Visceral Games is utilizing Xbox 360's Kinect peripheral in interesting ways for Dead Space 3. Executive producer Steve Papoutsis says that Kinect's voice feature will actually take note of players' swearing.
"We actually have some commands that people will need to figure out," Papoutsis told CVG. "But there are commands where you might be in a certain situation and you might yell a specific expletive and it might behave in a way that you want it to."
So if a Necromorph grabs me and I swear, I'll throw him off? If so, that sounds like a fascinating use of Kinect. In this case, the game's not responding to a "voice command" exactly - it's responding to my natural reaction to being ambushed. I'd be able to react quicker to the Necromorph attack than I could if I had to consciously press a button to throw the monster.
Kinect has always had a major stumbling block with hardcore gamers: we're used to using gamepads. There's little incentive to learn this new control method. There's even less incentive to pay money for a Kinect unit.
However, Visceral seems to be using the technology in a smart way with DS3. You can't play the whole game with Kinect; instead, Kinect acts as a supplement to the gamepad. It makes certain tasks quicker. For example, Visceral previously announced that you can give your partner ammo by using a voice command rather than pressing a few buttons.
That's the way to make a peripheral appealing to a core gamer: make it help them play better. It's unfortunate that so few core games used Kinect in this way. I imagine that most of the gamers who buy Dead Space 3 on 360 won't own a Kinect because they never had much use for it.
DS3's co-op demo, arriving later this month, will let you try out the Kinect voice commands. Use the next couple weeks to think of some creative curse words to test.