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ECHO

After a century in stasis the girl En arrives at her destination: A Palace out of legend, a marvel of the old civilization eons gone, still awaiting its first human occupants. Out here, using forgotten technologies, she hopes to bring back a life that shouldn’t have been lost. But nothing could prepare her for what she’ll face in the ancient halls below. The experience starts as a character driven journey of discovery, but as it unfolds it evolves into something altogether more punishing. The Palace studies everything you do, everything you are, to use it against you. Gameplay revolves around stealth, action and manipulation, as you face off against the ultimate enemy: Yourself.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

A vastly underrated game, highly recommend this for people who enjoy exploration, discovery, and a rich story that unfolds the deeper you venture and reveal the Palaces secrets. This isn't for everyone, I say this because many will not enjoy the semi-slow pace the game puts you in. You are rather limited and have to literally outwit your enemy which in this game is...you! A fight against yourself.
An exciting story driven game, the palace is incredible to be in, a beautiful marvel where adventure, imagination and plain awe take over. The music is well done and very relaxing, you can find it online.
Whatever you do, the game will replicate after the next blackout. Run and gun, they will too. Practice pacifism, they will hug you to death. Though it can become repetitive as there is only so much you can do combat actions wise but there are nifty non-combat things you can do which will "teach" the enemy on the next reset. Eat all the grapes!
Unfortunately the devs studio shutdown and this was their first and only game. No more Echos will come after you exit the Palace. Enjoy this game in its entirety, unlock all the voices of eternity, and see it to completion.

Review from Steam

Just a heads up for people that are prone to being sensitive to flickering lights:
you might wanna turn down brightness after "putting it in", or have someone else play that part for you until the lights normalise.
Pros:
- Engaging enemies that copy you, forcing you to either power through these tougher enemies,
or commit to not using certain tactics to have them be weaker for more difficult parts.
- Superb voice acting
- Smooth, responsive controls & UI
- Some great subversion of expectation at times
- Visually unique environments
- Constant switching between being able to see enemies, and lights out adrenaline pumping darkness
Cons:
- Unlike MGSV there's no adaption to stealth tactics, you can just choke out (almost) everyone you meet
- Blackouts happen after choking out 1 (with a bit of delay) or 2 (almost right after) echoes,
making it really easy to reset echoes to prevent them using certain things like elevators.
- *really* handholdy, outside of some "which mirrored side are you jumping down" sitations, you're almost on rails.
- Certain mechanics can be clunky at times, vaulting doesn't work when you're too angled, choking prevents already aggrod enemies from approaching, fighting off an enemy in your face can result in instant death if you have happened to shove another enemy right before that as they'll get up & get their turn right as the fighting off ends.
- Gun is almost useless, if you use it, you'll alert almost every echo in the room, and you'll usually sit at 1 shot. so you shoot, and then are a sitting duck for 5+ echoes.
- None of the half-walls are high enough to properly hide you when crouching, and every enemy just pretends to not see you.
- "we're talking, so we have to walk really slowly to prevent the player from accidentally walking into the next trigger".
If you can ignore the really minor issues like no anti-choking or that "just going around killing all enemies so you can explore the area in peace" isn't a viable strat,
then this is a really nice stealth game with a stellar story.
A tad short - though I'm sure if it was longer it would drag.
The atmosphere, especially in the first 3 chapters, is enthralling and pulls you through to the (imo lacking) endgame.
All in all, great game, definitely recommend it!

Review from Steam

Recommended for its idea, not its execution
The concept of this game, where your enemies are literal echoes of you, meaning they will copy your moves, strategies and force you to constantly adapt, is so brilliant, I just wish the game surrounding it was as good.
Movement is clunky as hell, avoiding echoes is far more difficult than it needs to be, checkpoints are too far apart, making the whole game frustrating as hell. The story is very interesting, well acted and the game is gorgeous, its just such a shame that the gameplay is so annoying, I have read that this is currently being made into a film, and I will be very interested to see how it pans out, because the idea behind this is so brilliant.
I tentatively recommend it if you like the idea of a constantly adapting enemy and play-style, just be aware of how clunky and frustrating the game is, one day I will come back and finish it for sure, but for now I think I've had enough.

Review from Steam

Unique and special, but not without its drawbacks.
You're tasked with infiltrating an endless palace, in search of someone. The palace comes alive, and immediately begins creating copies of you. As you work your way through the levels, the palace studies the approaches & actions that you take, then reboots to update its clones of you so that they can do what you do. If you use your gun, the clones get guns which they will use if they see you. If you use elevators, they will start using elevators. If you run, the clones will learn to run. The only time you can act without fear of being copied is during the short period when the palace is rebooting - the blackout period. Only the actions that you take in a specific cycle get copied to the clones, so it's not a case of the enemies only getting stronger. Instead, it's more about a constant adjustment of gameplay style.
So how does it all come together? Very well. There's a feeling of being inside a living thing, like in CONTROL with The Oldest House. Echo's gameplay, however, is more like Dishonored, since you'll spend a lot of time sneaking. The visuals are outstanding, The Palace is gorgeous and gaudy, the animations and character model are very detailed, and the level design is a welcoming maze. Voice acting is superb. Music is atmospheric without being annoying.
Downsides:
- the different palace levels change the color of the decor, but the visual cures are all very similar
- checkpoints are rare. This is addressed in the later levels with "save arches" you can pass through (you have to find them, though).
- very little variation to the gameplay. Sneak, choke out, get the orb or key, sneak some more.
- Speaking of orbs... The end of each Chapter (there are six, with multiple levels in each one) has a large gate that requires a certain number of glowing blue orbs to unlock (the last one required 35 orbs). They're spaced out around the level in fairly close proximity, but come on. Given the type of game that Echo is, a boss fight really would not have worked, and the orb collection forces more stealth gameplay (which is Echo's bread & butter). But it gets laborious in the later levels.
- Stealth is absolutely required. Running and gunning while the palace is watching you results in all of the clones getting guns after the next blackout. If you're spotted at that point, you'll be downed in seconds. I like stealth gameplay, but those hoping for more action will be disappointed or frustrated.
- story is present, but it's clear from the good amount of dialogue & voice-over that there is a lot more to the story than what can be presented in the game.
Still, most of these complaints are minor. Echo is a very unique game that is absolutely worth picking up and playing for its stealth action and the unique challenges posed by having the game copy you. Highly recommended.
Total size on my hard-drive: 9.5 GB

Review from Steam

This game claims to be a stealth game, and if you go in thinking "I've got a crouch button, a stealth take down, and the ability to lure enemies away one at a time for easy kills, this'll be a breeze" you're going to have a bad time. Two of those options are traps 99% of the time.
If you go in thinking "I'll play this game like I'm speed running doom," you'll have a much, much better experience. The game shines when you're making on the fly decisions about what you can teach your echoes in order to get out of your current jam, and is a complete slog if you try to avoid teaching them anything.
The there are certain frustrations: The story is poorly told, only really understandable on repeated play throughs or heavy reliance on pre-existing knowledge of sci-fi tropes. Certain, semi-common scenarios will prevent you from unfucking yourself because of how the game handles the take downs. The beginning is a lot of walking and talking, but it picks up after the first two chapters (once you see water, you're in the main game). And the main menu is artistic in a way that impedes understandabilty.
The game is beautiful, even on the lowest possible settings, but my Nvidia GT 630 really chugs even on those. The sound design is also very nice, and carries a lot of cues you'll get used to picking up on.
This game is fun. A lot of fun, actually. It's not too difficult, even on the hardest settings. But it took me three tries over a couple of years to figure out how to play the game in a fun way. So, if you can push past the opening, and your own impulse to make this a stealth affair, you'll have a good time. If not, that's okay. There are other games that are actually stealth games, and other games that have gripping intros (and even other games where the protagonist has a limp at the start).
Take care out there!

Review from Steam

Taught the AI to play the piano. I shot them afterwards but that was a bad idea because then they learned to shoot back at me.

Review from Steam

Brilliant; tense, exciting, intelligent and a little scary.
This is one of the smartest, most innovative sci-fi action titles I’ve played in a long time.
Echo is a tough game, but not an unfair one. It pushes you to think, act decisively, and exploit the environment.
In the day of age where big corporations are scared to innovate and are only focused on generating revenue, Echo is not afraid to take the leap.
It’s not quite a fully finished masterpiece, but it’s definitely one hell of a start.