To be clear, my impressions of the system are based on a mere twenty minutes of play time on one demo. In addition, these kiosks are the most uncomfortable things ever to play. The widescreen monitor is directly above your head, with the result that playing is like sitting in the front row of a movie theater.
I played through the demo of Call of Duty 2, a World War 2 first person shooter. In this level you’re a British trooper assaulting a German artillery position. There are other demos on the kiosk too, but by the time I finished this one there were people waiting so I stepped aside.
My first thought: “Ooh, pretty!”
And I continued thinking that throughout my playtime. Unfortunately, the gameplay didn’t rise to the same levels. Oh its capable, worth playing, but we’ve seen it all before. There’s been a glut of World War II shooters recently (Call of Duty, the Medal of Honor series, Brothers in Arms, etc.), and the market is pretty saturated. Other than the graphics and slightly rearranged buttons on the controller, which is an improvement, there’s just nothing to write home about in CoD2. Certainly not $400+ worth.
The Xbox 360 will sell well at first no matter what the games are like. I just hope the quality of available titles can step up as much as the graphics have. In the meantime, I’m feeling better about my decision to wait on getting one.