The reference books that line the shelves of developer Ultra Ultra’s modest Copenhagen office offers insight into the aesthetic of its first game, Echo.
There’s a book of 19th Century Interior Design, and a book of Venetian photography. Prometheus: The Art of the Film and Star Wars provide sci-fi reference points, while Metal Gear Solid, Blame! and Neon Genesis Evangelion—all three of which are represented in some form on the shelf—provide the inspiration for character design.
Echo is made up of many familiar parts, but parts that are remixed in a way that makes them feels new.
This is fundamental to Echo not just aesthetically, but also mechanically. Unsurprisingly, given Ultra Ultra’s staff of ex-IO Interactive Hitman developers, Echo is a stealth game.
It learns from your actions to figure out how you play the game.
This causes you to second guess your tactics regularly, almost like playing chess against yourself.
The third-person camera, and helpfully placed walls and corners that act as cover are all familiar, then, but the overall atmosphere is different.
This is much more of a reactionary stealth game than we’re used to.
As such, this is not a game that—even if you’re familiar with the genre—you can simply sleepwalk through.
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