Forza Horizon 2 Features a Kinect-Enabled Digital Assistant -- How Will You Use It?

Microsoft explains what kind of Kinect functionality its upcoming racer will offer.

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Although Kinect is no longer something developers can rely on every Xbox One owner having, it's continuing to be put to use in certain games--and you can now count Forza Horizon 2 among them.

Microsoft's upcoming racing game will feature an "on-board digital assistant" known as ANNA that functions as a GPS. Microsoft tells GameSpot that, by using Kinect voice commands, you can set your destination by stating the name of the location you want to reach. Once you've done this, you'll be guided to your location by what Microsoft hilariously refers to as "the acclaimed Forza 'green line.'" This will likely sound familiar to players of the original Forza Horizon, which offered a similarly convenient, Kinect-enabled GPS feature on Xbox 360.

ANNA, set me a green line to the sky.
ANNA, set me a green line to the sky.

ANNA can also be used to find events you should play next based on your progress: by simply asking, "What should I do next?" you'll be given event recommendations. ANNA also tracks what friends are doing; should a friend start an Online Road Trip, for instance, you'll be alerted so that you can can easily join his or her game.

Horizon 2's Kinect functionality is limited to voice only--Microsoft says it "does not feature head-tracking or motion controls." (Last year's Forza 5 offered limited head-tracking for looking around a car's interior.) This follows Turn 10 creative director Ralph Fulton telling the Examiner that the game would feature a Kinect-enabled assistant who is "very intelligent and will suggest things to do in the game and give you a recap when you return to the games," as well as "alert you when friends are online."

The Xbox One version of Horizon 2 is primarily being developed by Playground Games, developer of the first Horizon, while Sumo Digital is handling the Xbox 360 version. The two will be "different games," albeit ones "inspired by the same ideas" when they're released on September 30. For more, check out GameSpot's E3 preview.

Does ANNA's Kinect functionality sound like a feature you'll use? Are there any uses for Kinect that you wish were included? Let us know in the comments below.

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