River Rush revealed, Natal boxing, football games en route

Screenwriter James Gunn unmasks new game for Microsoft's motion-sensing accessory, a two-person rafting simulation; other genres hinted at.

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First revealed at last year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, Project Natal is planned to launch this coming holiday season. But while Microsoft has been keen to play up the potential of the controller-less motion-sensing system, it has been very tight-lipped about the games that use it. So far, the company has only revealed the virtual boy Milo, the role-playing game Fable III, the dodgeball game Ricochet, and an art game called Paint Party. (A modified version of Burnout Paradise was also used to demo the game but has not been confirmed as being in full-fledged development.)

Apparently Milo won't be the only Natal game involving water.
Apparently Milo won't be the only Natal game involving water.

This week, another Natal game was unmasked--but not by Microsoft. In a recent blog post, screenwriter James Gunn (Slither, Dawn of the Dead) gave his impressions of Natal, which he saw at a recent Los Angeles press event. The existence of one of the titles he describes, River Rush, had not been previously disclosed.

"It's a game where you stand side by side in a river raft, so it's two people playing at once," said Gunn. "To move right, you have to step right; to move left, you have to step left. As you rush down right rapids, you have to jump up and slap floating stars in the air--the whole raft jumps up every time you do. This game was even more exhilarating than [Ricochet], and even more aerobically challenging."

Gunn goes on to say that Microsoft reps told him that "boxing and football" games are also in development for Natal, but did not name any particular franchises. As an avid gamer and exercise enthusiast, the screenwriter thinks the motion-sensing add-on has the potential to help curb childhood obesity.

Last month, Microsoft announced that it will be hosting a dedicated "premiere" for Project Natal on June 13. The company is expected to announce a wave of Natal games at the event, which is the final Sunday before E3 2010 kicks off with Microsoft's main press event.

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