E3 2017: Echo Arena VR may be the most fun you’ll have in Zero G all year

Echo Arena VR
Echo Arena from Ready at Dawn (The Order: 1886) is shaping up to possibly be one of the biggest VR hits. The PvP version will complement the upcoming single player narrative, Lone Echo. The VR game is a fast-paced competitive team sport where the goal is to score more points than the opposing team. Points are earned by throwing the disc into the opposing team’s goal. The longer the shot, the more points players get.

Echo Arena is also a full contact sport, so you can stun your opponents by delivering a punch to their helmet. Players can throw up a shield to protect themselves as well as redirect the stun to their attacker. The arena contains various prisms and other objects to help you grab, push, and glide. Players also have thrusters to propel themselves in any direction and boosters for speed.

To my surprise, I felt in control and immersed the entire time when boosting around the arena. The controls were easy to learn, and afterward, I was zipping around while taking and clearing shots with ease. Besides the time spent on throwing punches at other players and actively rotating my body for the 5-minute match, it didn’t feel like I used any more energy than I would when playing a non-VR game.

During our time spent on the demo, most of it deals with players chasing after the disc that’s ricocheting around the arena. I’m imagining that players will master movements in time. Once mastered, hopefully, it looks more like an actual sports game where players can coordinate movement and pass to assist teammates.

I can’t stress how much fun I had playing Echo Arena. Even as a newcomer to the game, it honestly reminded me of Final Fantasy X’s sports minigame Blitzball. The game’s feeling of familiarity and polished gameplay, mechanics, and controls left me with only one thought. And that was how long I would have to wait to play more of this game. All in all, it was easily one of my personal favorites at E3, if not my absolute favorite.

Check out the trailer below for just a small taste of Echo Arena. And for those with Oculus sets, there is an open beta this weekend from June 23rd to the 25th.

Echo Arena will release for free alongside its paid single-player narrative counterpart, Lone Echo. Both will be available on July 2oth on the Oculus marketplace.

Check out our E3 2017 coverage here.

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