A game that has an extraordinary amount to offer. Echo is an indie action RPG game set in a fantasy world and you play as Lin, an adventurer part of an independent guild whose first adventure sees her meet and deal with a multitude of different characters and enemies.
Firstly I must say that the art style and design of the game looks brilliant, from the character expressions during dialogue to the animation of the forest waterfall, it is all extremely well designed and the game does well to immerse the player in the universe. I must also point to the animated trailer which is fantastic, it didn’t initially work for me when I first played the demo, so I went back to watch it and looks gorgeous and gives you a good flavour of the type of world in which the game sets you up in. The same applies to the soundtrack and audio that fit perfectly with the environment as well as the small audio cues when it comes to dialogue, a nice touch.
When it comes to the action and battle elements of the game there was certainly a surprising amount of depth that went into move set of Lin and the other playable character Roger. You have a skill tree which you only get a few uses out of in the demo but looks like it tailors the character to your liking depending on what moves you initially like to use. From the flame and water spells to dual swords, you are given a variety of different weapons that are elemental and affect the different enemies you encounter in different ways, making you think more tactically. In my case I found the grind of getting through multiple enemies at once a good level of tough without being ridiculous. The one and only boss battle on the other hand is a grind in itself. It must have taken 20-30 minutes to down the boss, as the damage I was doing (using the flame spell acquired at that point) was very small. On balance you can keep yourself alive with self-healing but it felt boring after 10 minutes of doing the same attacks and not a lot of return. Although it was nice to see the boss’ moves develop and get stronger as his health decrease, again making you think more strategically in battle.
Looking at the game pace and the characters themselves, there is no doubt the amount of detail that gone into the history and backstory of each and every character in the game. This however is a tad detrimental when playing, as I found on numerous occasions, lots of unnecessary extended dialogue that slowed the pace of the game down too much. There is perhaps a better way of this type of information being fed to the player but rather let it be the choice of the player to hear it/read it.
Now we come onto the puzzle element of the game which is certainly an interesting topic for myself. As I like to think I am more than competent at most puzzle games, I’ve played them for years, going back to Lemmings, Resident Evil and so on, but I digress. You will certainly be challenged by the puzzles you encounter in the game, however they are certainly doable. There is an option to skip the puzzle at an expense but it shouldn’t be necessary UNLESS, like myself there was a puzzle with numerous clues about a family and one of the clues was incorrect…That was the only issue I had, adding an incorrect clue to intentionally make the puzzle harder is not necessary. The puzzle was challenging enough to make you think, write down and take a good 5-10 minutes to work out, throwing in the fact that something you are working off is wrong just leaves a sour taste in the mouth (or maybe I’m just salty for skipping that one after 20 minutes of aggro).
In any case the game developers have certainly put their love into this game and it shows with the beautiful design, animation, story, character depth and gameplay. I know I recommend the majority of games I write about however, this has by far been my favourite and is certainly one to watch on full release so go over and check it out on Gamejolt and experience it for yourself!
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