Echo Combat Hands-On: New Game Mode And New Map Adds Variety

by David Jagneaux • September 28th, 2018

Echo Combat is the next iteration of the excellent Echo franchise from Ready at Dawn, but instead of being about zero-gravity ultimate frisbee in VR like Echo Arena, Echo Combat is all about shooting. In past demos we’ve seen the Fission map with the Payload-focused game mode, a lot like Overwatch, but at a recent preview event last week we got the chance to check out not only a brand new King of the Hill-style point capture game mode, but a brand new map as well.

The new map is called Combustion and this Echo Combat variation of King of the Hill has been dubbed Capture Point. I was starting to get worried there would only be the one map and mode when Echo Combat launched, but thankfully their adding a bit more to the package. You can see gameplay clips down below:

Just like anything Echo-branded, the concept is simple, but fun to try and master. At the center of the Combustion map there’s a large space known as the Capture Point. Once the zone is active, someone must claim it by hanging out inside until a meter fills. You can only earn points while you own the zone, but you don’t need to stay in the zone to keep control.

In other words, once you claim it, you can move anywhere in the map and still own the zone until someone from the other team claims it. So it’s a bit like Domination from Destiny, but just a single point instead of three.

Matches are still two teams of three and you’ve got the same assortment of weapons and abilities to pick from, but the strategies are much different this time around. For example, once you own the zone, do you all camp out at it and just defend it at all cost, or do you send one or two teammates out hunting for the other team to try and disrupt them? Since no one needs to sit inside the zone, you could leave it exposed as bait, then ambush them while they’re eager to try and grab it.

Oculus has stated that “even more content” is expected following the game’s launch, so maybe that means more game modes and maps to come. I’d also love to see each of these two maps tweaked just enough to support either game mode to give even more variety to what’s already there.

When we did our break down of Space Junkies and Echo Combat we noted a preference for Echo Combat due to the excellent movement mechanics, wonderful polish, and satisfying gameplay. Now with even more variety in terms of game modes, Ready at Dawn’s competitive shootout is looking better than ever. Make sure and check out our past livestream for more footage of the original Fission Payload map’s gameplay.

Echo Combat is currently slated for release on November 15th exclusive for Oculus Rift and will be accessed from the Echo VR portal in the same lobby as Echo Arena. The next Open Beta starts today, September 26th, and runs until Sunday, September 29th in which the new map and mode will be the only accessible portions of the game.

Let us know what you think of the game so far down in the comments below!

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