Echo, the first game from indie team Ultra Ultra, has a new trailer announcing the stealth-action game’s release date. Ultra Ultra was founded in 2015 by several ex-IO Interactive employees looking to broaden their horizons. Their answer is Echo, about a woman named En who has traveled a thousand years to challenge the Palace in return for “a life that shouldn’t have been lost.” Echo will launch on PlayStation 4 and PC starting September 19.
In the Palace En will face off against her greatest opponent – herself. The mysterious Palace fills itself with hostile “Echoes” of En, barring her progress towards her goal. Echoes, as the title of the game implies, are a core facet of gameplay. They are learning constructs that will replicate the player’s behavior. If the player sneaks, the Echoes sneak. If they player fights, the Echoes fight. The Palace “reboots” every few minutes and teaches Echoes new player behavior. To mix things up, each reboot provides a blackout that allow the player to do whatever they like without fear of replication.
Echo‘s latest trailer doesn’t go in-depth regarding any of the game’s features, instead introducing players to the game’s style, setting, and action subtly. The idea of Echoes learning or rebooting isn’t directly touched upon, but how En and the player can fight and escape the Echoes is shown visually. Her aura ability that glows red when hostile enemies are approaching is especially great, a unique visual feature unlike the typical ways games show that information. And the Palace itself is absolutely gorgeous, with intricate chandeliers and balustrades.
Of special interest to fans who are following Echo based on Ultra Ultra’s IO Interactive origins are the stealth kills, a la Hitman. There’s at least one take-down where En comes up behind an enemy and strangles them that’s especially evocative of Hitman gameplay. The concept of a sci-fi take on Hitman‘s stealth combat is an exciting one, and definitely something Ultra Ultra is hoping to capitalize on.
Officially announced back in May 2016, a two-year development cycle is pretty impressive for a studio that started with just 3 or 4 developers. The team’s gone down the indie checklist, getting approval through the now defunct Steam Greenlight, hitting up PAX, and then going silent for several months in what must have been the final crunch preparing the game for this. The game is now just a month and a half away from launch and thousands of fans are excited for what comes next. Ultra Ultra has something special in Echo.
Echo launches on PlayStation 4 and PC starting September 19.