Beta Weekend Shows ‘Echo Arena’ Just Might Be The Best Game Yet In VR
Ready at Dawn studios has recently announced their first VR titles for the Oculus Rift with Lone Echo and Echo Arena. The studio is known for creating some amazing IPs in the past such as God of War and The Order: 1886, which went on to sell millions of copies worldwide. The newly announced titles are the first VR games that Ready at Dawn studios has created so we were a bit weary as how the game would turn out. But after a quick play-through during beta weekend, the worries quickly vanished.
Echo Arena is currently far superior than any other VR game out on the market for a multitude of reasons. First, the graphics are quite impeccable in-game on the Oculus Rift. Right off the bat, you’ll notice that you’re playing in first-person. So when you look down at your hands and the area around you, you’ll see how detailed everything looks.
Details are critically essential within VR as it helps you provide a sense of immersion into a virtual world created by the imaginations of developers and dreamers. It helps you become drawn into the world and that’s exactly what Echo Arena accomplishes.
Additionally, the mechanics in Echo Arena are quite flawless. We don’t say perfect because it’s still in beta stages but it’s fairly easy to get a hang of and the Zero-G in the VR game is brilliant. With the use of the Oculus Touch controllers, you have a sense of belonging. As you play the tutorials and game, you develop a familiarity as if you’d played Echo Arena your whole life.
Your character in-game is equipped with wrist thrusters that propel you in any direction you want. If you want to move quicker you have the option of turning on boosters that temporarily allow you to speed up in the arena. If you want to slow down, you can simply hit the brakes located on the right analogue stick.
Since you are playing in zero-gravity you can also grab, push, and pull your way across the arena to have better maneuverability. This becomes handy during competitive play as you strategize your positioning with the team. You can also block and punch people as your mission is to score as many discs into the opposing team’s goal. Oh, and the game is all locomotion based rather than teleporting around which makes it ten times better.
Mechanics in VR is critical as it helps you create a sense of belonging in the virtual world and Echo Arena seems to have mastered the craft. The game entices you to want to play the game rather than simply sampling it.
Another great point to why Lone Echo will be the future star-child of VR is due to its competitive play. Just through this beta weekend, many people have found joy in playing around in the arena. While the objective to the game is simple, Lone Echo provides challenges through strategies and game-planning with your fellow teammates.
You’ll quickly learn that it’s not easy to score against your opponents. The game is in Zero-G and you must make the right moves around the arena to get your self aligned with the goal. The disc aim must be accurate and thought out before throwing it in a certain direction. But once you make the goal, you gain a level of satisfaction and excitement. Some people are even starting to call it the “Rocket League” of VR.
There’s also big powerhouses behind Echo Arena who are trying to bring this into the esports circuit. We mentioned earlier about Intel and how they’ve been on a crusade in promoting this title. Well, Oculus, Intel, and ESL have partnered up to bring Echo Arena to the stages next year in Poland at a new event called VR Challenger League.
“We teamed up with ESL and Intel to bring you the most high-stakes VR competition yet,” said Oculus. “With an expected $200K in prizes up for grabs and games including Echo Arena and The Unspoken, this promises to be the biggest event to hit VR yet. Brackets begin on July 12 for The Unspoken and shortly after the July 20 launch for Echo Arena. Both leagues will culminate at the world’s biggest esports event—Intel Extreme Masters Poland!”
This announcement will definitely draw some attention and allow people to become more vested into the game. It also adds an extra layer of excitement as we can see more Oculus owners interact with their VR headsets on a more frequent basis. It will also raise the competitive levels within the VR community which can help ignite consumer adoption for the Oculus Rift headset.
The final point that makes the game so great is that there’s an amazing story behind Echo Arena with Lone Echo. In Lone Echo, you’ll be transported to an advanced mining facility within the rings of Saturn. There, you’ll be taking on the role of Jack who’s an advanced AI with state-of-the-art synthetic body. You’ll be helping out Captain Olivia Rhodes to solve an increasingly threatening mystery as you use advanced tools and equipment to solve the broadening mystery.
Echo Arena has been methodically thought out and executed flawlessly by the various companies involved. The VR community has rallied and delivered a quality VR game for all of us to look forward to. Make sure to keep your ears close to the walls as we release further detailed information about Ready at Dawn’s Lone Echo and the VR Challenger League. If you haven’t already, join our newsletter to be the first one to learn about the breaking stories!