While you may think that Gamescom is all about PC strategy titles in which players micromanage the economies of medieval fishing villages, you'd be wrong. Yes, that's a big part of the show, but don't forget: Europe also loves dancing. So it's no surprise, then, to see that Harmonix is here showing off the latest additions to Dance Central 2 for the Kinect. Let's talk about some of those new features on display here in Cologne.
First, there's the new Dance Battle multiplayer mode. If you tried out the multiplayer in Dance Central, you'll remember having to swap players in and out, taking turns dancing in front of the Kinect one player at a time. Dance Central 2 now supports two-player simultaneous dancing, and the Dance Battle mode is where you can add competitive elements to your moves.
In Dance Battle, players dance side-by-side to the same song, with occasional call-and-response moments where the screen focuses in on one player and then lets the other see if he or she can best his or her moves a moment later. Another interesting part of Dance Battle happens halfway through each song. At the midway point, a random collection of dance moves are shown on the screen with varying point levels to give the losing player a chance to get back into the contest outside of the main song. It's sort of like the half-time at a basketball game; only, instead of resting, it's a minigame. And there's no basketball. Just dancing.
Anyway, let's move beyond terrible analogies and onto some other new features. Dance Central 2 looks to be a lot more user-friendly than its predecessor, starting with a revamp of its Break It Down tutorial mode. You can now use voice commands to slow down dance move tutorials that are giving you trouble, skip forward or back between moves in a song, and even record a video of yourself doing a move to compare it side-by-side with the in-game character. Voice commands can also be used in the main interface, giving you the choice to either use your arm to swipe through menus or just shout at your Kinect when you're not too out of breath after finishing a particularly grueling dance number.
Harmonix also took the time to reveal some new songs coming to Dance Central 2. The big news, of course, is that Lady Gaga makes a return with "Born This Way." After that, you have the likes of David Guetta ("Sexy Chick"), Daft Punk ("Technologic"), Flo Rida ("Club Can't Handle Me"), and Gnarls Barkley ("Run"), as well as a bunch more various genres and geographical origins. Whatever your musical tastes, you can expect Dance Central 2 to arrive October 25.