Bossy captains can now order their crew about simply by shouting in Star Trek: Bridge Crew [official site]. No, I know that’s how the VR spaceship-commanding game already how it works in multiplayer, but this is in singleplayer. Ubisoft have rolled in IBM Watson’s voice-recognition technology, which means AI-controlled crewmates can follow orders you holler. Voice control in games is usually a bit wonky but, having watched what happened when Pip & co. played Bridge Crew, I suspect even the worst voice control would be better shipmates than some real people.
The patch should now be live, adding voice control in English only. As for how it works, Ubisoft explain:
“Now voice support is live, you’ll be prompted to accept terms and conditions for using Watson before the feature activates – then you’re good to go. The speech features come into play when the Captain is working with an all-AI crew, or with a mix of AI and human crew-mates. To give an order using the Watson tech, just hold down the ‘Orders’ button and bark your command, ‘fire on my target,’ ‘helm, full speed ahead,’ ‘engineering, transport survivors’ and so on.”
Surely it also supports “engage” and “make it so” or what’s even the point? One of you goggheads, test these vital Star Trek commands. See what happens when you tell people they don’t deserve to wear that uniform. Test whether they know to say “I know” when you tell them you love them.
Playing with voice control is probably easier than trying to wrangle a crew of people who also own cybergoggles. Not as much fun, because AI crewmates won’t bicker like spacechildren and you can’t throw books at them, but easier.