This week at E3 2019, Oculus is displaying their first ever demo of Lone Echo II, the anticipated followup to 2017’s Lone Echo. Whereas the primary recreation was an achievement in VR locomotion, interplay, and storytelling, Lone Echo II goals to up the ante with extra dynamic gameplay, which begins with a brand new enemy that’s a extra dynamic menace than something seen within the authentic recreation.
Launched in 2017, Prepared at Daybreak’s Oculus unique Lone Echo set a formidable bar for VR locomotion, interplay, and storytelling, and stays certainly one of VR’s most critically and popularly acclaimed video games.
The sport is exclusive from many VR titles in that it lacked weapons, fight, and even any sentient enemies. As a substitute, it targeted extra on mild puzzles, storytelling, and easily surviving in hostile environments.
With Lone Echo II, developer Prepared at Daybreak plans to current the participant with extra dynamic threats and gameplay, whereas persevering with propel the story of protagonists Jack & Liv.
Picture courtesy Prepared at Daybreak
I received to take a look at the primary ever demo of Lone Echo II at E3 2019 this week and received to see certainly one of these new dynamic threats first hand. Gamers from the primary recreation will recall the ‘biomass’ that was an environmental hazard that the participant needed to keep away from. In Lone Echo II, elements of the biomass have ‘developed’ into ‘ticks’, little floaty natural sacks coated in antenna and suckers-like orifices.
I’m unsure if it’s intentional, however these agile little critters are literally kinda cute in the best way that they transfer and the way they only need to hug you… the one drawback is that you simply die in the event that they do.
The ticks are drawn to any supply of vitality, and if you happen to get too shut they’ll make a beeline for you and fix themselves for a hug-of-death which drains all of your energy and forces you to shutdown and reboot into a brand new android physique (which is successfully the sport’s ‘demise’ mechanic, as launched within the authentic Lone Echo).
With the intention to keep away from their lethal affection, you’ll want to determine methods to focus their consideration on different sources of energy within the surroundings (powered doorways, batteries, terminals, and so on), allow you to slide by safely. A method to do that is through the use of electromagnetic cargo cranes discovered on the ship you’re in, which you’ll be able to intuitively manipulate utilizing the handles on the high, permitting you to rotate it as wanted, in addition to rails on the high to slip it from level to level.
In that sense, the ticks are enemies, however they’re additionally a part of Lone Echo II’s puzzle gameplay, which is made extra attention-grabbing and dynamic by incorporating entities which have a thoughts of their very own.
Past the ticks, the Lone Echo II demo at E3 2019 leans closely on the effectively established interplay mechanics of the unique. You’ll discover the same old lever pulling, door opening, laser cutter panels, and battery charging stations that will likely be acquainted (and nonetheless satisfying) to gamers of the primary recreation.
Nonetheless, Prepared at Daybreak teases that there’s tons extra in the best way of recent gameplay techniques but to be revealed in Lone Echo II, a lot of which is claimed to return within the type of new instruments that the participant will attain all through the sport. There’s additionally new characters coming, which sound like they’ll be key to the narrative, although Prepared at Daybreak wasn’t able to reveal extra.
Talking of characters, Liv is in fact again, however this time Prepared at Daybreak says she’s been upgraded to be a extra dynamic a part of the sport. Whereas within the authentic Lone Echo her actions and actions have been closely scripted, in Lone Echo II she’s stated to have the ability to transfer extra freely across the surroundings, permitting her to extra naturally accompany the participant all through.
Whereas the E3 2019 demo arrange the sport’s narrative (which is able to proceed to give attention to the bond between Liv and Jack and their wrestle for survival in unknown territory), and provided a glimpse of recent gameplay, a Prepared at Daybreak developer tells me that Lone Echo II is roughly 50% bigger than the unique recreation (which took us round six hours to finish) in each precise dimension and gameplay content material, so it seems like there’s nonetheless a lot to be revealed.
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Whereas it was initially set for launch in 2019, this week Prepared at Daybreak confirmed that Lone Echo II has been delayed to Q1 2020. As an Oculus unique title, it’ll solely be obtainable on the Oculus platform, and thus far slated for launch solely on Rift. Final yr, Prepared at Daybreak launch a VR trailer for Lone Echo II which might be watched on Rift and Oculus Go; a non-VR lower of the trailer can be obtainable on YouTube.