Star Trek: Bridge Crew has only been available for a couple of weeks and already the game has received an update that patches in a highly anticipated new feature. Get ready to bark out some orders and have your crew "make it so."
Ubisoft this week announced that voice recognition has been brought into Star Trek: Bridge Crew, giving players the ability to speak to their in-game, AI-controlled crew members and have them follow basic commands. This is all thanks to IBM Watson's interactive speech and cognitive capabilities, which have been introduced into the game in a beta form.
In case you don't have a Vive or PlayStation VR, this latest Star Trek game might not be on your radar. In short, you're going on an adventure through space and will need to man four key stations to control the ship. In single player mode, you can do this by jumping from seat to seat, or you can hold down the fort at one station and trust the AI to do their jobs well. Otherwise, you can hop into a multiplayer game and play with friends or randos.
Obviously, having actual people manning the stations is ideal, but sometimes you just want to cruise solo. Unfortunately, the AI teammates aren't always the brightest and will sometimes act in ways you might not like. That's why this new voice command tech is so fascinating. Rather than getting frustrated at the Helm crewman for moving too fast, you can now just yell at them to slow the hell down. We imagine there will be some kinks to work out, this being a beta and all, but that should make juggling stations a little less overwhelming.
What's extra cool is that this new voice tech can still be used in multiplayer when you don't have a full crew. We imagine it'll get annoying if one of your human crewmates starts ordering the AI when you're the one sitting in the captain's chair, but that could also make for some drama that would feel right at home in an episode of Star Trek.
If you have a VR headset and you haven't taken Star Trek: Bridge Crew for a spin yet, you're missing out on one of the best games the platform has to offer. The character mapping follows your hand movements and your avatar's mouth moves when you speak, too, so it can be pretty immersive when you jump onto the bridge with a team. Also, there's nothing like tackling a mission when you actually have to rely on your teammates. If Gary doesn't convert power to shields when it's most needed and Sara doesn't scan a region of space before exploring, you can be in for some real trying encounters. When everyone pulls together and fulfills their roles, though, the game absolutely sings.
But, thanks to this new IBM Watson integration, those moments of harmony should be just as common in single player missions, too.