A whole level of Echo is good for explaining Echo

Echo

Echo [official site] is a third person sci-fi action game which, as descriptions go… so far so doesn’t-tell-you-anything-interesting. But its big point of difference is that you are the enemy you are trying to beat. It’s an idea which, reading about it, reminded me of specific levels within other games – stuff like the Dark Link bit of Ocarina of time where you fight a shadow version of yourself which near-mirrors your moves. Echo extends that idea of you being your own difficulty cap and makes a whole game from it which sounds really cool. I hadn’t sat down to watch it in action before this full level video though.

To give you the context I had before going in:

The bare bones of the concept in Echo is that the Palace you’re in tracks your moves and knows how you’re playing. Every few minutes it feeds those choices into the enemy behaviour, so if you play stealthily so do they, and if you’re gun-happy so are they. The time delay means you could start to build a behaviour cycle – play as something stealthy, then play as a thing which counters that, then play the counter to that counter… There’s also a blackout period which frees you up to do the things you don’t want the AI to know as it’s not monitoring you in those moments.

This vid gave me a far clearer picture of how it all works and how you know what you’re feeding the Palace as information:

I think it’s such an interesting idea and I definitely want to play, but being aware of my own gaming styles and habits I think I’m far more likely to be enthralled by videos or stories of other people’s games. Mine will probably be a comedy of errors.

Echo will be out on September 19th.

9 Comments

  1. Massenstein says:

    I’m really hoping this time the promises of amazing new feature turn out to actually be as amazing as advertised. So often the hype leads to disappointment (while sometimes the result is still a great game, like Alien: Isolation), and sometimes, rarely, they really do deliver. I hope this is one of those times.

  2. SigmaCAT says:

    I really hope their adaptive thingy really works cause it looks super heavy to play and completely mechanical… I thought it was very early footage and the animation was placeholder but, oh well, september 19th. Good luck. That spherical holo-thing doesn’t look so great either.

  3. Rack says:

    Whole but still only one. YOu could say then it was a Lone Echo level right?

  4. UncleLou says:

    I am not sure how well this will play (or not), but I love that some developers currently try to experiment more with AI (or at least feature it more prominently).

    Hello Neighbor would be another example.

  5. MasterPrudent says:

    That is some top-tier art design.

    • soul4sale says:

      Agreed. Sound design is decent too. The crystal recharge sound and the gun sounds are very nice. I also like the sphere sensor design. That’s a lot more organic than having to look at a mini map full of sight cones.

  6. fish99 says:

    I’m probably missing something here since I watched that with no sound, but it seems a bit errr …. easy? You can just push the enemies over, throw objects to knock them out or shoot them, and when the enemies try to use stealth they’re exactly 0% harder to see and look rather silly.

  7. shagen454 says:

    Lecho meh Echo

  8. Mario Pajas says:

    Not convinced.

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