Echo VR is a game that combines the mechanics of the platformer genre with levels placing you in rooms, hallways, and other assorted small spaces. At first glance, the game appears to be simplistic with little to no story or lore behind it. However, after playing Echo VR for an hour straight without taking any breaks, I realized something: the game provides the most immersive experience possible on a virtual reality platform. I have never felt so immersed in any other VR game, which is why I’m giving this one 5/5 stars.
Echo VR combines exploration and action together. You’ll spend most of your time exploring the levels with only occasional breaks for combat. The levels are all fairly linear, but they don’t need to be large since there’s no main menu or anything like that. You simply start playing after making some minor choices about what level you want to play first, then pop into the world with only a single point of entry. This is actually my favorite aspect of Echo VR because it feels more cinematic than having me walk around my own custom level map with maybe an occasional cutscene.
I noticed the developers seem to have taken a lot of inspiration from P.T., or Playable Teaser, an amazing first-person horror game released by Konami for the PlayStation 4 before they ceased all operations in this dimension and dove headlong into their new dankest hellscape. There’s no story behind Echo VR as far as I can tell, but the level design is pretty much exactly like those found in P.T. They’re hard to describe without spoilers, but I will say that there are rooms you enter that feel larger than others with plenty of space for climbing about with some very dark grey corridors punctuated with red lights at key intervals where you’ll find clues to proceed deeper into the mystery ofEcho VR.
The moment-to-moment gameplay is a blast because it’s easy to control while simultaneously providing many opportunities for stealth kills once you unlock them. You can sneak up behind a disco-dancing robot and kill it without anyone noticing, or sharp shoot your way out of a sticky situation when surrounded by other robots that call upon their friends at the first sign of trouble. It’s all very captivating stuff except for the fact that there’s no music before the end of each level. I find this lack of tuneage disturbing since I really like listening to sick beats while playing games with strong action elements such as Echo VR.
One interesting aspect about Echo VR is the decision to use teleportation instead of conventional locomotion techniques in order to navigate the levels. I’ve never seen this sort of thing done before, and at first, it feels very jarring but once you get into the game itself, it becomes second nature to warp about rather than walk or run around like a madman. I really love how unusual the movement technique feels since it doesn’t detract from immersion in any way, which is always an accomplishment for any VR game that wants to provide players with feelings of presence.
Whenever I play Echo VR, I don’t actually feel completely present because there’s no one else playing at the same time as me due to all my friends being dead. However, even though the full multiplayer component isn’t present yet, Echo VR does allow you to interact with NPCs that serve as more than just a backdrop for the dreary story. In fact, NPCs behave as if they’re actually living entities by following certain patterns of behavior rather than simply standing idle. I’ve been able to observe NPCs from afar and study their movements, then use those almost predictable motions to my advantage in combat or stealth scenarios.
The only thing that really bothered me about Echo VR is how difficult it can be sometimes to find your way around a new level if you don’t know where to go. There are no on-screen indicators that tell you exactly what direction you should head towards next, which means you’ll have to rely on your instincts instead of blasting through levels without any thought process involved at all. It’s this sort of organic difficulty curve that makes games like Echo VR feel very rewarding when you overcome them, but it can also lead to intense moments of frustration if you keep running in circles without any idea of what to do next.
Overall, Echo VR is an exciting game that’s sure to delight anyone who loves spooky environments and fast-paced action combat. I would definitely recommend this game to both friends and family so long as you purchase all necessary precautions for the inevitable robot uprising which will soon follow their release.
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