April 12, 2012 by Paul Curtin
This morning in a press release Bethesda Softworks officially announced that they’re bringing voice commands to one of 2011’s most beloved games, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. In the latest Skyrim title update, players will be getting over 200 new voice commands integrated into the gameplay for free, that is… free if your update doesn’t require you to go out and actually buy a Kinect for your Xbox 360.
In addition to being able to scream Dragon Shouts at your TV, the Kinect for Xbox 360 integration will also offer voice commands throughout the game, including Hotkey Equipping, Follower Commands, and all Menus (Items, Magic, Map, Barter, Container, Favorites, and Skills). There’s even the ability to quickly create and load saves during gameplay, which is sure to be a clutch feature when your hands are busy trying to keep your character alive in the heat of battle.
The ability to use voice commands in a game where the lead character shouts spells is a match made in video game heaven, but being a Kinect-exclusive update seems more like a marketing ploy for Microsoft, just like Mass Effect 3‘s voice command features. If there are no motion controls involved and all the Kinect is doing is using its microphone to transfer the player’s voice into an action, then why is Kinect needed at all? Shouldn’t both Xbox 360 and PS3 be able to offer this by allowing players to use their current headset mics? You know… the one that comes with Xbox 360 systems and “Lets you talk to other users online and interact with voice-activated games.”