. They wander up the mountain similar to a fashion of the music video for Bone Thugs N’ Harmony’s “Tha Crossroads,” waiting to be obliterated by a vengeful God and sent to the next life. Now tell me whatcha gonna do. The next level of dudes are prophets who have a giant aura over them. The color of the aura represents the element you can destroy them with. For example, the green aura means I can’t shoot a rock at his dumb face. Doesn’t mention anything about fire, though. This means you need to constantly switch elements in later levels. The last guy just kind of isn’t even fair. It’s guys that carry little urns. If you destroy that urn you can’t use your ability you destroyed it with for a while. Not good when you know about the middle guys. They like to run too, causing many problems. Later, minions will roll big old siege towers up the tower and drop more guys off. While these can definitely mess up your rhythm, it got old quick.
While I enjoyed the graphics and the experience for a while, the game can and will get old very quickly. It throws in all these nice elements, which I’ll admit I especially loved flooding the entire city with the water power, to distract you for a while but nothing new new happens throughout the course of the game. You grow tired and just want more to be unlocked. I would say this game is good in small stretches, like playing Angry Birds in the pre-movie theater wait, but that’s about it. I wouldn’t go out of my way to play this. It’s a unique concept that I’m sure will be executed better in future and will shine, but the first go is a no show.