Lone Echo (PC Review). A smart VR experience.
To say space is a commonly used setting in video games is an understatement. Ever since Spacewar! countless games have used this perfect video game backdrop to great effect over the years, and there’s no reason to believe that’s going to change any time soon. Space has it all: danger, the great unknown, and a universe full of surprises waiting just beyond the stars.
That being said, you’ve never experienced space like this.
Lone Echo is the first VR effort from Ready at Dawn, whose resume includes the gorgeous but underwhelming The Order: 1866, and a host of solid PSP games such as God of War and Daxter. This ambitious VR project is a pretty dramatic departure from their previous work, and it’s an altogether impressive achievement.
Lone Echo is available exclusively on the Oculus Rift with Touch controls, and is out now for $40.
Narrative And Delivery
The story of Lone Echo covers familiar ground for sci-fi fans, but the execution is top notch.
You play as a robotic Echo-1 unit named Jack, who works on a mining station near Saturn called Khronos II. You’re not alone out there in the cold vacuum; there’s a human Captain named Olivia “Liv” Rhodes who runs the ship alongside the player. She’s your primary companion for most of the game, and it’s through their very charming relationship you come to learn about Khronos and the danger it faces.
That relationship is quickly put to the test as a mysterious anomaly forms nearby the gas giant, and things begin to quickly spiral out of control.
A lonely, derelict space station is hardly a novel setting for video games (think Dead Space or System Shock) and is especially well trod territory for film, (Gravity, 2001) but there are some interesting ideas that set Lone Echo apart. Chief among those concepts is the two main character’s friendship, the almost familial closeness between the lonely Captain and her robot companion.
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