Echo is a good game but the developers made one serious
mistake. By making the game so short and with no multi-player
or any serious replay value, Outrage has created the
played Alter Echo at E3 2002 and found it to be an
interesting game with lots of promise. Only one level
was playable at the time and there was some half-naked
bimbo promoting the upcoming appearance of Bruce Campbell
so I was somewhat distracted. Now that I've had my
hands on this game for a couple of days I can see
that it's lived up to its potential. It's packed with
action and combat and has an interesting premise that
marries the storyline with the gameplay.
sci-fi games always have to take place in the future.
This way you don't have to provide rational scientific
explanations for everything. That's just the way things
are in the future, deal with it or watch golf.
is a shaper. He's one of the few talented individuals
that is capable of using a substance called plast
to create a variety of objects including weapons,
armor, bridges, walls, vehicles and soldiers. On a
distant planet, a more powerful plast substance is
discovered by another shaper named, Paavo. This new
substance is called echoplast and has overwhelmed
Paavo to the brink of insanity as he employs it to
take over the world. The game takes shape as Nevin
takes on Paavo and his army of echoplast creations.
entire planet is one big echoplast creation. It behaves
like a living entity and is in a constant state of
change. Using an echoplast suit of his own, Nevin
is able to fight fire with fire. The suit literally
has a mind of its own and helps Nevin out in difficult
situations. Each level consists of puzzles to solve
and enemies to combat. Beginning with a suit of armor
and a sword, the suit, now known only as Echo, is
capable of more powerful offensive and defensive features.
can take on a gun form or a stealth form, which will
render you virtually invisible, and you can toggle
among the various forms. Focusing on an intricate
combo system, you will be awarded plasm for making
kills and linking combos. Plasm may be used to upgrade
your suit. Faster moves, new attacks and more powerful
armor and weapons can all be obtained. Combos are
well-structured and relatively easy to use. You have
to nail down your timing to get a few in before the
enemy drops to the ground or counters with an attack.
A training mode that provides you with enough practice
using your suit and its different configurations should
get you out and about but it all takes place before
you acquire new upgrades. I would rather that the
game automatically boot you into a section of the
training mode when you acquire a new upgrade. At least
the training would be fresh in your mind. It also
acts as a spoiler. These features cannot be obtained
in-game until a required plasm level has been reached.
I'd prefer to deal with the suit when I get it.
has a slightly glossy look to it which is more pronounced
in the Xbox version. That's because everything is
made out of this plast stuff. Level designs are imaginative
and have a surreal appearance to them. Sometimes perspectives
are difficult to judge because the shading is not
very detailed and there's no point of reference for
some of the objects and environments. Despite looking
wide open the game is very linear. Puzzles will prevent
or admit you into the next segment. They're not very
difficult but they're time-based so you have to think
music is reminiscent of an afternoon at the planetarium.
Voiceacting is well done and there's plenty of cocky
dialogue that rounds out the hero's personality. He's
not as witty as Spider-Man but he's got a lot more
going for him than the Hulk.
Alter Echo and see if the echoplasm doesn't envelop