After being impressed by a trailer, I didn’t think I could be blown away by Echochrome. I already had positive expectations prior to playing it what more can Sony did to surprise me?
The demo I played was a concept demo since Echocrome is still far from completion. It starts out explaining the five laws you need to know to enjoy Echochrome and they are all subjective.
The tricky thing about Echocrome is you don’t control the anatomical model. The faceless model walks on its own. You control the world around it with the analog stick. The goal of Echocrome is to get the walking model to touch the “echoes” (shadowy anatomical models) in the level. However, the path isn’t straightforward. To get from point A to point B you need to take advantage of the subjective laws that govern the world.
The law of subjective translation lets you blend objects that do not connect together to make a path. All you need to do is “see” the objects in perspective where it appears they merge together. If you get this down and it subjectively appears that you have one object, the anatomical model will treat it as such.
The law of subjective landing deals with the black holes. When the model falls through a hole it does so in 2D. It falls straight down and if it happens that a 3D shape over laps where it falls, the model will walk on a new path. Because of this law you could make the model fall from and land on the same shape. Tricky huh?
The law of subjective existence is easier to explain on paper. Let’s say there are two blocks with a hole in between them. When the model tries to walk to the next block it “sees” the gap and then starts walking in the other direction. However, if you can occlude the gap from your vision with a vertical block by shifting the camera angle the anatomical model will happily cross over.
Subjective absence is the opposite of subjective existence. You use an object to occlude a hole to prevent the model from walking into it.
Subjective jump is actually the trickiest to master. When the model walks on to a white circle it takes a massive leap into the sky and it will land in 2D form where ever you guide it. You need to rotate the world to get the model to land where you want it. If you don’t the model falls into the empty world and it’s time to replay the level.
After learning about the five rules the concept demo gave me a chance to try them out. You start out on a small L shaped platform and there is a gap between the next block where an echo is sitting. To pass this part you just use the subjective existence law to block the gap with the towering center block. Once an echo is tagged it teleports to another location and you need to chase it by using the laws.
I spent about 10 minutes playing Echochrome and that includes a crash during the forth law, but I loved every second of it. Minus restarting because of a crashing bug, but I’ll forgive that. It’s a concept demo and the mind twisting concept of Echochrome is rock solid