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Ready, set, launch! The adventure exploration ‘Lone Echo’ is a well-renowned VR game on the Meta Quest 2 and PC VR.
Lone Echo takes a different approach than other mainstream VR games by adding an extra-terrestrial flavor to the mix.
Lone Echo is the only game I consider on VR that is comparable to the masterpiece Half-Life: Alyx (Personal speaking – don’t start coming at me for having an opinion Half Life fanboys).
While Half-Life Alyx is a PC VR game and requires a high-end gaming computer to run smoothly in the highest setting, Lone Echo released a standalone component on the Quest 2 named ‘Echo Arena’ as well as on PC VR as the main game.
It is an amazing space exploration VR game with not only an engaging story that will reel you in pretty quickly, but it has amazing multiplayer ‘Echo Arena’ as well.
In this guide, we’ll dive deep into the world of Lone Echo VR, so read on.
Bottom Line Up Front
Lone Echo VR qualifies as one of the best VR games of all time. This game is a complete package with an amazing story, top-class gameplay, and unmatched multiplayer as Echo Arena. If space games are your thing, then Lone Echo will reel you in for hours on end.
This game was first released for PC VR, but due to high demand, Ready at Dawn (the developer of Lone Echo) had to collaborate with Oculus Studios and port the game as a standalone on the Quest store as well.
The game features a story mode campaign and an online multiplayer in which two teams compete to score points by shooting a disc through hoops.
The game’s control is smooth, and once you get the hang of navigating in zero gravity, then you’ll be unstoppable.
The hand-tracking movements in Echo VR is what makes its gameplay unique. There are thrusters attached to your arms in the game, so you can get better mobility.
The only downside that I noticed was in Echo Arena, which is predominantly overcrowded with pre-teens. The overpopulation of children in the game and the public voice chat made the online game extremely annoying for me (which is a common problem in VR Chat too). The easy solution to this problem is simply muting communication, but then you won’t be able to coordinate with your team during gameplay.
Overall, Lone Echo VR is an amazing game, and I highly recommend space exploration lovers give this game a shot.
Lone Echo VR Guide
In Lone Echo VR, you take control of an Android named Jack. You are tasked with a mission near the rings of Saturn with Captain Olivia Rhodes. In the beginning, you will be performing small tasks and completing simple puzzles to learn the ropes, but as you progress in the game, the puzzles will get more difficult, and you will need to use your brain, as well as your movement skills to navigate and progress.
You will get a variety of gadgets to overcome obstacles, and the initial missions/tasks will play out as a tutorial stage to get you familiarized with each tool before jumping into the main story of the game.
A sudden turn of events takes place as soon as the tutorial ends; Saturn’s ring sends out an EMP blast that heavily damages the ship.
You must work together with Captain Olivia to repair the ship, crawl into small spaces, and solve puzzles around the space station to get it working again.
The game is a visual and audio masterpiece that combines intricate gameplay, crisp graphics, and spatial audio to provide a unique experience in virtual reality which can be found in no other VR game currently on the market, more so as a standalone VR title on the Quest!
Let’s discuss gameplay, continue with the article, and check out what Lone Echo VR has to offer.
Dreamt of Being An Astronaut? Why Not A Ship Repairing Robot?
Lone Echo has a dark theme; being lost in the infinite abyss of space sends shivers down my spine. The amazing spatial audio and the virtual reality atmosphere add to that experience. Lone Echo is a complete package, it excels in graphics, and the gameplay is not boring either.
While the game has puzzles and a few gadgets to solve these puzzles, it’s surprisingly not repetitive at all! You will have to use your brain to solve each puzzle, and trust me when I say this; some puzzles really take some pondering.
The game’s physics is worth mentioning. While games like Boneworks and Superhot VR steal all the glory for amazing physics, Lone Echo VR is extremely underrated in this regard. I mean, this game is completely based in space! Can you imagine how difficult it must have been to simulate zero gravity and to still make the gameplay enjoyable?
Not to mention, Ready At Dawn actually created a separate multiplayer with the same mechanics and physics as Lone Echo! Which shows how successful their simulation has been.
The physics of the game are very well programmed, you will float in space if you let go of the walls, and if you thrust towards a point, you’ll continue moving in the same direction even if you stop thrusting; Inertia hombre, inertia.
Talking about the game itself, you will find many puzzles in your path, which basically revolves around repairing your ship bit by bit. From changing cores, replacing fuses, charging batteries, and transporting AI cores from one end of the shit to another to simple laser-cutting metal sheets, there’s so much to do in Lone Echo!
The content-rich campaign is five to six hours long, but all that pondering on puzzles and exploration will definitely take you more than 6 hours. It took me at least 10 hours to finish the campaign because I was taking it slow (I love to savor every moment of a masterpiece). Moreover, the puzzles and navigating through areas that test your zero-gravity mobility mastery will take up a lot of time.
I can imagine doing this with a keyboard mouse or controller as a regular PC game, but I wouldn’t be that fascinated by it. The main reason why Lone Echo is rated so positively is that the immersion in VR is tenfold and the feeling of floating through space in the dark abyss is terrifying and exciting at the same time.
There are some areas in the game where you can’t touch the walls, and you must make your way through them. Fret not; you have thrusters equipped in your wrists that will help you navigate around without the need to use the walls as support.
Set in the year 2126, you are a robot working under the supervision of Captain Olivia. After the anomaly, you must repair the ship and find out what caused the EMP blast. A horrific turn of events leaves you stranded alone on the ship with no one else alive, and you are bent on finding your Captain, only to realize you have made a jump 400 years ahead. The story is well-written and leaves you scratching your head more than once.
The game is unique with a ton of possibilities. The main Lone Echo VR gameplay revolves around the main story (which I will not spoil for you further); as you progress, you need to use your brain which tool is appropriate to use in which situation, so it’s an amazing puzzle game with a terrific environment and even better story.
Staring Into the Void
While not a horror game per se, Lone Echo VR will sometimes instill fear in the player. You will feel like you’re in a void with nothing but darkness staring at you. Stuck on the rings of Saturn, there’s limited life in sight, but does that matter? Because you’re not human yourself. You stare in the dark space, and it stares right back at you.
During my first playthrough, I had to take breaks after every 10 – 15 minutes because I was actually horrified (in a good way), and I needed a taste of reality. Games that actually scared the jeebies out of you, didn’t they die with Resident Evil 4? Lone Echo VR is proof that well-made games can still have that effect on people.
The story is extremely engaging, and once you start playing, the amazing story reels you in. While the initial stage is boring (because it’s more of a tutorial), the graphics of the game mesmerize you to keep on playing.
Where To Buy?
What’s Echo Arena?
Echo Arena or Echo VR is a component of Lone Echo, free to play and released on the Quest store as a standalone online multiplayer. It uses the same mechanics, graphics, and textures as Lone Echo.
Echo Arena is an innovative 3v3 competitive game in which the goal of each side is to score the most goals and win.
I know, I know, Rocket League did it first, but hear me out; Echo Arena sounds like Rocket league at first, but it’s a completely different kind of multiplayer. Imagine playing 3v3 basketball… without gravity!
Yes! You’ll have to steal the disk from your opponents, boost it to the hoop and score your goal to win in zero gravity!
Your thrusters will be the most useful here, and if you have completed the Lone Echo campaign, navigating in the field would be a walk in the park for you!
You are spawned in the lobby first, where you will be able to see other players (Note: There are no NPCs in Echo Arena). You will see them flying around, having fun, and chatting, kinda like VR Chat.
In fact, Echo Arena is so much like VR Chat that it faces the same flaw as VR Chat:
I don’t want to sound like a grumpy old man, but if I find 10-year-olds shouting their lungs out in the public chat room, I’ll uninstall the game before you can say, ‘Boomer.’
Since Echo Arena is such an amazing game, I couldn’t let this minor flaw come in the way of me not being able to enjoy a unique competitive game.
While Echo Arena does give you the option to mute all comms, it gets kind of problematic when you’re in the game, and you can’t communicate with your team to devise a strategy.
Since there is a minimum age restriction to getting a VR headset in the first place, so all children shouldn’t be using VR without parental guidance anyway. Keeping a strict check on age violations will keep the Echo Arena community very peaceful.
Another problem with Echo Arena is that it only has one map and one mode to play. The game has substantial traffic, and it doesn’t take a detective to deduce that new modes and maps would be loved by the community.
Following the huge success of Lone Echo and Echo Arena, Ready At Dawn released Lone Echo 2 on 12th October 2021. Read on to find out how it turned out.
Lone Echo 2 – The Hyped Sequel To A Masterpiece
Lone Echo 2 didn’t receive a positive response as its predecessor. Gamers complained that the amazing buildup of Jack and Liv’s relationship was ruined by the sequel. There is no main antagonist in the game; the only enemy you have is the biomass.
As much as Lone Echo avoided repetitive puzzles to keep the game interesting, Lone Echo 2 did the complete opposite. While the physics is great, and the mechanics are pretty much the same as the first game (if not better), the puzzles became repetitive with no uniqueness.
The game is equally immersive with slightly better graphics; the main campaign is lengthier with 8 hours in total, which is why there are many repetitive elements, and the playthrough becomes boring as there is no main enemy to fight, other than the pesky and annoying biomass. I think 5 – 6 hours for a VR puzzle game is enough to keep a gamer interested.
While Lone Echo 2 didn’t live up to its expectations, it’s not a complete fail either. If you enjoy the gameplay and setting of the first game, you’ll like the second installment, too; try giving it a shot.
Games Like Lone Echo – Best Alternatives
Here is a list of games that you will most likely enjoy if you’re in love with Lone Echo’s gameplay. I love space adventure games and after completing my second playthrough of Lone Echo, I wanted a game same as it to provide closure. Here are some of the best alternatives to Lone Echo VR:
No Man’s Sky
The initially overhyped Hello games fail, turned into a masterpiece through updates is available to play on VR! While it doesn’t match with Lone Echo in terms of story, but the gameplay is more extensive than Lone Echo. NMS is a free world space survival game, in which you can explore over 18 quintillion planets. Start right away and you might be able to visit each planet till the year 3000!
While not exactly based in space, Subnautica VR gives you the feeling of being in another dimension. Exploring the deep seas on an alien planet is creepy and you will find tons of hungry monsters under the sea. The game provides you similar gameplay to Lone Echo, but instead of moving in space, you’ll be moving in deep waters which is no less than moving in zero gravity.
If you love spaceship battles then you’ll love End Space. Much like Lone Echo, you’ll get to experience the endless abyss of space and using your spaceship to move around. End Space has more shooting and fighting than Lone Echo.
Question: Is Lone Echo VR Free?
Answer: No, Lone Echo is not free. Ready At Dawn released a component of Lone Echo, by the name of Echo Arena, on the Quest store for free. So, if you want to experience Lone Echo gameplay for free in VR, then download Echo Arena on your Quest 2.
Question: Do You Float In Lone Echo?
Answer: Yes! Since Lone Echo is based in space where there is no gravity and movement is mainly dependent on your thrusters and grabbing the walls of your spaceship, leaving hold of the walls will leave you floating.
Question: Can You Visit Earth In Lone Echo?
Answer: No, Lone Echo’s story is based around the rings of Saturn. You can explore around your ship, crawl in tiny spaces, and transport AI cores from one end of the ship to the next. You cannot visit Earth or other planets of the solar system.
Lone Echo VR is an incredible game with an engaging story, high-quality audio and visuals, and mechanics like no other. If you love space games like me, Lone Echo is worth giving a shot!
Lone Echo takes a unique approach to VR gaming, with amazing zero gravity physics. Published by Oculus Studios, it’s bound to be well optimized for the Quest and Rift.
Echo Arena is a component of Lone Echo by the same developer and with the same mechanics as Lone Echo. The only difference is that Echo Arena is an online 3v3 multiplayer without a campaign.
Lone Echo received a lot of positive reception, which is why they released a sequel by the end of 2021. While featuring a bit enhanced graphics and mechanics, people found it boring and repetitive. You can try it on the Quest store and be the judge yourself.
I hope you found this article fun to read, make sure to give Lone Echo a try if you haven’t already!