Near the beginning of last month, we were all treated to a lovely surprise in the form of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. Being a self published title, it didn’t have a huge marketing push and many weren’t really aware of its existence in the weeks leading up to release. Thankfully, its roaring success saw to that rather well. As a result, Ninja Theory have enjoyed fantastic success with their experimental title. More importantly, it was a bold step away from AAA publishing allowing for creative freedom to show us what can yet be done with medium of videogames.
Another such example is right around the corner. This time, in the form of Echo. In Echo, we’ll play as En. She’s looking to revive someone loved and lost, not unlike Senua. As she progresses through a luxurious palace in space, we’ll learn the palace sees everything. It records every action En performs be it eating an apple, stealthing through areas or running and gunning. As time goes on, En will encounter duplicates of herself in hostile form. So what have you been doing? Will you be fighting these clones as they sneak around you? Will they run away and heal? Or shoot at you from afar? All of this is determined by actions you have already performed.
Originality In Our Games Is Something We’ve Become Excited About
Again, the game’s developer Ultra Ultra, is playing around with some original ideas and true creative freedom as a result of leaving the triple A industry behind. In a press release document, they state encouragingly:
“Leaving behind the enormous machinery of mainstream AAA – and the astronomical cost that comes with it – Ultra Ultra focuses on a product that is much more personal, and not based on market trends and user-research. They believe that this will be felt in the game, and hope for likeminded players to make this a viable strategy.”
So it would appear the bucking of the trend against the triple A system of is continuing. Another reason to take notice of Echo is not just its graphical presentation. The sci-fi palace is gorgeous, for sure. And the sound design in music and FX is sure to impress. Yet, worth bearing in mind is that Ultra Ultra is being led by some top names from IO Interactive. That’s right; these are the guy who created the Hitman franchise. They may as well have written the book on mature third person stealth mechanics. So Ultra Ultra is fledgling only in name and the experienced people behind it should make you pay attention.
Echo Presents Fresh Gameplay Opportunities As You Go Up Against You Worst Enemy – Yourself
The experience of going up against hostiles that are copies of your own playstyle will force you to work with different approaches throughout. Already, we can see gameplay will almost be immune to becoming boring as a result. Check out the below gameplay demo to get a feel for the next exciting, self published title. Will Echo find equal success to Hellblade, mounting the evidence to publishers and investors alike that the gaming audience is thirsty for some originality? Echo is available from September 19th