Lone Echo Virtual Reality Game Review

January 17, 2018
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Lone Echo Virtual Reality Game Review

Lone Echo offers a different take on the traditional Sci-Fi space adventure that focuses more on atmosphere, very detailed graphics and an innovative way to move around space that can leave you feeling a little disoriented once you remove your headset. Ultimately, the game’s other focus, which is on a growing friendship between a human and an android, leaves the gamer totally engaged and invested in making it to the end of a campaign.

A One of a Kind Space Adventure

In Lone Echo, the year is 2126. The story is centered around the Echo One artificial intelligence robot who is located on the Khronos 2, which is a mining facility that’s found just off of Saturn’s rings. As a robot, your programming forces you to help Captain Rhodes with her daily tasks. Oliva Rhodes is actually the only human on the Khronos 2 space station. Given the circumstances, it’s not exactly surprising that you’ve become her closest friend and right-hand robot. Unfortunately for you, Captain Rhodes is planning on leaving soon since her rotation is almost up. While everything seems to be going smoothly, suddenly, an anomaly pops up causing all of the systems on the space station to malfunction. Instead of telling her close robot companion Jack goodbye, the good captain quickly moves into action.  As you can already tell, this Sci-Fi fantasy story is very gripping from the start, as you move through the game as an android capable of human feelings and a thirst for adventure.

In the beginning of the game, the Captain frequently sends you out to complete tasks such as complex repair jobs, however, despite the fact that she’s in charge she also looks to you for advice, which you’ll give her using a dialogue box that contains a number of canned responses. You can choose not to answer the captain, or you can offer the best advice you can using the provided options.

As you complete tasks and provide advice, you’ll learn how to maneuver and control your android body using a couple of tools including a scanner and a blowtorch. The scanner also doubles as a radiation meter. Your tools can be activated by pressing a button located on either side of your wrist. In the game, the number one killer is radiation, so your meter can help you to easily and safely navigate around dangerous hot spots. You’ll quickly find that there are plenty of things you can slice through using your blowtorch such as control panels and access hatches. We felt that the game’s order of operations can be a little tedious and frustrating at times. Using the dialogue box you must first inquire what something is, after which the game will allow you to use your blowtorch. If you attempt to cut something before inquiring, then your torch will be rendered useless. Once players understand that skipping the inquiry step is ineffectual they’ll quickly accept the extra stuff and move on in order to complete important tasks.

As an android, you can’t exactly die. Each time your robotic body takes on a high level of radiation you’ll take on some damage. However, once you become too damaged you can transfer your consciousness into a new android body. You’re also able to recharge your radiation shield by visiting recharge sites that you’ll find along the way. Unfortunately, since Captain Olivia is human, she’s in constant danger.

Even though she may seem a little tough on you at times, the captain actually worries about your safety, even though you’re just an android. Because you’re aware that the captain genuinely cares about you, you feel the need to help her. This game does a great job of setting the scene for this unique connection between the human and the android, allowing the relationship to grow organically.

A Journey Through Space

Every virtual reality game struggles with movement, but the movement in this game is very fluid and even enjoyable. Because there’s no gravity in space the android must grab and push off of objects to get around. There are also hand boosters to use to speed up. While moving around in this manner takes some getting used it, players will eventually get the hang of it after a while.

This game is heavy on exploration as players head out into different areas both in and outside the space station. But even floating out in space making repairs you’ll find that the view is nothing short of breathtaking.

In order to move the plot forward, you must complete mini-puzzles. Basically, players will cut metal, turn handles, and move pieces. Nothing is incredibly difficult, but completing each task can be very satisfying.

For the best gaming experience, we recommend using the Oculus Rift headset.

If you’re looking for a more action-packed space adventure, take a look at our review of Star Trek: Bridge Crew.

Pros

  • The puzzles in this game aren’t too complicated and mainly involve finding a lost object needed to repair part of the ship.
  • The level of immersion in Lone Echo is great. One minute you’re handing a tool to the captain and the next you’re handling a complex repair job. Basically, this game will make you totally forget that you’re sitting up in your pajamas at three in the morning.
  • The campaign length for this game is around six hours.
  • We enjoyed all of the optional side tasks.
  • The game’s designers take the graphics and VR experience to the next level from the different textures you’ll notice such as your rubber fingertips and visible connections to the tiny servos used as you move your android appendages.

Cons

At times, the game can stutter, but unlike other graphic demanding games, we found these instances were rare.

Conclusion and Rating

 

Aside from the random stuttering, Lone Echo is a beautiful game, it’s also one of the best virtual reality games for adults who enjoy space adventures. Because it’s in space, the scene is appropriately empty, but there are enough things designed to catch your eye that prevent this game from coming off as boring.  The mood changes are well complemented by the background music which does a great job of setting the right tone for the game at the right time. We gave this game a rating of four out of five stars.

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Lone Echo Virtual Reality Game
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