This article isn’t about a current event in the gaming industry, or about a new game that’s coming out. Instead, this article is all about “what if.” I’m going to share my thoughts on how awesome I think games would be if there was a decent level of voice recognition in games. I think games would be even more engaging and it would make some games easier to play. Of course, the above image is quite satirical, but wouldn’t it be sweet if your Xbox could bring you a pie? Just saying…
First of all, widespread voice recognition will be possible next generation given that every Xbox One will have a Kinect capable of voice recognition, (hence, “Xbox On!”) and the PS4 camera is optional, although it has microphones in it as well. Voice recognition could very well revolutionize how we play games, both in large ways and in small ways. Here are some examples of how already released popular games could have been better with voice recognition:
What if… instead of needing to click the buttons to change boat speed in Assassin’s Creed III, you could simply call out “half sail!” or “full sail!” It wouldn’t drastically change the game, but the game would then engage you visually and vocally. It would be a nice little addition, if completely unnecessary.
What if… you could call out a weapon change on the fly in ACIII instead of needing to pause the game, go into your weapon wheel (while not releasing the trigger) and select your weapon(s). This feature could drastically change gameplay, as it would eliminate a break in the action. How much easier would it be if you could just yell “tomahawk,” and Connor would switch weapons seamlessly? It would definitely simplify things!
What if… you could assign a custom keyword or code name to items in Skyrim so that you could summon any item necessary without needing to scroll through the sometimes tedious menu. Saying “Drink health potion,” is much simpler than having to dig through the inventory to find a health potion, especially if you oftentimes max out your inventory like I did during my playthrough. This would save so much time and be much more intuitive than the current method of finding items, and it be simpler and allow you to keep up with the action without the need to pause.
What if… you could simply say “I need ammo,” in COD single-player for a squadmate to hand you a clip or two when you’re out. Similarly, what if you could trade weapons with them by simply saying “give me your weapon,” or something similar? Wouldn’t that be pretty cool?
What if… you could yell “grenade at 2 o’clock” for a friendly AI to lob a grenade in what you see as 2 o’clock on your HUD. This would increase their usefulness, productivity, and make you feel like you’re actually in charge of your units. Let’s say there are two groups of enemies; you could say “get the one on the left,” or simply “go left” for them to engage the group on the left while you split up to go right? Again; these are features that can be implemented in nearly any military shooter.
What if… saying “boost” in a racing game would use a NOS canister in a racing game. Or, if you have a refilling bar, as in Motorstorm, you could say “boost on” and “boost off.”
As you can see, there are many voice commands that can be simple upgrades that aren’t necessary, or these changes could revolutionize an entire genre (keywording items in an RPG). These are just a few examples of how I think games could be improved, but what do you think? What other examples can you come up with? Let me know!
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Till Next Time