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Dead Island 2 supports experimental Amazon Alexa voice controls

Dead Island 2 was the final announcement of Gamescom Opening Night Live, and it made a solid first impression with its cinematic and gameplay reveal that highlighted a zombified Los Angeles. But did you know Dead Island 2 also features Amazon Alexa voice controls?

Shortly after Dead Island 2’s announcement, Amazon unveiled Alexa Game Control via a developer blog. With Alexa Game Control, players can say specific phrases to trigger in-game interactions. Supported phrases for Dead Island 2 span weapon swapping (“Swap to my best weapon.”), navigating (“Where is the nearest workbench?”), and gaining the attention of enemies (“Hey, zombie!”). Alexa Game Control will work for North American players who speak English when it launches alongside Dead Island 2. 

A screamer yells on a beach in Dead Island 2.

Interestingly, Alexa Game Control won’t require players to own an Echo device or say “Hey, Alexa” beforehand. Players can just say these phrases right into the headset they are using to play the game. Two caveats exist: The Verge confirmed that players will have to be connected to the internet, and Alexa Game Control’s website says that players will have to connect their Amazon account to the game they’re playing first. Dead Island 2 is the only game to support the technology, but Amazon has a form for interested developers to fill out. 

I can’t help but think back to the Kinect days and how developers poorly added voice functionality to games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I then recalled my playthrough of Ryse: Son of Rome a couple of years back, where the Kinect voice-driven sections stood out like a sore thumb and could be circumvented with a button press. Voice-driven video game controls haven’t worked out thus far, but Alexa Game Control is attempting to bring it back into fashion. I’m curious to see whether it will enhance Dead Island 2 or add nothing substantial to the experience.

We’ll be able to see if Alexa Game Control lives up to its promises soon, as Dead Island 2 will be released for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on February 3, 2023.

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