Developer Ready at Dawn recently hosted a closed beta of the upcoming Echo Combat, an expansion to Echo Arena, which brings a brand new objective-based FPS arena game into the mix, complete with various weapons and abilities. We’ve got footage of a complete match so that you can see how it all goes down.
Echo Combat’s objective gameplay plays out very similarly to the popular ‘Payload’ gametype seen in games like Overwatch (2016) and Team Fortress 2 (2007). If you’re unfamiliar, that means one team is defending and one team is attacking. The attacking team’s objective is to move the payload (an object which looks like a space-age flamingo inner-tube) along a predetermined path and into the goal zone before time runs out. Players move the payload forward by holding onto it, and the more players that do, the faster it goes.
The defending team’s objective is to prevent the payload from reaching the goal zone until time is up. Defenders can even move the payload backwards by holding onto it and keeping enemies at bay.
There are several payload checkpoints along its route, wherein the payload pauses for a brief moment while doors to a new section of the arena open up. Each section of the arena has a unique feel to it, ranging from squat and claustrophobic to highly vertical with some large openings, with geometry that’s strongly evocative of an adult-sized McDonald’s Play Place (that’s a good thing, I promise). Sadly, there’s no ball pit.
Players are smart to choose weapons and equipment depending upon whether they’re attacking or defending, and which part of the map the fighting is happening in. You’ll can choose from three weapons which can be changed mid-match at the respawn station. It’s the usual suspects: Nova (close range shotgun), Pulsar (mid range automatic), and Comet (long-range sniper).
Things get a little more interesting when it comes to equipment. There’s two ‘Tac-Mods’ (with a third apparently locked as of now): Threat Scanner, which temporarily highlights enemy players through walls, and Repair Matrix, which heals you and nearby teammates. There’s also ‘Ordinance’ (with one available now and another presently locked): Detonator is a disc-shaped explosive which can be thrown (putting those Echo Arena skills to good use) or planted, then remotely detonated at any time. Unfortunately the Ordinance was having some issues in the closed beta, so you don’t see it used in the match above.