Echo is the first game from Danish studio Ultra Ultra, a third-person sci-fi-inspired action game with some neat puzzle mechanics. After awakening from a century in stasis, protagonist En finds herself in the Palace—a strange sentient building which creates doppelganger Echoes as a means of security. She’s then forced to plan her escape around them.
“The [Echoes] behave like you and only do the things you do,” explains the blurb on the game’s site. “So the way you play the game shapes your enemy. If you run, soon the Echoes get faster. If you sneak, they will get stealthier. If you shoot, they will start to shoot back. The game constantly reacts to your every choice and input.”
Overcoming the Echoes, then, demands a tactful approach as steaming in with your heaviest arsenal only means you’ll be on the receiving end further down the line. The caveat to the automatons’ learning patterns is that they can only do so in light, and the Palace can only relay their learned behaviours by rebooting—a process which results in a blackout.
“This blackout-cycle is the rhythm at which the ‘Echoes’ get updated with your latest behavior, learning and unlearning from your actions,” continues the overview. “During the blackout the palace is blind, giving you the freedom to act without consequence. This is the time to run and gun and do all the things you don’t want the Echoes to learn.”
Which is pretty well depicted in the following trailer:
The first time I came across this clone/doppelganger mechanic was towards the end of the first Tomb Raider—in the Great Pyramid, if my memory serves me correctly—and I remember wondering what it’d be like if an entire game was based around the premise. It’s been mirrored in various ways since, however Echo looks like an interesting take on the idea. It’s due to launch in Spring 2017.