The long-awaited VR exclusive game Star Trek: Bridge Crew from Ubisoft is now less than a month away from “warping” to the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR headsets. However, plans are already being made for at least one very interesting post-release update. It will give players a chance to use their voice to command AI-driven characters on the bridge of the virtual U.S.S. Enterprise and Aegis starships.
According to the official Star Trek website, the update will use software developed by IBM to add this feature to the game. The VR Speech Sandbox uses IBM’s Watson Unity SDK combined with Watson Speech to Text and Watson Conversation. When these features are added to Star Trek: Bridge Crew sometime this summer in a beta release, it will allow players of the game to issue voice commands that will be “heard” and responded to by AI characters. So if you are in the captain’s chair in the game, you should be able to say, “Warp 8, Engage” to your AI helmsman, and he should respond accordingly.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew was designed to be played by up to four humans, each one taking different positions on the bridge of the starships. Adding support for controlling AI characters with a player’s voice will almost certainly open up the audience of this game, as many interested players may want to explore the galaxy by themselves.
As we have reported before, the game’s main story-based campaign will put players on board the bridge of the U.S.S. Aegis in the “Kelvin universe” timeline from the last three Star Trek feature films. The randomly generated missions mode will include an option to sit on the bridge of the original TV series version of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Ubisoft claims Star Trek: Bridge Crew will offer about 40 hours of total gameplay. We will see in a few weeks if that is indeed accurate.