There’s a studio based in Denmark called Ultra Ultra, and it’s headed primarily by former developers from IO Interactive, they of Hitman fame. Their first project is called Echo, and it’s a sci-fi, third-person, stealth-based, action-adventure game built using Unreal Engine 4. It sees your character fending off copies of herself, which improve and adapt according to your actions. It looks intense, and really rather beautiful.
Before we get into the mechanics of Echo and what it actually is, here’s what the announcement blurb has to say about the game’s story.
“After a century in stasis the girl En arrives at her destination: A palace out of legend, a marvel of the old civilization eons gone, still awaiting its first human occupants. Out here, using forgotten technologies, she hopes to bring back a life that should not have been lost…”
The palace isn’t just a pretty thing to look at while you’re trying to figure things out: “The palace has a will of its own… It studies everything you do, everything you are – to use it against you.” Creepy stuff, but how does it use this information against players?
That’s the game’s main selling point. The palace makes copies of you, then dispatches them to murder you. These “Echoes” adapt according to the way you play the game. “If you run, soon the Echoes get faster. If you sneak, they will get stealthier. If you shoot, they will start to shoot back. The game constantly reacts to your every choice and input.”
It sounds kind of grim, but there’s hope as every few minutes or so the palace reboots in order to update the copies with new information gathered during the previous cycle. It’s during this time that you get to do all the things you don’t want your copies to learn to do.
If you want to see some of this in action, here’s the first gameplay footage of Echo:
The developers stress that “you need to keep your wits about you as you face the ultimate enemy: Yourself”.
Echo is expected to release sometime next year, and will be coming to PC and “unannounced consoles”.