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There Came An Echo

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4
Genre: Strategy
Developer: Iridium Studios
Release Date: Feb. 24, 2015

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'There Came an Echo' Also Coming to PS4/XOne, Expands Voice Cast - Screens & Trailer

by Rainier on April 10, 2014 @ 8:50 a.m. PDT

There Came an Echo is a voice-controlled real-time strategy game in which you, the field commander of a small squad, use your voice to direct your units around a map to accomplish various objectives.

Corrin (played by Wil Wheaton, known from Stand By Me, Star Trek, Eureka, The Big Bang Theory) is a 31-year-old cryptographer and inventor of a very particular encryption that currently holds safe a shocking secret. His comfortable existence is interrupted by the enigmatic Val, who informs him that his life is in very imminent danger. His desperate attempts to uncover the truth are aided by a mercenary, Miranda; a vengeful young woman, Grace; and a mysterious British gentleman named Syll. The group is often at odds with one another, but eventually, they'll need to overcome their enmity to strike back at the forces who kill, indiscriminately and without mercy, for a chance to unravel the deepest mysteries of the cosmos.

Wil Wheaton stars alongside Ashly Burch, Yuri Lowenthal, Laura Bailey, Karen Strassman, Rachel Robinson, and Cindy Robinson, helping Iridium to reach unheard of levels of production value in the indie realm.

“Look at those guys! Is that the cast of the next Bioshock, or something?” asked Jason Wishnov, slightly confused CEO of Iridium Studios. “Wait, what? They’re in our game? Someone get their names in a press release, or something. Whew.”

Contributing to the game are three talented musicians: YouTube star Ronald Jenkees, industry veteran Jimmy Hinson, and the ethereal vocalist, Judith de los Santos. The game features a heavy emphasis on a narrative-driven, single-player experience; the player communicates to various units on the field via speech recognition technologies. There Came an Echo will be playable at PAX East 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.

There Came an Echo takes place in the near future, and features some advanced technology: directed energy weaponry, personal energy fields, and various other accoutrements.

Though There Came an Echo is absolutely, from-the-ground-up designed for use with a vocal recognition system (and the developers highly encourage you to at least try it!), Iridium Studios believes in letting players enjoy their entertainment as they see fit. So, alternate control schemes for both gamepads and keyboards will be available.

There's a list of predefined commands, which might include "open fire," or "Corrin, head to Bravo 3." Limiting the dictionary to a few hundred entries helps to improve voice recognition, as the system (unlike, say, Siri) doesn't need to differentiate a large number of words.

Still, those aren't the only things you'll be saying: for every existing command and unit, the player can define a custom phrase that acts as an alternate. For instance, instead of "Grace, hold position", you might choose to say "yo girl, hold up", or instead of "weapons free", you might say, "not the gumdrop buttons!" You'll be able to direct your troops in a style completely your own.

At various points throughout missions, your units will make various observations and come back to you with questions. "Sir, I've got a clear shot on an enemy target thirty meters away. Should I take the shot?" "Sir, do you want me to link back up with Grace? She's under heavy fire." You'll need to survey the situation and give an informed "affirmative" or "negative". It's a dialogue, not a soliloquy.

Finally, there will be numerous environmental factors that you can affect throughout the game. Previously placed mines can be detonated remotely: "Mines 1, 3, 11, detonate." Automated defense systems can target specific units: "Turret B, target Enemy Unit 5." There are myriad possibilities for these types of interactions within gameplay, and these are just scratching the surface.

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