Echo is a spellbinding sci-fi adventure that tends to test the limits of one's patience. Extremely ambitious for an indie game, ULTRA ULTRA melds seamlessly into what an triple A title can accomplish.

You begin with a touch of superb voice acting, which continues throughout the game. The main character is a woman by the name of En, who is only just waking up after being in stasis for a century. As can be expected with a hibernation of this caliber, she's left to outdated technology in a cyberpunk world and a story-driving loose end to tie up. Without too much to go off of at first, the player learns that En has lost a beloved friend--but--somehow all is not gone! You quickly learn that this endevour into a squeaky-clean futurist world is going to be to somehow resurrect the wrongfully dead.

By all accounts walking through the tutorial level alone is one of the most cinematic and stunning gaming experiences I've had the pleasure of seeing in some time. The architecture of the walls and all the subtleties within them reminded me of Alien Isolation, but standing on it's own with a unique style. The art design alone is a feast for the eyes, especially when you're busy getting pummeled in the Palace later on. Cascading steam, shutter doors that almost defy reality, bright and immaculate surfaces...pausing to wipe the drool coming from my mouth now--it's simply stunning.

Something that I did see and did happen to bother me about the design was in the character En herself. I'm not sure if the developers saw this as a vision of the future--how a human body would evolve in this unique world, but I can honestly say at times it was a bit distracting. She's lean and noodle-y, almost resembling the classic mock-up of an alien with the oval heads. It tends not to be too much of a problem in the suit, and I do recognise this character isn't meant for sex appeal, but the problem lies within it resting just on a line of acceptance from the player. Not weird enough to write off as that's how bodies are in this world, and not close enough to present-day anatomy to be relatable. In a game all about immersion, this can easily break that.

As I'm sure you might have heard before sitting down to read this--it's a tough game. This is completely to blame on the AI learning, which in itself is a blessing and a curse to the game. It's an extremely tense experience to have your enemies mirror your every move and that's exactly what this title banks on. The AI will sneak if you sneak, it will run if you run, and it's fast--very quick to learn your next move. It's as if you're suddenly playing a game of chess and your opponent is of the clever kind, able to see you two steps ahead of anything you might be planning. Difficult. Clever. Rewarding.

There's no arguing that the game itself is worth it. However, it is marketed toward a niche of players that enjoy the pain--the same folks who scratch at the walls in Dark Souls, laugh in the face of Hellblade, and outsmarted Xenomorphs in Alien Isolation. If any of the aforementioned appeal to you--it becomes a must have. Aside from the sheer difficulty of the game, the environment is breathtaking and the story is captivating. It is something I would most definitely recommend after seeing how someone deals with their blood pressure rising.