The genre of stealth has suffered from a marked lack of innovation for years. The bases were already defined in the 90s with Thief and since then they have been refined to perfection in subsequent generations. Stay in the shadows, make little noise, el
iminate one by one the enemies … we all know the formula. That’s why when a new title appears, capable of innovating, it is celebrated by all. Mark of the Ninja moved the gameplay of stealth to the plane of the two dimensions, Ara
gami based his gameplay entirely on remaining in the shadows and ECHO could have been an excellent third example of
innovation in the genre. The premise of the game, in which the enemies are always copies of yourself that learn or unlearn depending on your actions is exciting.Unfortunately, the game is having too big ideas and having neglected in the process of implementing the playable experience.
An unsatisfactory story
Let’s start with the story. In, played by Rose Leslie (which most will know by his role as Ygritte in Game of Thrones) is part of a cult created by his grandfather. Since childhood she has been trained for a challenge she does not know, going through the process
of bloody tests and death duels designed specifically to complete this unknown test . An unfortunate sequence of events leads En to spend the last century in a state of cryogenization accompanied in silence by an AI called London.
The relationship and conversations between En and London are the mechanism that developers use to tell the story. So much so that the first half hour of the game are both chatting with each other while En explores a gigantic planet covered in
a metal structure clearly created by intelligent beings. Fortunately, both En and London’s voices are excellent, which helps avoid the monotony during this initial section. Promptly At the heart of this monumental planetary structure, an equally
endless well-designed mansion. Little by little enemy forms of life appear, perfect replicas of you whose objective we do not know.
Throughout the game the story unfolds and the answers to the unknowns raised during this first introductory act are revealed. Unfortunately the story ends up being a mere accessory to the gameplay, a small distraction that serves to explain the new
mechanics that are introduced and little else. The conclusion is humorously unsatisfying and without revealing anything of the plot I can only say that it is the end of anything that most indifferent I have left in my short life. Only the relationship between Lo
ndon and En gets resolved properly, a certain comfort given that throughout the game you end up wanting these characters.It is worth me
ntioning that the game for now is not available in our language and given the quality and number of lines in the script I doubt that we will ever get anything other than subtitles .
Let’s start discussing the gameplay of the title, probably the worst of its aspects. ECHO is a stealth game, unfortunately. The central premise of the title, as we have already mentioned, is that the artificial intelligence of the enemy is
capable of learning from your actions. The gigantic palace that we occupy suffers from regular blackouts and between blackouts and blackouts, observes and learns. If we run before a blackout, after the same our enemies will run to
o. If we do not walk by water, they will stop watching comically from any platform they occupy as you shoot them point-blank. And, of course, after shooting them they will learn to hold their own weapons.
The blackouts are one of the main playable nonsense, reducing the gameplay to exploit what we can do before the lights go out, interrupting any pursuit and, above all, resuscitating any fallen enemy. The rewarding feeling of hunting enemies one
by one in an elegantly designed map does not exist here, as enemies inevitably reappear after few casualties . There is nothing more frustrating than ending cleanly with an area of enemies so that the lights go out, announcing their early resurrection.
These enemies (which the game calls echoes) have a basic attack before learning to attack that is automatically activated when they are close to you, preventing you from fleeing if there is a group of more than one. Adding to this problem the palace is ov
ercrowded and every corridor, corner and corner is patrolled by one of these echoes. At no time is his range of vision completely clear and his behavior is extremely erratic, which leads to our fleeing for our lives. Very often. Running for your life usually ends when you meet a group of more than one enemy, which is an instant death.