First there was the rather excellent Lone Echo, then followed by team-based esport Echo Arena, and now Ready at Dawn will soon be rolling out its third title in the Echo franchise, Echo Combat. Exclusive to Oculus Rift, Echo Combat will be taking zero-g first-person shooters (FPS) to a new high when the open beta launches later this month.
Echo Combat takes what Ready at Dawn has learnt from its previous two virtual reality (VR) titles and combined them to make a frantic, competitive, FPS in zero-g. Sticking with the futuristic military robot characters fist seen in Lone Echo, the objective-based battles are made up of teams of three, with the only mode revealed so far is a defend/attack a payload.
As you can see from the image above this payload takes the form of a giant pink bird (flamingo?) which defending players can either sit in or grab hold of whilst trying to protect it. This makes for easy target practice for the opposing team, as the payload follows a predefined path, so they can use whatever cover is on route to hide and ambush the defending team.
You move the Payload by being in close proximity to it. The more team members within range of the Payload, the faster it’ll move towards your opponent’s base. Similarly, the more opponents there are around the Payload, the slower it will go and it may even start moving backwards if you’re not there to chase them off.
All the matches start off in a War Room, where players get a good overview of the map and have time to discuss tactics. Movement is going to be pretty much the same as Echo Arena and Lone Echo, with wrist-based thrusters to help players move around when they’re not grabbing hold of a ledge or the payload, plus the addition of boost and brake to maximise zero-g fluidity.
With Echo Arena and Lone Echo having already built up a fan base on Oculus Rift, Echo Combat is likely to be a big hit this summer. The open beta begins on Thursday, 21st June and is completely free to sign-up for. A launch date has yet to be confirmed but Echo Combat will retail for $9.99 USD when it arrives. For any further updates, keep reading VRFocus.