When Dead Island 2 launches, you’ll be able to fire off voice commands to distract hordes of zombies with the power of Alexa Game Control.
In fact, you’ll be able to do a lot more than that, and you don’t even need an Amazon Echo device. Just buy a copy of Dead Island 2, put on a headset with a built-in microphone, and you’re good to go. There’s no need for a wake word either, which is great news, as prefacing everything with “Alexa” would get too boring, too fast.
Amazon announced (opens in new tab) its upcoming game control feature during the opening night of Gamescom 2022. It will allow PC and console gamers to use voice commands to trigger in-game actions. In the case of Dead Island 2, this will include things like “where is the nearest workbench” to find the aforementioned workbench; “switch to my best weapon” which is equally self-explanatory; and “hey zombie” to lure the staggering hordes.
Talk like this
Of course, Amazon Game Control will be compatible with other titles, but Dead Island 2 will be the first game to support it. At launch, the Common questions (opens in new tab) says the feature will be available in English in North America and on PC and Xbox platforms.
More regions and languages will be added after launch, and Amazon spokesman Michael Poulter said On the edge (opens in new tab) that the purpose of Game Control is to be “available everywhere games are played”. That is, the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation platforms will not be participating for now.
In addition to not needing an Echo or a device with built-in Alexa, Game Control is also not exclusive to Amazon Prime members. You’ll have to link your Amazon account to compatible titles, so in the worst case scenario, you can create a free account if you don’t already have one.
Alexa Game Control is currently in private beta, and developers interested in the feature can fill in a form (opens in new tab) to integrate support into your games.
The game controller is giving me serious Kinect vibes; Mass Effect 3’s voice commands, in particular, come to mind. I definitely felt like an idiot barking orders at my intrepid squad of alien friends (and love interests). And there were so many to remember that it was easier to ignore them completely once the novelty wore off.
It looks like Amazon Game Control could be more intuitive and there’s the handy option to configure it for push-to-talk or Voice Activity (a custom voice detection mode) for optimal setup. Whether it will do a better job than Kinect or not, I don’t know. Depending on how the developers integrate it, it might have a chance of being more than a gimmick.