BioWare’s Mass Effect 3 will use Microsoft’s Kinect sensor bar not for motion- and gesture-control but for spoken voice commands that augment traditional gamepad play, speeding up the action by streamlining group tactics and flipping between weapons. Rather than pause the game, use the command wheel to decide non-player sidekick actions and then return to play, BioWare showed VentureBeat how commands like “carnage” can automatically trigger an attack on the opponents you’ve highlighted.
Meanwhile, navigating through weapons is also made easier, with the ability to simply shout out which one you’d like to use. As each game character has its own set of special abilities – and in fact BioWare is promising an altogether more fleshed-out back story for each – they’re also controllable using speech commands, such as “singularity.”
In general, BioWare has used speech where it saves gamers’ hands to focus on the control pad. On-screen buttons along with locked doors and even picking up objects will all support Kinect-recognized instructions; the sensor-bar’s indicator light turns blue when it recognizes a command, or red if you’re not making any sense.
Mass Effect 3 is expected to launch on March 6, while a demo will be released through Xbox LIVE come February 14.