Echo Arena

Ready At Dawn departed from focusing on Sony exclusives to working on a new VR title called Echo Arena. The new game currently has a free trial taking place this weekend, enabling gamers to get in game time with the physical, VR sports multiplayer game.

Gamespot is reporting that over the weekend gamers will be able to get in some free time with Echo Arena if you own an Oculus Rift headset. The trial is available over on the Oculus Store, where there's a giant "Free" button where the buy button used to be.

The store page lists the game as being in open beta between June 23rd and June 25th, which doesn't give you much time to hop in and play the game. However, the open beta will include a social lobby, some customization features, the progression system, and the leaderboard support.

The site mentions that back on June 21st the open beta allowed gamers to play the tutorial phase and get acclimated to the gameplay. The Gamespot article notes that the title is a physical sports title, and that the objective is to get the disc into the opposing team's goal, but there are all sorts of tactics and abilities that players can utilize while in the arena to get an advantage over their opponents. You can check out the E3 trailer below to see what the gameplay is actually like.

The Echo Arena reminds me a lot of the team game that was played during Ender's Game. The objective is to use the floating obstacles within the arena to tactically get the disc into the opponent's goal. You can hide behind the obstacles, pass the discs to teammates, or run offense by punching down your foes and preventing them from getting the jump on you.

There's a lot of strategy apparently involved with the game. Gamespot also notes that Echo Arena is actually just a hold-me-off multiplayer version of Ready At Dawn's single-player outing called Lone Echo.

In the trailer above we briefly get to see a clip from Lone Echo; it's the single-player portion of the game where players will partake in a story-oriented VR adventure, with Ready At Dawn getting a bit back to its roots.

The company had a bit of a slip-up with The Order 1886, which didn't fare too well on the market due to being more of a cinematic movie than an actual game. With Echo Arena and Lone Echo, there's the opportunity for the studio to capture the single-player crowd and the multiplayer crowd.

You'll only have this weekend to play-test Echo Arena for free on the Oculus Rift, so it might be best to hop in if you have a capable enough VR-ready PC, if you have a Rift headset and the Oculus Touch controllers. Sadly it doesn't appear as if there's support for the HTC Vive yet, but maybe that will change in the near future.

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