There Came an Echo is a real-time strategy game in which the player assumes command of a small squadron, using an advanced voice recognition system to issue orders. It features a character-driven sci-fi narrative that stars Wil Wheaton, Ashly Burch, Laura Bailey, Yuri Lowenthal, and more!
User reviews:
Overall:
Mostly Positive (268 reviews) - 75% of the 268 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 24, 2015

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Reviews

“The video games are art argument has been driven into the ground, jumped the shark, and is now a dead horse. The blend of aural mastery, colorful art-design and general oddity, however, make There Came an Echo a nearly unrivaled sensory experience.”
8/10 – Hardcore Gamer

“From a technical standpoint, what Iridium Studios has done with There Came An Echo is an ambitious accomplishment that’s nothing short of magnificent.”
8/10 – Forbes Magazine

About This Game

***Note: There Came an Echo, though designed primarily for voice commands, is fully playable without them.***

Ender Wiggin. Admiral Ackbar. That dude who commands the G.I. Joes. These totally rad commanders knew that battles are won not by a single footsoldier, but by issuing precise commands that put their units in position to achieve victory.

In There Came an Echo, follow in those commanders' footsteps by giving orders to Corrin Webb (Wil Wheaton) and his squadmates in a unique real-time strategy experience. Using an advanced voice recognition system, direct your units through a variety of mission types against foes armed with futuristic energy weaponry and personal force fields. Make your move with standard commands ("All units, advance to Bravo 3!") or utilize custom variants to express your unique personality ("Everyone, do the worm over to Buttface 3!"). Keep it classy, folks.

Follow a complex, character-driven sci-fi plot: Corrin, an ordinary cryptographer, is thrown into a deadly game of secret agendas when a group of mercenaries tracks him down in Santa Monica, California. Guided by the mysterious Val (Ashly Burch), Corrin must escape from a foe with seemingly limitless resources and discover what secrets his own unbreakable algorithm, Radial Lock, is safeguarding...information that, if released, will rattle the very foundations of reality itself. Also starring Laura Bailey, Yuri Lowenthal, Cassandra Morris, Rachel Robinson, and Cindy Robinson.

Key Features:
  • Experience an epic single-player campaign that focuses on plot and character development over the course of the game
  • Utilize a robust voice command system, or use standard keyboard/mouse/controller methods
  • Customize every command, unit, and location in the game to literally any word or phrase
  • 20+ track original score by phenoms Ronald Jenkees and Big Giant Circles
  • Numerous language models supported, including various English-language accents and foreign languages!

(Note: if your Intel® RealSense™ needs updated firmware to function properly, please see instructions in this thread: http://steamcommunity.com/app/319740/discussions/0/530646715632003344/)

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows Vista 64-bit
    • Processor: 2 GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT / ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT or greater
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 8 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7 64-bit
    • Processor: 2 GHz Dual Core (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz or Athlon X2 2.7 GHz)
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 9000 series / ATI Radeon HD 3000 series or greater
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 8 GB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Mostly Positive (268 reviews)
Recently Posted
Rand0mname
( 3.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 30
Come for the gameplay, leave with an existencial crisis.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Cleverlegs
( 5.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 25
I loved the story, the voice acting, the art, everything was great.
When the voice recognition works, it makes you feel in control in a different sort of way that a regular strategy game would.
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MrFishy
( 2.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 16
The voice commands actually work. The game is short and the story is kinda forgetfull, but the main reason why probably most people buy this is for the voice commands.

I would recommend to buy this game when it is on sale.
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bloodchills
( 1.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 2
I was pretty excited to get a chance to try a game designed to be voice activated and while I would like to see more games using voice, the story and ham-fisted acting detract from the game's potential. The real issues are in the delivery and pacing of the story, compounded by obstructive UI elements. There are times where it's not possible to pause the game so if someone shows up at your door or if the soup is boiling over in your kitchen -- too bad for you I guess. You can't force a savegame and you aren't told if the game was saved so if you have to quit suddenly you're left wondering how much you will have to repeat.

Wil Wheaton could have given a better performance if he was pushed harder to deliver and if the game had the budget to do more takes, or someone on the team with higher quality standards. This felt like little more than a roleplay podcast for Wil. He phoned it in. Actors need to stay for as long as it takes until they are happy with the results. They need to learn to protect their brand at all times and Wil failed to do so here.

The world definitely needs more voice activated games. They however need to be of a higher quality than this. I bought this game to support the idea of voice activated games but I cannot in good conscience recommend this title.
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Misakisama
( 8.0 hrs on record )
Posted: April 8
I was on the fence about this fairly average game but the ending almost saved it. Then instead of an ending theme or credits to let the emotional weight of what just happened sink in, the game immediately cut to a real life video of the cast whacking each other off over the game they had just created. No-one wants to see how proud you are.

It absolutely ruined the moment and it's sad that the lasting impression of the game will be a bunch of gormless faces rather than any of the things it was trying to say. Developers can, and should, know better.
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TacticalGibbon
( 1.8 hrs on record )
Posted: April 3
The game's concept is intresting and like a dream come true, (to be able to command a team with my voice) however you need a good microphone for it to actually work because if you dont it is really infuriating and unplayable.
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John
( 4.8 hrs on record )
Posted: March 21
One of the best games ive ever played Fantastic immersive story w/ great functions.
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Velaroz
( 5.5 hrs on record )
Posted: February 29
Become a part of the SCP Foundation.

Or don't. Not everyone can get the achievement.
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KingIsaacLinksr
( 5.4 hrs on record )
Posted: February 26
A Paladin’s Review: There Came An Echo. An Imperfect But Enjoyable Attempt At Pushing Barriers.
  • Genre: Narrative Driven Voice-Controlled Isometric Squad Based Tactical Shooter.
  • Developed & Published by: Iridium Studios
  • Platform: Windows only
  • Business Model: Single Purchase + Optional Extras DLC
  • Copy Purchased by Myself
Read the full & unabridged review on A Paladin Without A Crusade.

Overall Gameplay Thoughts
There Came An Echo is a squad based tactics game where the main gimmick is about controlling them with your own vocal commands. This three hour long campaign is fully voice acted and narrative driven. There’s really no reason to play it more than once so you’ll probably just get the three hours out of it. Still, I think it’s worth the asking and time price. There’s also a simple battle arena for testing out the voice commands but that’s it as far as extra modes are concerned.

Voice Command System and Strategy Talk
The voice command system is a pretty neat and certainly one of the better ones I’ve ever encountered. Being a tactical strategy game, you’ll have a depth of commands including moving units to certain spots on the maps, switching to one of three weapons and so on. There are even alternate commands and you can choose a single custom command for every character and action if you wish. However, it has it’s limits. You have to say the order the command phrase in the right way or it won’t acknowledge it. If you say the wrong thing or misstate an order, it doesn’t adaptively listen for the screw up. As such, it makes cancelling orders hit and miss. As far as responding to my voice, I’d say it did a reasonable job. I find that most voice recognition software has some difficulty understanding my voice due to how deep it is and my unfortunate ability to screw up phrases. However, I’m an Western Oregon accented male voice. It claims in the options menu it can handle different languages such as English in the UK, Australia and Canada all the way to Russian, Chinese and Japanese. But I don’t have any way of testing this. So, your mileage may vary. I haven’t seen or read any widespread complaints about it not handling other languages or accents, yet. If There Came An Echo does have problems understanding your voice, it’s entirely optional. You can control the game with mouse and keyboard but it’s definitely a lesser experience.

Narrative Discussion (Spoilers)
I don’t really know how I feel about the story. There’s a part of me that likes it. Likes that it was a sequel to the events of Before the Echo and that we get to see what happens with those characters. But then there’s the part that looks at the story and thinks it’s a bit of a jumbled and slightly rushed mess. It’s entertaining enough when you experience it for the first time but examining what the heck went on creates a lot of questions that aren’t answered. I’m not even really sure what the moral of the story is, but I guess that’s not surprising as Before the Echo’s moral point was pretty murky as well.

PC Settings & Audio/Video
There Came An Echo comes with a good selection of PC options. Graphic options include screen resolutions up to 2715×1527 on my 16:9 monitor. Windowed mode is on/off (no borderless), V-Sync on/off, anti-aliasing 2-8X MSAA, Lights on/off and shadows low, med and high. There’s a setting for enabling 30FPS lock if you’re finding the framerate isn’t staying consistent. I can’t see any video settings that are missing. What few keys there are for this game can’t be rebound but it supports keyboard + mouse, PS4 and Xbox controllers. It also includes four separate audio sliders for master, effects, music and voice volumes. Voice sensitivity and language can also be changed here. There are some miscellaneous options for voice control including push to talk, sound dampen and so on.

The game is rather draining on resources I noticed which I found to be rather surprising. So, you may have to set some of the graphical options down depending on your setup. Most likely the Anti-aliasing setting. I didn’t experience any crashes or glitches during my playthrough. It has integration with Intel Realsense but I don’t own anything to test out that technology.

Visually, the game has a colorful yet realistic Sci-Fi look to it. The colors on some levels can get rather overwhelming when there’s firefights going on but it otherwise looks consistent. The character models are pretty decently well detailed but the lip flaps don’t sync up with the talking. Overall, it looks good and consistent with the theme it has. The music is simply awesome. I had picked up the album on Bandcamp long before I had a chance to tackle the game and it’s great to listen to. It’s some of the best work Big Giant Circles, Malukah and Ronald Jenkees have ever done. Which is saying a lot considering their previous work. I could go on for hours how awesome it is to listen to but I won’t. Suffice it to say, it’s definitely one of my favorite videogame soundtracks of all time.

Final Thoughts
There Came An Echo would be a threadbare tactics title if it didn’t have the voice command system. Instead, the gimmick makes the game worthy of your attention if for no other reason than it’s cool. Is it perfect? No, but it worked rather well for me and it was enjoyable ordering units around. Even if the strategy isn’t that deep, it’s deep enough to keep things interesting. I don’t really know how I feel about the story overall. I think it’s got enjoyable aspects to it such as the characters and the themes it attempts to present. But the short runtime and messy storytelling makes for a jumbled delivery. Still, I think it’s worth checking out.

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McGondy
( 2.1 hrs on record )
Posted: February 11
The voice commands are neat but when the novelty wears off you're stuck with an ok animated simplistic squad based RTT that takes control from the player far too frequently. I played it with my GF (who is not a gamer) and she was very frustrated with how often you sit and listen to the exposition.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
197 of 233 people (85%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 27, 2015
“Wow, it actually works!”

My first experience with There Came An Echo was filled with careful hesitation followed by eager disbelief and curiosity. It might not be the first game to attempt voice commands, but it’s definitely the most successful at making it feel seamless and authentic. It’s such a brilliant hook that it almost feels like enough to carry the game, until you step back and look at how hollow the experience actually is.

The idea behind There Came An Echo is that it’s a game played almost entirely with your voice (there are mouse controls but I can’t imagine wanting to use them). Viewed from a tactical, isometric perspective you issue orders to characters, telling them where to go, who to shoot, when to reload; the sort of commands that have become instinctual to me over so many years of playing games, but here required I relearn how I interact with this sort of game down to the most basic function. By requiring I put previously silent button presses into words, There Came An Echo felt intensely engaging. I couldn’t rely on muscle memory and doze off, I had to constantly be aware of what was happening and find the words to convey that to my troops if I wanted to make it through a mission.

Where There Came An Echo rises above other voice activated games is in how much freedom you have in creating these commands, and how well the game interprets them. Rather than a strict list of possible orders I could give, I’d often find myself just naturally forming sentences and being shocked at how often they came out the way I wanted to. There were some instances where I attempted more complex commands than the game could comprehend and needed to break them down, but when There Came An Echo is working as intended it feels like something revolutionary, which thankfully is far more often than not.

But what are you actually doing with all these commands? That’s sort of the problem. While There Came An Echo incorporates some impressive tech, its other systems are comparatively very shallow. My first thought when realizing that the voice commands worked as intended was to wonder how far I could take them, but most scenarios I was placed in gave me little room for dynamic play. Maps are narrow and linear, and different weapon loadouts offer only very slight alterations to how you play. In a sense it feels like the game is directing you as much as you are your units, putting restrictions on what you can and can’t do while pretending to be more strategically deep than it ever becomes.

I’d have likely accepted this though if what There Came An Echo cares about most, its narrative, was worth the immense amount of time spent on it. Far from being merely drawn out and overbearing though, the writing here is positively painful. It’s also very, very weird, in its plot, its tone, its character motives; everything, really. Each line is full of earnest attempts at self-awareness, baffling plot twists, and unending amounts of technical mumbo jumbo.

It isn’t even that There Came An Echo is written so poorly, but that it gives off such a strong impression that it thinks otherwise. It tries so hard that I sort of just feel sorry for it, wondering if there was some way it could be salvaged but always coming up empty. But when it takes up more of the game than anything else, it’s difficult to write it off as just regrettable. The narrative is always there, pushing its one-dimensional characters, overreaching plot, and shallow questions as to what it means to be alive in your face and forcing you to humor them. And then it fridges one of its female characters and reminds you yet again that “♥♥♥♥♥” is its favorite word and any sympathy quickly disperses.

I’m not exaggerating when I say There Came An Echo’s use of voice commands is one of the coolest ways I’ve played a game in years. It never stops being cool either and I hope other developers will look at this and start experimenting with their own games. There Came An Echo succeeds at proving an idea works and can add a lot to a game, but when that’s all it does while bringing along with so much fluff it’s difficult for me to recommend playing it on that basis alone. I don’t consider voice commands a gimmick, but them being the sole draw here has effectively reduced them to one.

You can read more of my writing on Kritiqal.
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138 of 162 people (85%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 24, 2015
I would rather not have to choose whether or not to recommend this game - rather, please consider the following points and decide for yourself.

First, concerning the story - the game is very story-driven:

* The game is rather short. I backed the game on Kickstarter, so I got early access. The four hours game time recorded by steam were enough to for me to finish the game. There is not much replayability. The game has the "War room" mode for instant battles (that I have not tired yet), but the limited complexity of the combat (see below) is unlikely to give this feature longevity
* A significant fraction of the game time is spend in in-engine cut-scenes without interactivity. Telling the story.
* The story is interesting and touches a number of concepts from transhumanist philosophy (I'd love to discuss it further, but want to avoid spoilers). It has some more and some less surprising twists.
* In case you were wondering - there does not seem to be any branching story-line, apparently the player can not influence the outcome in any way
* The voice acting is quite exceptional (especially for an indie game), as is the music
* unfortunately, I found the characters to be a bit "tropy" and one-dimensional, especially as there are not one but two "revenge stories"

The gameplay takes a bit of a back seat:
* For me (using a decent quality gaming headset) the speech recognition worked very well, even tough English is not my native language. There were a few words that consistently were not recognised, so I switched to the mouse for those after a while. I have not tried changing the standard commands.
* it was an interesting experience to use voice commands, and I don't believe it has been so integral to any game before
* the combat itself is not particularly complex or dificult. I played on "Medium" (the preset difficulty) and got through most battles in the first try
* the characters shoot automatically, and in most situations it is just a matter of ordering them to the appropriate position and wait for the enemies to be shot. Each character has one (later two) of four special weapon modes equipped that can be selected, but require "energy" (which is equivalent to character health in the game). There are no special abilities.
* voice-controlled instant-failure stealth section - I'm not a fan, sorry.

All in all, the game was an unusual and fun but also short and in some places flawed experience. It is not particularly expensive, so if you can spare the money (or wait for a sale) and are willing to accept the weaknesses, I would recommend it.
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76 of 109 people (70%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
7.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 24, 2015
There Came An Echo is an innovative, or just plain great, real-time strategy game that pits you in the shoes of a commander, with either voice controls or normal KBM controls, issuing various commands to your squad using its immersive voice recognition system. So let's start.

The graphics are slick and smooth, with beautiful colors and effects, and the animations being sufficient and somewhat oddly charming, followed by a nice clean edgy UI. The soundtrack is fitting with the game, and it's awesome, being catchy, diverse, and filled with a sense of.. justice and adventure to reach one's goal in the coolest possible way, with having an epiphany at some point.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agg6dn_GecY&list=UU-bYm-N2k6pVVh1YQHCsCqA

There are two types of controls, the main one being voice controls, which is not perfect in any way, but actually works decently, and it has a lot of options for you to make it work, where you can choose the type of language you speak, or if you have an accent, which is nice, but obviously not every language is included. I had a problem with the game to recognize my voice when I called on one one of the character names, so I added a custom name that it could recognize, and it worked smoothly, at least a lot better than before. So if the game's voice recognition doesn't work for you, you can 'make' it work, and you can make it fun too with most if not all commands being customizable. To note again, it's obviously not perfect but it's functional and playable, aside from a few frustrating moments where it would just not work. It's something new in games that isn't played with a lot, it's working and I like it. I'd also advise to make it push to talk, as I got better controls with it.

Going to gameplay, playing with the voice controls, it's fun, easy, and you feel this sense of immense immersion as the whole game is somewhat fourth-wall breaking, bringing you, as the person behind the screen, into the game's story, world, and its interactions between characters, making you feel like a necessary part in the game's universe, an important role as an independent character, and that's a really awesome feeling.

Going to actual gameplay elements aside from what I said, you issue commands to your squad like to 'move to' a certain location, 'open fire' on an enemy, 'take cover' or 'hold position', and preform complex tasks immediately or at certain times of your choosing. You can also customize your squade in terms of what types of weapons they can carry and what type of passive ability they hold. The game also has nice progression in terms of difficulty curves, slowly but surely increasing it over time, over missions. It's fun and strategic, and somehow it achieved simplicity in its complexity.

The story of the game is satisfying, with a type of story that doesn't get covered in games much, reminding me of certain futuristic/sci-fi cartoon shows but more advanced, which is kind of nice and refreshing. The characters are really diverse, unique, and fun to watch their actions and interactions with each other, with great voice acting too, with each one having their own story that's made visible to the player. They also have mystery characters leaving you curious and excited to know their identity and their story. Also, the game plays its characters as normal people of this day and age, and nice mentions of what we have now in terms of tech and social media, with fun references that made me laugh when mentioned/revealed.

Back to story again, just wanted to add that the more I was nearing to the end of it, the more I was satisfied and in love with it, with how it was going. A lot of emotions rising, twists turning, fourth-walls being demolished, and the ending was amazing. My satisfaction liquid in my head was boiling. It was that freaking good to me, and I honestly didn't expect it from the game. I applaud and thank the writer(s) of the game for their awesome work, and heck the game should feature "Awesome Story Writing" in its store page.

I want more games like this, with the creative freedom actually being free from shackles of limitations, going full on out, with the all passion and love going in it. For that asking price, the game is a steal. There Came An Echo is just a fantastic, creative, unique, innovative, fun, charming, awesome game. The graphics are desirable and beautiful, the soundtrack is one to admire, the gameplay of tactics and strategy, with the applied voice controls are fun, intense, exciting, and immersive. The story is wondrous, and the whole presentation is top-notch, heck the game's presentation and story was even more cinematic than a game that was designed to be cinematic *wink*. The whole game is one to be awarded, as it deserves mine and a lot more. I hope they make a sequel with all out better tech, better tools, better everything so they can make their next game in that universe even better, and I cannot wait to see what the same developers ,with the same creative freedom, innovation, and support, do next.

Shameless link to original post.
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19 of 26 people (73%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 30, 2015
I really wanted to like this game, because I loved Sequence (which is now renamed Before the Echo) and I learned that this game is a continuation of it. I had heard that you could play the game with a mouse if you didn't want to use the game's voice commands, and so I decided to try it out, but I wanted to give the voice commands a fair chance anyways. On a technical level, they work fine, and the game never had any trouble recognizing my voice, but they just don't add anything to the gameplay. There are a limited number of phrases that you use and most of the gameplay is just directing your squad members to the right designated points on the map and letting them do their thing, and even with the option of being able to swap out the game's default phrases and words with custom ones I never felt like I was actually talking to a squad because the technology just isn't there for it to be able to recognize anything more than the handful of preset phrases that you'll recite over and over throughout the game. The natural assumption would be to just switch to mouse controls, as I did, but you don't have to play for more than a few seconds to see just how awful it is. Instead of having a traditional point-and-click interface, you play the game by holding the right mouse button to bring up a contextual wheel with various orders on it to emulate the lines you give to your squad when using the voice commands, and it's a massive pain to use in the middle of gameplay. If you have to shoot a particular person for a mission, for example, in order to shoot them with the mouse controls you have to hover over them, hold the right mouse button, and search for the "target unit x" option, instead of just clicking on them like most games. In a turn-based game this would be fine, but in a real-time game it's counter-intuitive and makes the game a chore to play.

The story is still there, so if you really liked Sequence/Beyond the Echo like I did and this game goes down on sale enough it might be worth checking out just to see the story (though the game is pretty short, so you may want to wait for a particularly deep sale), but overall this game is just another example of "if it isn't broke, don't fix it".
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64 of 114 people (56%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
11.9 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: February 24, 2015
In a digitally-aware world encryption is everything. In light of recent revelations involving the NSA and GCHQ spying on much of the world’s internet traffic, encryption has become a hot button issue. Whether you know how it works or not, it’s there securing your online presence against unwanted intruders. And yet, how often do you stop and think about the people who make your communications and data secure? Not often, I’ll wager. In There Came An Echo, Corrin is one of those people, one of those geniuses, you might say. He’s your typical computer whizz and he is about to become embroiled in something larger than himself, or anything the physical world has to offer.

Corrin anonymously released an open source encryption software into the public domain, called Radial Lock. Its claim to fame is that it cannot be broken in any way, and its open source code is testament to that, but there’s one problem: the hardware to support it does not exist yet. Or so Corrin thinks. Unbeknownst to him, Radial Lock has been put into use by a shadowy organisation and it is securing some highly coveted data. He quickly finds himself backed into his office whilst armed troopers search for him, and that’s where Val and Sam come in.

Val acts as Corrin’s assistant and overseer, while Sam takes on the role of commander and provides the orders that will keep him safe. You will assume control of Sam and direct Corrin, and his comrades, through dicey situations to find out who is searching for him, and for what cause. You won’t be using traditional control methods to guide Corrin though, granted they are there if you want to, instead you are encouraged to use nothing more than the power of your voice to guide him on his dangerous mission.

“Voice controls?”, I hear you moan dubiously. “Yes, voice controls”, I retort in a confident manner. There Came An Echo‘s main draw, aside from sporting Wil Wheaton as the voice of Corrin, is that you can control the game almost entirely with your voice. Past games have attempted this to some degree of success, but never in a way that felt essential, or anything other than an afterthought. There Came An Echo brings this control scheme front and centre,, with Val gently guiding you through the game’s various systems, such as movement, weapon swapping and attacking. The system is quite robust, allowing you to order multiple units around at the same time, or dish out commands to all but one unit. Within a few minutes of getting to grips with the voice commands I began to feel distinctly like I was gaming in the future. This is what a gaming evolution should feel like.

Ordering Corrin and his accomplices around is so smooth and intuitive that it becomes second nature almost immediately, but there are some caveats that you will need to understand fully before beginning. While the voice command system is incredibly in-depth, and works with many different dialects and accents, even my Scottish accent, it relies on you being clear and enunciating each and every word. If you mumble or shout Val will pop up on-screen to let you know that no one can understand what you are saying. Be it through necessity, or just my wish to stop having Val pop up on my screen, I quickly learned the ins and outs of the system.

Controlling Corrrin using nothing other than my voice was an absolute blast. Aside from the few times where the voice recognition system refused to play ball, everything played out so cleanly that I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. And that is no understatement. Telling units, calmly and clearly, to switch guns and travel to new defensive points on the map, and seeing them do exactly as I said is something of a watershed moment in gaming for me. You don’t have complete control over your units though, and they do not have the ability to freely roam each level, instead there are zones dotted throughout each area which you will guide Corrin to using the phonetic alphabet. So, if you want Corrin to go to Alpha One, you would simply say “Corrin go to alpha 1″. Or, if you are lazy like me you can simply say “Corrin, Alpha 1″, and he will run towards that location. In the heat of battle you will be dishing out orders at a brisk pace, so remember to be calm and clear, you’ll have a much more fun if you do. You’ll also get to feel like an awesome tactician!

All missions in There Came An Echo play out very similarly, first starting out with a load out screen where you can choose each party member’s guns and perks. As well as the bog-standard pistol you can choose a secondary weapon which drains your energy bar as you use it. Energy is important because it powers your shields, so you’ll want to use your sidearm carefully and effectively. Although it is possible to use your pistol for most of the combat, you will probably struggle to proceed in some of the tougher parts of the game.

Finding yourself under heavy fire from enemies wielding charge guns is a common occurrence, but you can turn the tables on them by laying down suppressive fire with the screw gun. When your opponents are on the backfoot you can then attempt to flank them with a unit or two, and hit them with a taste of their own medicine. Let me tell you, there are few more exhilirating feelings than successfully outwitting your enemies in There Came An Echo. Each level is dotted with these tactical opportunities which highlight wonderfully just how responsive and fun the voice recognition system can be. Admittedly, the action is formulaic but Iridium throw a few curveballs in there to keep you on your toes, too.

As a spoiler-free review I won’t delve too much into There Came An Echo’s story, but it is filled with deceit, mistrust, love and greed. You may even come away questioning the nature of your very existence. With multiple agencies out to find him, Corrin is torn in multiple different directions by people who want to use him for their own gain. Over the course of the game he transforms from a nerdy, bookish type into a man who is able to take the initiative and do what needs to be done to ensure his survival. The highest of praise should be lavished upon the entire voice cast for bringing a touch of emotion and realism to what can otherwise be a sterile genre. Wheaton, in particular, shines with a solid performance throughout.

There Came An Echo could be the title that takes voice controlled games into the mainstream. Voice recognition should no longer be a selling point to be cynically emblazoned upon a game’s box, in the hopes that consumers who don’t know any better will buy it. It should be here to stay, and the hard work that Iridium have put in should be refined and incremented upon for future titles. Quite simply, it sets a standard by which all future games with voice controls should be judged.

More please.

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Disclosure: review copy provided by Iridium. Original review can be found at criticalindiegamer.com/2015/02/there-came-an-echo-review-pc/
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26 of 43 people (60%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 28, 2015
The game will not recognize non-native speakers.

I speak English daily at work and people seem to be ok with it. I also know for a fact that my mic is fine, as I raid in Warcraft. So I am confident that I sound LOUD AND CLEAR, but apparently not for this game.

Moreover, the game is full of bugs. For example, on the very first mission in the kid's house the command menu just disappeared. I spent a couple of minutes clicking everything and going to main menu, but the command circle never came back up.

The game is unistalled from my PC. One of those games which you pay for, but cannot even play. I say I was duped.
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39 of 68 people (57%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 25, 2015
Pros:
Fun when it works. amd it makes you feel awesome
Stressful giving orders
Cool Cyberpunk kinda of feel
Wil Wheaton - speaking of which all the voice actors were good
Interesting game

Cons:
Voice Reconition doesn't always works
Bugs: Open up a save game and the loadout screen will only give me Corrin and Miranda

Now I really do like this game, but I wanted to say "No" this game only to warn other people from buying this game. That is because the Voice Reconition didn't work for me first try and I mean first try. The game couldn't understand I said "Yes" or "Affirmative" or "Mark" for awhile. I really wish the game had a Calibration for you voice. The game pretty much wings that lol. The only thing it calibrates is the voice sensitivity which I feel like the game developers should have figured out a better calibration. That is my main issue. The cost of the game will be worth it if you had no problems with your voice commands. I would personally want more gameplay more story.

If I had to recomend to the developers is make a demo version of There Came of Echo. That reason would be so other fellow gamers will play the demo and test out there mic. Also make a better voice calibration.

In the end should you buy it? If you think you have a good mic then yes, if you don't then no. You can play with out a mic but its not worth it.
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15 of 23 people (65%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 1, 2015
I'm going to ask you to take my review of There Came An Echo (review? Can I call it that?) with a grain of salt because the vast majority of my complaints lie with the control system and not the actual game itself. My voice works spectacularly well in some games (Binary Domain, In Verbis Vertus as some examples) and I do not possess an "accent". For reference, I am an American (USA).

There Came An Echo is a intelligently designed game that focuses around a group of well designed characters, with excellent voice acting and strong, individual personalities. Nobody in this game is cookie cutter. In fact, Yuri Lowenthal voices a character in the game and I didn't recognize that it was Yuri Lowenthal. That might resonate with you, maybe not. Anyway.

PAUSE

Sorry, the review just paused itself as I was writing it, maybe I breathed too heavy into the mic

PAUSE

Okay so maybe I can get to the point. There Came An Echo uses some very interesting tactical gameplay mechanics. In forcing you to not be able to pause every decision you make is on the fly. There are a few missions in which the game implements a timer button that you have to keep track of and interact with before it hits 0. You cannot pause to remind yourself how much time you have left, you just have to keep pushing forward. There are several interesting weapon mechanics. The Screw weapon will suppress the enemy, preventing him from using his special weapon allowing your teammates to flank or use their special weapons. The Charge is a grenade, allowing you to take out groups of enemies with ease. The sniper rifle offers high damage so long as the user can fire uninterrupted - any weapon fire will stall a sniper shot, not just the Screw. However.

All of this is marred by an absolutely abysmal control scheme. Despite my best efforts, voice commands worked only about 40-50% of the time. And yes, while mouse controls are an option, they also are equally frustrating as they rely heavily on contextual actions. Right clicking in any RTS would command your unit to an area. In TCAE, right clicking will sometimes direct characters to what you want them to do. Most of the time this is when you click on a Phonetic Area, Alpha 1 and Foxtrot 6 as it were. You cannot direct your units to locations other than predetermined areas. This allows for a much more streamlined tactical experience as flanking positions are highlighted for you, and your units will outright refuse to perform stupid / risky maneuvers such as charging headfirst into an occupied enemy positon.

The rest of the time you click, a contextual menu opens up. Now, if you were right clicking on an enemy in an effort to target him, woops you just accidently wasted one of your battery packs, used to refill your energy which is used for both health and ammunition. Often times the contextual menu is difficult to close, which is frustrating in a game where you cannot pause to determine actions. Additionally, every single action you choose to order for your units via the mouse is called out by Val, your secondary entity who offers Intel support and direction for your team throughout the story. How irritated you are with Val telling you "You're too loud, your squad can't hear you" (occupying valuable time you could be delivering orders) or "They aren't conscious, Sam" which makes no sense, is entirely dependant on how well your headset / mic and your voice operating on the game works for you. I hated her by the end of the game more than the antagonists.

Finally, we come to my last and final determination on why I don't think There Came An Echo is worth playing. In a game such as this, where the plot drives the game forward, immersion is key. Ignoring every gripe I had with the combat which despite being frustrating, was fluid when it worked and actually fairly satisfying. In the last moment of the game, it took me six separate tries to speak the words asked of me by the characters in the game to finish the game. My immersion has never been so shattered in a game before this one. Every single time you try to order a character and it doesn't work, and that character gets themself killed either because they misheard you or the mouse commands failed, it breaks my immersion with the game. This game left me more frustrated than satisfied, and not in the "It's Dark Souls hard" kind of way.

As I stated in the beginning, take this review with a grain of salt. I will give you some of the salt that this game gave to me to do so. If, by some fateful chance, you manage to operate the game at 100% efficiency with your voice, I'd imagine that you would have an enjoyable time with the tactical gameplay and, presuming that the plot is your cup of tea, you will enjoy the ride. Personally, I could not, and so I cannot recommend the game.
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21 of 35 people (60%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 27, 2015
A voice command based game with potential, but technically fails due to a lack of proper RTS keyboard and mouse controls. Speech controls are nice but denying people with accents or disabilities does not make sence. You cant even play if you are in a noisy house. Somebody rings the doorbell or your phone rings and your characters stop to tell you to no yell at them. Characters not responding, and being unable to group commands kills the game. Activating commands are not allowed during any moment the characters are talking but you are still taking damage and unable to recharge. Also activating commands during transitions can cause the game to crash and/or corupt saves. This is also another game where the Devs are closing threads for damage control. I cant see how it was released in this state after all the huge reviews it got about its flawless performance from start to finish.
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12 of 18 people (67%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 8, 2015
Disclosure: I got the game for free off Neogaf.

Ultimately, I cannot recommend this game. The story is really bland. It starts off trying to mimic a popular movie from yesteryears. And one by one you are introduced to the main characters of the story. However, there was nothing that attached me to any of the main characters. At one point a character is having a dramatic moment with an antagonist in the story and I realized... I really don't care about any of these characters. They were all introduced very briefly and not expounded upon in any meaningful way. And when I don't even care about the main characters, how am I supposed to care about the over all story? It just doesn't work out. And the premise of the game itself just tries way too hard and falls well short of its intent.

The voice acting is just bleh. It is very uninspired. It comes off more like people just reading a script than actually acting, which is weird because it actually was at least 1 legit actor. But at least the music is good.

As for gameplay. It was fun to control characters with voice and the game does seem adept at it. But I think in the end it just ends up being a gimmick that gets boring a couple missions in. You can't move anyone around freely. You can't give them interesting commands. Nothing works other than preset commands. It just lacks that extra polish. In most of the fights I don't even feel like I have to even try, and that is a good thing because they've made it very difficult to actually try hard. Gun fights are over pretty quickly and the gap between being able to give commands and commands registering is just unfortuneately too long.

Most of the input I have is just telling them when to heal and sometimes to switch to a weapon, which by the time it happens, I no longer need them using that weapon and the longer they use it they just end up killing their own shields anyway.

Just the bullet points of this short review:
- game play is gimmicky and doesn't stay interesting long
- voice acting and story is below mediocre
- voice input, while interesting and somewhat accurate, just ends up taking a long time and feels unrewarding for the effort
- However, the music is good.

Small spoiler:
The whole scene where they kill a group of guys through their shielding with some anti-shield explosion was lame as hell. "Good thing we didn't have our shields up". Can the writing get any worse?
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