Halo Wars lead designer Graeme Devine hadn’t considered voice control for a console real-time strategy game and is intrigued by Ubisoft’s efforts.
Devine and his Halo Wars team have spent a couple of years customizing RTS keyboard controls to work with the Xbox 360’s controller, a task that has arguably not been perfectly accomplished despite the efforts of Command and Conquer: Tiberium Wars and Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth. Their competitor, Ubisoft’s EndWar, is bypassing buttons altogether in favor of voice commands.
Devine said, “I really want to go play it. I’m anxious to see it. I’ve got to admit it’s a pretty unique idea and we didn’t think of that.”
Appreciation aside, Devine doesn’t believe voice controls can appeal to a wide enough audience for EndWar to redefine console strategy games.
“The controller is the one thing that comes with every single unit and people have used that for many, many years,” said Devine. “I think it’s great that [Ubisoft is] trying a new, different approach and it’s always awesome to see that. But I really think the controller is where people will end up.”
Famous for PC RTS series Age of Empires, Ensemble’s first console game and the continuation of the Halo franchise is coming sometime in the first half of 2009.