When Dead Island 2 launches, you'll be able to reel off voice commands to distract zombie hordes with the power of Alexa Game Control.
You'll actually be able to do a lot more than that, and you don't even need an Amazon Echo device. Just get yourself a copy of Dead Island 2, stick on a headset with an integrated mic, and you're set. There's no need for a wake word either, which is great news as prefacing everything with "Alexa" would get real annoying, real fast.
Amazon announced its upcoming Game Control feature during Gamescom 2022's opening night. It'll let PC and console gamers use voice commands to trigger in-game actions. In the case of Dead Island 2, that'll include things like “where is the nearest workbench” to find the aforementioned workbench; "swap to my best weapon" which is equally self-explanatory; and “hey zombie” to lure over the shambling hordes.
Talk this way
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 FAQ says the feature will available in English in North America, and on PC and Xbox platforms.
More regions and languages will be added post-release, and Amazon spokesperson Michael Poulter told The Verge that Game Control's goal is to be "available everywhere games are played.” Meaning Nintendo Switch and PlayStation platforms won't be partaking for now.
As well as not needing an Echo or a device with Alexa built-in, Game Control isn't an Amazon Prime member exclusive either. You will have to link your Amazon account to compatible titles, so at worst, you can just create a free account if you don't already have one.
At the minute, Alexa Game Control is in private beta, and developers interested in the feature can fill out a form to integrate support into their games.
Game Control is giving me serious Kinect vibes; Mass Effect 3 voice commands in particular spring to mind. I definitely felt like an idiot barking orders to my intrepid squad of alien friends (and love interests). And there were so many to remember that it was easier to ignore them entirely after the novelty wore off.
It sounds like Amazon Game Control could be more intuitive, and there's the handy option to set it to push-to-talk or Voice Activity (a custom voice-detection mode) for the optimal setup. Whether it'll do a better job than the Kinect or not, I don't know. Depending on how developers integrate it, it might have a shot at being more than a gimmick.
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Shabana has been writing about games for almost a decade now, as well as covering tech, politics, food, and other random tidbits at Gizmodo UK. She's stepped outside of news every now and then to write game guides, and always appreciates a DM if she's helped get you out of a pickle. During her time freelancing, you may have spotted her words at VG24/7, GamesRadar, and IGN. She's also held the position of news editor at Gizmodo UK, T3, and The Sun Online.