Amazon Echo (4th Gen) review
The Amazon Echo was a hit when it was first released and the company improves the Echo line with every iteration—but it’s been six whole years since the Echo’s debut. So why are we still talking about it? The Amazon Echo (4th Gen) is the newest smart speaker from the company, and it hopes you’ll make it the center of your smart home. While the functionality of Alexa hasn’t changed much, the shape and sound quality have definitely improved.
We spent a week with the Echo (4th Gen) to find out if this Amazon smart speaker is will fit into your life.
Editor’s note: This Amazon Echo (4th Gen) review was updated on December 29, 2022 to update formatting and include a section discussing the Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen).
People already invested in the Amazon Alexa ecosystem should upgrade to the new Echo. If you have any Ring or Zigbee compatible devices, then it will work fine with this speaker. Anyone that wants a medium-sized speaker with strong bass will enjoy this compact sphere. This isn’t the only new smart speaker around, but if you want a stronger bass this is a solid option.
What is the Amazon Echo (4th Gen)?
The Echo (4th Gen) comes in charcoal, Glacier White, and Twilight Blue (pictured above).
The Amazon Echo (4th Gen) is, well, the fourth generation of its popular smart speaker. The original Echo looked like a large soda can, but every model has been progressively more refined (and round) since then. The third-generation Echo was a small, doughy-looking speaker that was more smart home device than it was speaker. That changes with the Amazon Echo (4th Gen) speaker, designed to be a decent sounding speaker. While it’s larger and rounder than the previous generation it’s still the same Alexa speaker that so many people enjoy.
The speaker itself weighs 986g and is a large sphere wrapped in a nice fabric. The design and build of the speaker are probably one of my favorite parts of the speaker. Its orb shape makes it fairly unique among the selection of smart speakers. The circular shape limits the spaces that you can comfortably fit it in, but once you find a good spot, it’ll blend right in.
Alongside this particular model Amazon also released a new Echo Dot which shares the new round design and is just a smaller version of the one in this review. Then there’s the Echo Dot with a clock that you can pick up or the Echo Dot kids edition, which comes in either a panda or a tiger design.
Do you need the Alexa app to use the Echo 4th Gen?
The Amazon Alexa app lets you group multiple compatible speakers together.
Even though this is a smart speaker with a voice assistant you’ll likely be using the app to get a lot done as it lets you control almost everything. Not to mention that you need it for the initial setup process. The app lets you control volume, pair devices via Bluetooth, add a second speaker or subwoofer, set up multi-room groups, set alarms, select whether you’re using the aux as an input or an output, and plenty more. You can also download more Alexa skills to give your speaker even more functionality.
Pro tip: Turn on “Follow-up Mode” in device settings. This way, after you ask Alexa a question, it will answer and then automatically listen to see if you have a follow-up question. This feature bypasses the wake word requirement.
What’s it like to use the Amazon Echo (4th Gen)?
When you activate Alexa, the LED light on the speaker shines blue so you know it’s listening.
With Alexa, you can do everything from controlling compatible smart home devices to asking it questions about the weather, when connected to the Alexa app. I can play and control music directly from the speaker just by asking Alexa. If you’d rather not use Alexa, there are buttons built into the speaker’s top for playback. You’ll get the action button, a mute button, and two volume buttons as well.
If you’re a fan of Google Chromecast or YouTube, using either with the Echo is a process that requires skills (the equivalent of apps for Alexa) to make the process possible. The process is even murkier with YouTube and YouTube Music, my streaming services of choice. Thankfully, Spotify works which is good news for anyone who doesn’t want to use Amazon Music HD as their main streaming service. The Echo (4th Gen) is also compatible with Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, Pandora, Deezer, SiriusXM, Tidal, and Vevo.
Skills are the equivalent of apps for Alexa.
If you prefer not to use your voice, the Echo (4th Gen) has Spotify Connect built-in so that you can play music directly from the Spotify app without needing to use Alexa at all. This is useful when I mute the mic but still want to listen to music. The Echo (4th Gen) also has Bluetooth 5.0, so you can use it like a normal Bluetooth speaker as well if your source device can’t connect to Wi-Fi.
How do you connect to the Amazon Echo (4th Gen)?
The Amazon Echo (4th Gen) has the power input along the back.
Connecting to play music on the Echo (4th Gen) is easy. All you need to do is take it out of the box, plug it into an outlet, and follow the instructions in the Alexa app that’s available on both iOS and Android. Once you’ve connected it to your Wi-Fi you have access to the Alexa personal assistant.
An LED ring along the bottom lights up blue when you activate Alexa, providing you with immediate feedback as to whether the speaker registered your voice. On the back of the speaker, you’ll find the power input and an aux input. A threaded universal mount on the base will come in handy if you plan to add this to an existing speaker setup.
On the top of the speaker are four buttons that control playback and the microphone.
If you’re trying to connect any smart home appliances, the process is a little more involved. Just follow these steps:
- Open the Amazon Alexa app.
- Click on the Devices tab on the bottom row.
- Click on the + icon on the top right and select “Add Device.”
- Select the kind of device you’re trying to connect to.
- Follow the instructions.
How do you charge the Amazon Echo (4th Gen)?
There’s no getting around it. This Echo looks like a giant ball.
You don’t! Despite having Bluetooth 5.0, the Amazon Echo (4th Gen) isn’t a portable speaker. This needs to be plugged into an outlet at all times via the 30W adapter on the back. The power cable that comes with the speaker is all white and fairly long too, so you shouldn’t have too many issues reaching an outlet.
How does the Amazon Echo (4th Gen) sound?
The Amazon Echo (4th Gen) sounds significantly better than previous generations of Echo speakers thanks to its larger drivers. This Echo has three drivers in total: two 20mm tweeters and a single 76mm neodymium woofer. The large size of the woofer means that the lows here pack a punch.
The low end is given a considerable boost in volume while the mids suffer a bit.
The low end is given a considerable boost in volume while the mids suffer a bit. You can see this if you look at the frequency response graph where there is a good amount of emphasis in the range of 40-100Hz. The rhythmic bass kicks throughout the song Bustelo by Ratatat are easy to follow, but they sound a little too strong for my taste. The extra emphasis makes the speaker sound bigger than it is, but that comes at the expense of the mids. There’s a pretty significant drop-off in the middle frequencies that make vocals sound less clear than on something like the Google Nest Audio.
This was somewhat noticeable in the song Can I Believe You by Fleet Foxes, where vocals sometimes sounded lower in volume than I’m typically used to when listening to the song on other speakers or in headphones. That under-emphasis extends to the highs as well. Highs never approach harshness even at loud volumes but cymbals and hi-hats don’t sound super clear as a result. You can hear them but a lot of the reverb that introduces a sense of space is cut off.
Hold up! Something’s missing:
This section features one of our old frequency response charts before we moved our office to Vancouver, Canada, and got cooking. We’re still ironing out our standardized speaker tests with the appropriate support equipment to update our testing and data collection. It will take a bit to get everything fleshed out, but we will update this review (and many others!) once we’re able with improved sound quality measurements and performance plots. These will be made evident by a new chart aesthetic.
Thank you for bearing with us, and we hope to see you again once we’ve sorted everything out.
How are the microphones on the Amazon Echo (4th Gen)?
When you mute the microphone, the button shines a red LED light.
The microphones here are surprisingly good at picking up my voice even with music playing at relatively high volumes. Unfortunately, I don’t have any smart home gadgets to test it with but Alexa is fully compatible with plenty of services like Philips Hue lights and Amazon’s own Firestick.
Yes, you can use the hardware mute switch to disable the microphone. When you click it the microphone will turn off and the LED ring along the bottom of the speaker will glow red. While the microphone is muted you won’t be able to access Alexa even if you manually click the multifunction button, but you can still stream music to it via a smartphone.
Should you get the Amazon Echo (4th Gen)?
If you’re looking for a smart speaker that sounds good and gives you access to all of the devices compatible with Alexa, then yes, the Amazon Echo (4th Gen) is definitely a good choice. Not only does it look cool but it also sounds really good and won’t break the bank. It often goes on promotion too.
When you activate Alexa the LED light on the speaker shines blue so you know it’s listening.
Most people will be happy with the extra bass response, especially when compared to something like the Google Nest Audio which has a less dramatic low end. As long you live (or plan to live) in an Amazon world with Firesticks and Alexa-compatible smart home devices sprinkled throughout your house, the Echo (4th Gen) is a great speaker. It does everything that people have come to expect from Amazon Echo speakers but with a new quirky design and better sound. Not bad for just $99 USD, and now just $59 USD for Prime Day.
However, there is a cost to smart speakers beyond what you pay at the sticker, and that cost is privacy. While many are all too eager to trade a few nebulous privacy concerns for some seriously useful features: it may not be the right call for you. Just be sure to know what you’re getting into if you’re not already hooked on the smart speaker life. We won’t judge you if you go ahead and grab one, but just be smart about your data privacy, okay?
Amazon Echo (4th Gen)
Amazon Echo (4th Gen)
Improved sound quality • Affordable • Alexa assistance
A spherical smart speaker for everyone’s home.
The Amazon Echo (4th Generation) features a fresh new look and improved audio quality. If you’re heavily invested in all things smart home, Alexa is a great virtual assistant to have around.
See price at Amazon
The regular Amazon Echo and Echo Dot product lines have been gotten more similar with each generation, and the newest Echo Dot is pretty hard to tell apart from the Amazon Echo (4th Gen). In fact, there’s almost no difference between these two products. The software side is identical, and there’s really only one meaningful difference to the hardware—the Echo Dot (5th Gen) lacks an aux input port. It is cheaper though, so if having a wired input method isn’t important to you, it may still be worth buying.
Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen)
Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen)
Affordable • Alexa voice assistant • Decent sound quality
Alexa and voice controlled audio, for cheap.
Amazon’s entry-level smart speaker continues to be the cheapest starting point for anyone interested in an Alexa-filled home.
See price at Amazon
What should you get instead of the Amazon Echo?
Alternatives at this price point aren’t exactly plentiful, and Amazon’s smart services are one of the most popular for things like smart home control. Anyone fully entrenched in the world of Apple hardware can grab the Apple HomePod mini for $99 USD. You get plenty of useful features like intercom functionality and multiroom playback, but many things are exclusive to Apple hardware (typical). There’s also the Google Nest Audio, as mentioned, and if you want an in-depth look at it versus the Echo, we’ve got a full comparison article for that.
The Sonos Roam has an IP67 rating, which could come in handy to rinse off sand and dirt if you want an option that can go out and about.
If you’re looking for a step up, Amazon’s Echo Studio is the only real step up with the latest hardware. Double the price at around $200 USD; it’s a bit of a stretch but offers better sound quality. Another option might be the Sonos Move, but for that, you’ll have to shell out nearly $400 USD—though it does let you use both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
An additional Sonos speaker that you might find worthy of consideration is the Sonos Roam. It’s cheaper than the Move at around $179 USD and it works both as a home Wi-Fi smart speaker plus a water- and dirt-resistant portable Bluetooth option, too. The Roam can be a bit of a hassle to get working for the first time, however.
Frequently asked questions about the Amazon Echo (4th Gen)
You can access a limited number of songs for free via Amazon Music through your Echo device. However, if you want the full capabilities of Amazon Music and access to its full library, you’ll have to buy a subscription. You can also hook up free Spotify to listen to on your Echo, though it won’t afford you the same capabilities that a Spotify Premium subscription would.
You unmute the microphone the same way that you mute it—by pressing the button on top of the speaker.
The Amazon Echo (4th Gen) doesn’t have a waterproof rating, so it won’t make for a good choice if you want to have an impromptu shower concert.
The current Amazon listing shows that you can choose from Charcoal, Glacier White, and Twilight Blue color options.
Amazon Echo (4th Generation) review
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The latest Echo is a solid cornerstone from which to build your smart home
Tested at £90 / $100 / AU$149
(Image: © Amazon)
What Hi-Fi? Verdict
Don’t be fooled by its playful design; the new Echo means business, delivering a weighty sound and full command of your smart home
TODAY’S BEST DEALS
Expansive bass in a small design
Lots of smart features
Classy build and finish
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Amazon’s popular smart speaker is back with a whole new look in its fourth generation. It also has a built-in Zigbee smart hub this time round, and more potential under its new 100 per cent recycled hood. You don’t need an especially keen eye to realise that Amazon has started from scratch for this fourth-gen Echo.
The cylinder design has gone, in favour of a Magic 8-Ball-esque sphere, and perhaps fittingly you can ask it any question you want – as long as it’s plugged in to power and linked to your wi-fi. We raised an eyebrow when we first saw the new orb-like Echo, but Apple’s bijou HomePod mini looks much the same, and that’s being taken quite seriously.
Amazon is transferring its once-exclusive flagship Echo Plus features – greater audio power and a built-in smart home hub – to the overhauled Echo. This new fourth-generation Echo essentially negates the Plus model in that it offers the ability to control Zigbee devices, promises better audio over its predecessor, and, of course, offers a more nuanced Alexa voice assistance. Already, that’s a better proposition on paper than you’ll get from another smart speaker in the sub-£100 ($100, AU$200) price, er… sphere.
- Early Amazon Prime Day deal 2022: get 4 months of free Amazon Music!
- Amazon Echo (4th gen) at Amazon for £109.99
(Image credit: Amazon)
The Echo measures 13cm tall, 14cm wide and is near-spherical (the base has been lopped off to provide a flat surface to prevent the unit from rolling), making it roughly the height and width of a CD. It’s available in black, dusky blue or white.
Amazon’s trademark smart speaker light ring has been relocated from the crown of the speaker to the base, providing a glow that now reflects nicely off surfaces. It lights up blue when you utter your chosen Alexa wake-word, yellow when grouped with another Amazon speaker, and orange in set-up mode.
Amazon Echo (4th gen) tech specs
(Image credit: Amazon)
Voice assistant Amazon Alexa
Audio 7. 6cm woofer, 2x 2cm tweeters
Dimensions (hwd) 14 x 14 x 13cm
On the top panel are buttons for Alexa, volume and mic mute. Around the back is where you’ll find the power socket and 3.5mm audio output. Perhaps one small mark against the new design is a rising die-cast aluminium ellipse that is at its highest above the connection ports, meaning that the back portion of the speaker doesn’t provide great omnidirectional sound output.
It’s a small issue – since Echo speakers need to be plugged in to operate, you’re unlikely to put one in the centre of a room, but we found better multi-directional sound in the older, cylindrical model.
Underneath its notably more mesh-like fabric jacket, the Echo houses a 76mm woofer plus dual 20mm front-firing tweeters, a set-up that supports Dolby Stereo (not to be confused with Dolby Atmos, which remains exclusive to the Echo Studio in the Amazon smart speaker family). Like the older Echo Plus, it now features what Amazon calls ‘premium adaptive sound’, allowing it to sense the acoustics of your space and fine-tune audio playback accordingly.
The drivers in the new Echo are the same size as those found in the Echo Plus and the outgoing third-generation Echo, but you now get two tweeters rather than one. Alongside its built-in Zigbee smart home hub (previously only seen in the Echo Plus), there’s support for Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Amazon Sidewalk. The purpose of the latter is to help you set up new devices quickly and extend the working range of things, such as Ring Smart Lighting, that may be beyond the capabilities of your home wi-fi.
The new Echo’s design is nothing if not a conversation piece. It’s different; the same cannot be said of other competing, blend-into-the-background smart blobs currently on the market. While the Echo is physically smaller than the brick-shaped Google Nest Audio, its drivers are marginally bigger, and you get one more of them – the Nest Audio houses only one 19mm tweeter and one 75mm woofer. So far, so good.
(Image credit: Amazon)
The Echo includes Amazon’s AZ1 Neural Edge processor, an all-new silicon module purpose-built for accelerating machine learning applications. With AZ1, powerful inference engines can run ‘on the edge’ (ie. on the device), starting with an all-neural speech recognition model that should process requests faster and make Alexa even more responsive, ‘learning’ and understanding more about you over time.
As long as that concept doesn’t scare you off completely (you can turn the Echo’s mics off whenever you want), your preference between Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa will likely come down to compatibility with other products in your home. For us, there’s not much in it – and the service here is greatly improved thanks to an impressive range of third-party services, including BBC, The Guardian and Pointless smarts in the UK.
It’s easy to get the Echo up and running using your smartphone (you must enable Bluetooth) and wi-fi, and once you’ve linked your streaming service accounts, it’ll play music from Amazon Music Unlimited (of course), Apple Music, Spotify or Deezer over wi-fi. Even if you don’t link any music-provider subscriptions, the Echo will play from Amazon Music Free by default – and you’ve always got TuneIn radio too.
Set-up is done using the Amazon Alexa app, which is well-designed and intuitive. On the app, you can alter your Echo’s EQ levels, give it a name and assign it to a room in your house, or group it with other compatible Alexa speakers. For example, create a “downstairs” group, say “Alexa, play music downstairs”, and your new multi-room Alexa smart set-up obeys.
You can make Alexa announce that ‘Dinner’s ready’ to every speaker in your home thanks to its intercom feature, or send music to a particular room as a not-so-subtle message – Bruno Mars’ Lazy Song to a room containing a housemate who’s yet to emerge, perhaps. The ‘Devices’ tab followed by the ‘Plus’ icon sets up most of these scenarios, and, while we found Alexa most attentive during testing, if you prefer to click rather than vocalise your tune requests, simply tap the in-app ‘play’ icon and use your phone to load up music.
We partner a cylindrical third-gen Echo and a new spherical Echo together in a group, allowing us to switch from one to the other easily. What you can’t do is pair the two speakers in stereo. While stereo pairing is an Echo feature, it can only be done with two equivalent speakers.
(Image credit: Amazon)
We ask Alexa to play an ’80s Spotify playlist and during Livin’ On A Prayer, Jon Bon Jovi’s vocal is central alongside a surprisingly expansive bass: there’s the deep injection of Richie Sambora’s electric guitar, backing vocals and trademark voice box. These musical strands are much clearer and impactful through the newer Echo than they are through the older model.
Our playlist continues to Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now, and we’re treated to a well-timed performance across the frequencies. It isn’t afraid to go low either – one of our gripes with the older Echo was an occasionally soft and ill-defined bass, and it feels as though Amazon has addressed this.
We switch to Outnumbered by Dermot Kennedy on Apple Music, and the textured vocal comes through centrally, with an impactful but agile bassline. Stream hip-hop and the new Echo comes into its own, brimming with full-bodied, textured lows.
With Disturbed’s cover of The Sound Of Silence, the new Echo presents a sound that’s weighty and expansive enough through the bass for its size, but it lacks bite and we find ourselves upping the volume to get it.
There’s an extra injection of treble volume to be had in the older-gen model, even if there’s slightly more detail in the newer one. We stream Adele’s When We Were Young and get a slightly more zealous, upfront and emotive presentation of her upper registers on the cylindrical speaker.
Carmina Burana, performed by Edvin Marton, again features a more pronounced string section through the older Echo. While there is a more expansive mix across the frequencies in the new speaker, this piece hones in on the violin, and here there is more urgency and excitement through the frantically bowed passages in the third-gen Echo. Because of this, the track hangs together with a better sense of unity alongside its pumping dance beat.
Of course, the upside of the slightly recessed treble in the spherical speaker is that it handles tracks with greater refinement, while the older model can expose brightness or harshness in some recordings. Ultimately, your preference will come down to whether you favour a fun, energetic sound or a more integrated hi-fi approach. We lean towards the latter, but it won’t be for everyone – and it is a mark against the new Echo that the treble is a little undercooked.
Putting the new Echo’s minor sonic shortfalls as a hi-fi proposition to one side, its usability and likeability cannot be ignored. Alexa feels present and useful but not imposing, the Alexa app support makes placement and multi-room configurations a breeze, and the sound quality, while a step down from ideal, easily passes the sound-per-pound value test for a smart speaker of this modest price.
It’s important to remember that as a smart home hub, the Echo’s sonic chops are a side feature rather than its raison d’etre. The Amazon Echo (4th Generation) is ultimately a solid cornerstone from which to build your smart home and easily betters its predecessor for expansiveness, subtlety and bass weight.
- Sound 4
- Features 4
- Build 5
Read our guide to the best smart speakers
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Amazon Echo (4th gen): Price Comparison
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ECHO: Overview | Stop Game
Tricky question: how will a reviewer react to a game that at first resembles the most boring walking simulator, annoying and bewildering with its truly Scandinavian (and the Danes from the studio ULTRA ULTRA did it) slowness? The answer may be very unexpected – he will eventually treat it as one of the most unusual and interesting indie performances of the year, somewhere on the level of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice .
Finding tuning forks with hidden messages is not easy.
Indeed, ECHO and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice have a lot in common. Both that and the other were done by very experienced developers – behind the shoulders of the employees of the studio ULTRA ULTRA work in IO Interactive on the Hitman series. Both this time did without the help of publishers, so many of their projects were positioned as independent AAA-class games. But before this very high class, they lacked that richness, the concentration of events throughout the entire passage, which is characteristic of really big-budget games.
Therefore, both in ECHO and Hellblade there are a lot of empty walks and the same tasks / tasks, which is why players periodically fall into frustration. In the case of the work ULTRA ULTRA , this is especially noticeable at first. The main character, a pretty girl with blond hair, named En and the voice of the star of the television series “Game of Thrones” Rose Leslie (Rose Leslie), comes out of suspended animation aboard a spaceship that has been flying for decades to a certain Palace built by an ancient civilization. There, according to rumors, the secret of immortality is kept.
Then, while quarreling with the AI, she slowly wanders for half an hour (and they don’t let her run), first along the shuttle, then along the long stairs of a huge complex on the surface of the planet, then along the corridors and rooms of the desired Palace. These corridors and halls are, of course, beautiful, in a style reminiscent of a cross between Art Deco and Baroque. But they are big, long and cloned – obviously using the copy/paste method.
Well, in the future, cloned opponents will appear – copies of En herself, which the Palace releases against her, and cloned, identical tasks. At all levels, we are looking for keys to open huge doors and go to the next level, or we collect blue spheres for approximately the same purpose – two or three dozen in one location.
The penetrating power of the pistol allows you to knock down several clones at once, located approximately on the same line.
“Do as I do!”
Such a description would be more than enough for an angry review and a refund through Steam. However, as they say, do not rush to bury her. Indeed, a certain uniformity is inherent in the principles of the game mechanics of ECHO , but it is only in external attributes, in the shell, so to speak.
All the time we either sneak silently or fight (but often alternate between both) with En clones, perform the same tasks in similar locations. But in fact, unusual mechanics and curious, complex levels from the point of view of building are hidden under this shell. Therefore, the game may seem extremely boring, monotonous throughout the game only to those who do not know how or do not really want to use its unique features.
The fact is that the Palace is a self-learning AI that examines the behavior of En and programs her copies so that they act in the same style. That is, if you shoot more often with a pistol, then the replicants will also begin to actively shoot at you. If you hide and strangle opponents from behind, then they will learn to sneak, and sometimes even attack from behind. You run on the water, and the enemies also stop being afraid of it, jump over the railing – and then they start jumping in the same place.
“We are each other’s long echo”
Your style of passing in ECHO , of course, needs to be corrected. But the Palace does the same. All his behavior is divided into cycles – he studies you, then the system reboots, the light is turned off, no one is watching you, but soon everything turns on again, and the clones come to life with the changes that take into account your actions in the last cycle.
All this really opens up a lot of possibilities that allow you to flexibly influence the style of passing and the behavior of enemies. You kind of train your opponents yourself and use it against them yourself. For example, if there are too many clones, it is difficult to sneak past them, then you can specially approach musical instruments placed here and there and play them, or often jump over the railing to the floor below. And in the next cycle, the opponents will also be distracted by playing music and jumping, allowing En to quickly slip past.
Levels have an interesting and rather complex architecture.
In addition, the game itself is quite tense and difficult. You can fight off the first attack in QTE, but not the second one. Yes, and firing in all directions and constantly jumping from a height, confusing the tracks, will not work – energy charges are spent on this, which are very few. And we increase them only gradually, as we find special spheres. Therefore, it is necessary to act carefully, trying not to make a noise, to which everyone who heard him runs, in extreme cases – to run away and, in addition to the pistol, also use special balls: they can be thrown away to distract, or thrown directly into the forehead close to knock out enemy.
At a time when the Palace is rebooting and does not see you, the tension goes off scale. In these seconds, he is not following you, so you try to catch as much as possible and slip as far as possible – but the clones are not asleep, and the surrounding darkness tickles your nerves.
Echo of Eternity
Finally, ECHO has a special atmosphere of cold, detached loneliness, a chic visual style and quite an interesting plot with philosophical overtones. You are constantly alone (more precisely, alone), a strange ancient mechanism is watching you, it is not known what lies ahead, what dangers, and around your own clones – you must admit, this is both frightening and addictive, there is something different from the usual fantastic clichés in this .
The story touches on the themes of guilt, redemption, eternity, immortality, and it is revealed gradually – through conversations with the AI satellite En and thanks to the tuning forks that are hidden here and there. If you have collected everything at the level, then you can listen to some message in the spirit of “Eternity has no end and no boundaries. Everything possible is already there. Variation is repetition. Action is memory. Change is stagnation.” In general, everything is rather vague, complicated and serious, but this makes the intrigue stronger.
It’s called “Taught on your own head” …
ECHO , like Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice , can hardly be called a AAA-class game. Still, the independence of development and the limited budget are felt. There is a certain repetitiveness here, but, firstly, it is largely due to the philosophy and setting itself, and secondly, there is its own style, atmosphere, intriguing plot and really unique game mechanics that allow you to flexibly change the style of passing and influence the behavior of enemies . And all this more than pays for all the shortcomings ECHO .
Pros: unique game mechanics; interesting, mysterious plot; a memorable main character, voiced by an actress from the “Game of Thrones”; special atmosphere; gorgeous picture on Unreal Engine 4; magnificent interiors of the Palace.
Cons: in some places the game may seem too monotonous, and the ending is blurry.
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Overview ECHO | GameMAG
A game from the studio that gave the world Hitman
Alexander Loginov (xtr)
Mikhail Shaginyan (ACE)
Denis Korolev (SkyerIst)
03. 10.2017 15:48
the article has not caused any emotions yet
Numerous splinter companies from employees of well-known studios live mainly on false promises, trying to smuggle very niche and fierce trash under well-known names that bear little resemblance to their past works.
Former IO-Interactive specialists decided not to abandon the legacy of Hitman , using elements of the popular series for their adventure Echo . And there is nothing surprising here. Much more interesting is the choice of realistic science fiction in the style of “ Quantum Thief ” Hannu Rayaniemi as the starting point of the plot. Universe Echo tells of a civilization capable of digitizing and storing the souls of the dead in portable cube devices. The main character named Ying is trying to find the legendary palace planet, in the bowels of which you can return the digital soul to a new body. To the surprise of Ying and her ship’s AI, the legendary planet turns out to be real, but the general dilapidation and breakdown in the defense system includes combat mechanisms. Now the palace fills its lifeless halls with hundreds of broken copies of the main character, who not only want to kill her, but also learn with every new step.
The gaming universe of Echo is based on movement. Ying gets deeper into the labyrinths of the palace, avoiding his own clones and completing simple tasks. You are looking for keys to new doors, collecting energy orbs to activate elevators, or just wandering in the dark, looking at decayed working structures. At this time, there are more and more opponents, and their behavior is more and more difficult.
The mechanics of the palace involves several cycles, including the active state, training and reboot. In the first state, the labyrinth sparkles with bright halls with luxurious interiors and snow-white staircases. In the second, the light fades and the palace analyzes your recent activities, leaving the clones active. In the third mode, the system restarts, giving your enemies the mods you’ve used the most in the last few minutes. If you’ve been running, jumping tables, and opening doors, your enemies will move quickly after reloading, using jumps and cuts to corner you. If you used weapons to eliminate targets, then fierce firefights await you in the next cycle. If at the beginning of the cycle the clones were afraid of water, and you could bypass them along the waterways, then after a reboot they may lose their fear and you will have to go bad.
Fortunately, with each new cycle, the copies forget all previous skills, which makes the test a little easier. In the second half of the game, another type of enemy is added that destroys copies of you and hunts you, which changes the standard tactics.
Ying also has her own limitations. Your clip is designed for a couple of shots, and the defense will only withstand one clone attack at a time. You can run fast, but the energy supply is not infinite. If a crowd of spears attacks you, you will have to start all over again from the checkpoint. Protection recharges over time, and you can replenish your ammo at special spheres generously scattered throughout the stages. Later, energy gates appear that allow you to save your progress at any given time, and energy orbs that can be thrown to stun an enemy or distract.
However, the game mechanics do not change in any way – you need to collect the keys, get to the elevator and leave the dangerous hostile room.
As revolutionary as the idea of remembering your actions and using them against you, the Echo lacks variety. You cannot make traps, hide corpses, or perform deeper stealth actions. The environment is too monotonous and even playing with colors and adding elevators doesn’t change the feeling that you are going through the same level.
The opponents themselves, although they take in numbers, are rather stupid even at high difficulty levels. At the same time, unlike you, they can see perfectly in the dark, which makes the dark cycle quite vulnerable. It is sad that if you want to change the difficulty, then you have to go through a huge game stage again.
Atmosphere – it envelops and absorbs
difficulty due to the number of enemies
Twisted plot – impossible to tear yourself away
sex friendly girls like it
Stealth blooms and smells
The visual overview is based on the main features of the game and
addition to the main review.
Graphically, Echo evokes mixed feelings. The opening stages on the ship offer some of the most advanced lighting and visuals, but the levels in the palace look equally sterile in every sense of the word.
There are Echo in the game world and a few stars to draw attention to. The main character is played by Rose Leslie , better known as the red-haired wildling Ygritte from the TV series Game of Thrones ”, and artificial intelligence fell on the shoulders of Nick Bolton , which you heard in the fresh Hellblade.