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In the innovative Lifeline, players team with a heroic young woman to save themselves from a disaster — using only the power of their voices. The game is set in a futuristic luxury hotel that is in orbit around Earth. When a massive shock hits the station, the player becomes trapped in the hotel's security control room. The only outside contact to be made is with a capable woman named Rio. With the player's access to cameras and other surveillance equipment, and Rio's freedom of movement and skills, the two must work together to escape.
The game requires a microphone headset and is compatible with all such USB devices manufactured by Logitech. Though the PS2 offers unprecedented power to support such a feature, voice interaction is not entirely new as this game comes to retail, and several earlier systems offered microphone accessories to enhance certain aspects of play. However, unlike earlier voice-recognition games, such as the N64's children's adventure Hey You, Pikachu! and the Dreamcast's inimitable life simulation Seaman, Lifeline is the first major release designed allow players to use their voices to directly control the action.
Guiding Rio to safety will be a challenge, as the devastated passageways of the orbiting hotel seem to be full of monstrous creatures that attack on sight. Luckily, Lifeline boasts recognition of "5,000 words and 100,000 phrases." When players tell Rio to "run," or "shoot," or "dodge and reload," she'll know what they mean. Other interface features, such as numbers that appear near individual enemies to single them out, also help keep the action flowing. The relationship that develops between the player and Rio may be important as well, since life-and-death decisions and split-second reactions rely on trust as well as understanding.
With short blond hair and a svelte physique, Rio's appearance bears a notable similarity to that of real-life actress Kristen Miller, who performed the voice acting for the character. Though localized for and published in North America by Konami, the original version of Lifeline was developed at Sony Computer Entertainment studios in Japan and released there as Operator's Side. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide