One of the big titles featured in this year's Gamescom Opening Night Live show was Dead Island 2, which filled the final slot designed to send fans home happy and, thankfully, didn’t turn out to be Goat Simulator 3 this time.
While the highly anticipated survival game will no doubt contain a lot for fans to rave about, one of its optional features is already turning a few heads in the gaming space.
That’s because players on Xbox and PC will be able to use their Amazon Alexa’s voice commands to control the action, making shouty gaming sessions even more verbose.
Get ready to scream at your monitor and annoy your neighbours
This new feature, which Dead Island 2 is the first game to support, is designed to allow players to tell their in-game character exactly what to do via either a push-to-talk function or a gameplay mode called Voice Activity. Powered by Amazon's popular voice assistant tech, it aims to detect voice commands automatically without having to start every sentence with the word “Alexa.”
The reason to give this a go, according to Amazon, at least, is that “using voice commands enables the most natural and human gaming experiences”, allowing you, in theory, to become more immersed in what you’re playing and endure fewer outside interruptions: assuming your neighbours don’t burst in and tell you to be quiet.
One aspect of this idea that sounds particularly interesting is being able to talk to NPCs using your real voice, which might be a little less stressful than trying to win fights or flee foes by screaming ‘hit him’ or ‘run away’ at your screen.
In order to do so, you’ll need to register with your Amazon account in-game and make sure you’ve got a headphone or microphone equipped on your PC or Xbox, before setting up one of the two command preferences outlined earlier and saying an “Alexa Game Control command”.
Currently, this method of interacting with Dead Island 2 is only going to be available for English-speaking North Americans, but we suspect it'll be made available to more countries and languages in the future.
If you’re after a game to play with voice commands in the interim, Tom Clancy's End War and Hey You, Pikachu are a couple of examples from gaming history that employed shouting mechanics of varying quality. The latter was infamous for its inaccuracy, but the simplicity of the keyword system used in the Xbox 360-era strategy title actually worked surprisingly well.
Regardless of how you feel about the concept of talking to an inanimate object, make sure to follow us for more Dead Island 2 updates whenever new information about the game is revealed.