Echo, Voyage, Nibiru, Myst V demo, and suddenly we’re drowning in adventure games. I was surprised which one I would play, which one I would write, but of course the priority was Kheops studio.
There are different articles available on our site with Kheops Studio. Return to Mysterious Island, a preliminary review of Voyage and, of course, an interview with them personally. This company, which has signed the most promising and highest quality adventure games of today, has also done a good job with Echo.
As you know, Kheops Studio had a big hit with Return to Mysterious Island. Return to Mysterious Island(RtMI), with its subject matter, playability, puzzles and great inventory system, soon became a classic. It added many innovations to the genre. We expected the same from Echo. Let’s say we find out?
Echo developed with the collaboration of different companies
Totem Studio has been involved in art management and Game Design. Mzone studio has been involved in graphics production and integration and coordination at Kheops studio. The story of the game takes place in the south of France, and in the end we go to the caves of Lascaux, which are quite well known.
“Arok is a member of a tribe that lives on a high plateau swept by the winds. Life there is, of course, difficult and monotonous, especially in the winter when the story passes. Predators are not very common. However, people are forced to go away from their camps to find food and hunt. During such a hunt, Arok remembers a traveler he encountered a few years ago. Arok got his spirit of adventure from this traveler. Arok was very influenced by the traveler and the paintings(fresco) that the traveler made to the caves. So Arok goes after the pilgrim again.
These cave paintings and the meanings attached to these paintings lead Arok to pursue Klem, the greatest painter of the time, in a pursuit that will continue from the Shelters of cavemen in the Dordogne and Vezere to the caves in Lascaux. Yeah, at the beginning of the game, Arok gets rid of the lion that comes across him while hunting, hiding in a cave. In this cave, he sees pictures of his old friend, the pilgrim. All this is not actually a coincidence. Our adventure begins with Arok, who decides to search for his old friend by using paintings in caves.
If we look at the interface, we encounter the classic Kheops Studio interface
” First person “is the classic” point & click “ adventure game interface. The inventory system is quite different from RTMI. The old adventure games inventory system is very similar to Flight of the Amazon Queen’s inventory system in particular. If you remember, the most impressive aspect of the inventory system in RtMI was that we could solve puzzles in the inventory. By using some objects together on the inventory screen, we could make objects that we would use in the game, and most importantly, we could use different objects together to make this object. This feature is also hosted in Echo, but not in the same way. Such puzzles are no longer on the inventory screen, but in the game we usually solve the objects in our inventory by putting them on a rock and putting them together there.
Now let’s look at the graphics and sounds that are not very important for an adventure game
The game has excellent graphics for an adventure game as well as high resolution. But I can’t say the same for vocalizations. The characters ‘ vocalizations have been overstated, and for some reason almost all the vocalizations have an excessive Echo. I don’t know if this ECHO has anything to do with the name of the game.
The most interesting addition in the game is that it has an encyclopedia in the tree structure that expands as we progress in the game. I suggest you read this little encyclopedia, which contains really important information about human history. The main titles of our encyclopedia are as follows: prehistory, humanity, technology-tools and techniques, Art, Lascaux(the famous cave in France). All of these main titles are divided into subheadings and different subheadings in subheadings. For example, under the title” prehistory”, there are titles of chronology, environment, wild world and research. If we give an example from here, all the wild animals found at the time of the game are introduced under the Wild World.
As well as the Encyclopedia, Arok keeps a diary as the game progresses, and here are the puzzles we’ve already solved and tips on what to do one step later.
As for Echo’s puzzles, which, to tell you the truth, have disappointed me a little. Why disappointment? Because in fact, the game has a very well-designed and deep theme, but this theme is not given to the player very well in the game. As you solve many puzzles in the game, you may not have reached the necessary clues about this puzzle, and there is something that applies not to all puzzles, but to an important part; you also don’t know why you solve these puzzles when you solve them.
Kheops played with fire in puzzles
A rather different type of puzzle was used in the game (it actually sounds a bit familiar from Myst but anyway). In these puzzles, Arok draws some shapes on cave walls or makes some changes to these paintings by interacting with previously drawn shapes, and these changes occur immediately in real life. For example, in an episode of the game, we are stuck in a cave. A bear sleeps in front of the cave. At the top of the bear is a pile of rocks. This situation is also depicted on the wall of the cave. Arok makes a man throw a stone over the place where the bear sleeps from the trash in this picture (it’s not as easy as I write here, of course), and the rocks on the hill roll in front of the bear. And then when Arok goes to the bear, he sees that these rocks are really rolled in front of the bear. At this point, the player wonders how the changes he makes in the picture affect real life in this way, and he can only get the answer to this question at the end of the game.
Another issue about puzzles is that several types of puzzles have been used many times in the game. Painting on walls(fresco) is already related to the main theme of the game, so we can somehow accept these picture puzzles that we have solved many times, but there are puzzles to make music using stones that are really boring.
Usually throughout the game, Arok enters a cave and solves a picture puzzle, then solves a music puzzle, and then solves a picture puzzle in a cave again. Every once in a while, he empties some objects in his inventory onto a rock and solves an inventory puzzle. It was a bit boring to repeat the same style of puzzles in this way, but Kheops tried to solve this problem by adjusting the difficulty well and not keeping the game too long. In the meantime, as in many Kheops Studio Games, Echo can solve puzzles in different ways and in different order, but the game has a completely linear story flow.
Don’t look at me talking so badly about puzzles
In fact, puzzles are very original, creative and brilliantly crafted puzzles. In fact, they took their place in the subject very well, but the fact that the player understands why he solves all these puzzles and how these puzzles are actually solved at the end of the game reduces the pleasure he gets in the game a little.
In our interview with Kheops, Benoit Hozjan already told us that they have tried some things in the games they are developing now and want to see the results, and according to the reactions of the players, they will guide their games in the future. That’s what we notice in Echo.
If you like this genre, you should definitely play Echo like all Kheops Studio games. However, Echo is definitely a game that overshadows RTMI…