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    There Came An Echo: Execute order on my mark

    Iridium Studios is courting disaster with There Came An Echo. Voice commands haven’t exactly been an attractive USP for Xbox gamers since Microsoft forced Kinect on launch day Xbox One owners, so why build an entire RTS around using your words to control the flow of battle ? The RTS is already a genre traditionally steeped in complex sub-routines, insane key-mapping and unrelenting mouse clicks it’s been notoriously difficult for developers to get RTS’ functioning on consoles in the past. So why are we so excited about the imminent ID@Xbox of There Came An Echo? Well, not only is it trying something new with the tech, but it is doing it in style.

    There Came An Echo has been built around voice control and, after getting an opportunity to sample it, we’re convinced it has the legs to entertaineven after the initial thrill runs dry. Unlike Tom Clancy’s End War, Iridium Games’ debut has simplified the core mechanics and systems to better function with voice commands. Instead of directly controlling individual soldiers, you play the role of a commander directing as many as four future soldiers. While it begins with basic commands such as directing troops to various positions and offering them the opportunity to open-fire on enemy positions you’ll soon be directing the entire flow of battle.
    “It begins with basic commands, but you’ll soon be directing the entire flow of battle”
    Controller support is still available, mind, though it’s proving easier and more entertaining to bark commands like an overbearing officer. As the complexity and challenge gradually begins to ramp up, you’ll find you’re able to effortlessly pull off insane flanking manoeuvres and better plans. While controller input means you are stuck offering individual commands to soldiers, using your voice lets you queue up various activities such as quickly ordering two troops to lay suppressing fire down, while another two swing into a flanking position and will only attack “on my mark”. Honestly, there’s something truly satisfying to executing a perfect takedown of large enemy forces by uttering ‘mark’ in the gruffest voice possible.

    There Came An Echo will land on Xbox One this summer, pushed back so Iridium can finish up the PC release, and we’ve got little reason to doubt that it won’t function exactly as intended. That shouldn't be a statement we need to make, but after spending a serious amount of time screaming until we are hoarse at Kinect to record a bloody game clip, we feel it’s worth at least a cursory mention.

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