While it’s widely believed that voice-controlled gaming isn’t meant for thePlayStation 4, but rather the Xbox One that includes Kinect, Iridium Studios disagrees and intends to prove it with the squad strategy game There Came an Echo.
PlayStation 4: Crowdsourced gaming
Both the PC and the Xbox One allow for this voice control but in order to develop it for the PlayStation 4, Iridium Studios took to Kickstarter to crowdsource this offering. At present, 3,906 people pledged $115,569 in amounts of $15 to $3000 rocketing it past its crowdsourcing goal of $90,000.
While the game allows for the use of the game controller that comes stock with the PlayStation 4, it’s not necessary and in theory you can play the entire game with just your voice and the use of the included earpiece. There is no need to purchase the PlayStation Camera to enjoy the use and sound of your own voice.
The game is set to be released on the Steam platform in October and that is where Iridium’s priorities lie. No word has been given as to when to expect the versions for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
The game and voice features explained
Lead designer of the game, Jason Wishnov, explained it as such:
You don’t play directly as the soldiers in the field, but rather as the tactical commander, issuing strategic orders via headset. Ever felt annoyed when someone in your earpiece told you what to do in a blockbuster, AAA first-person shooter? Well, now, you’re the someone in the earpiece. Some direct influences on the game include X-COM: Enemy Unknown and Tom Clancy’s EndWar.
A lot of you might feel a little antsy about voice recognition. And we understand! But we’d encourage you to turn on your Playstation 4 and give the basic OS voice commands a shot. (It was, in fact, this very process that initially convinced us to reach out to Sony!) But There Came an Echo goes a little farther with something we call “command aliasing”. Don’t like the default commands, like “fire” or “shields up”? You can enter in your own custom word or phrase for every existing unit and command in the game. Want to talk to your units using nothing but quotes from Zoolander? Done. And, for those who still aren’t sold (or just have a sleeping roommate), you can fully control the game with your standard DualShock 4, no problem.
There Came an Echo also has a heavy narrative focus. Your soldiers aren’t generic military types, but individuals, unaccustomed to combat, thrown into an unimaginable conflict over a technology very certain to change the world. You not only talk to them, but they to you; character development and motivation is a major focus for us.
In addition to your voice, the game will include an able voice cast of Wil Wheaton, Ashly Burch, Yuri Lowenthal, Laura Bailey, Karen Strassman, Rachel Robinson, Cindy Robinson and a number of people that pledged above a certain level on Kickstart.