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Echoes: Operation Stranglehold is a first-person shooter video game developed by Duckroll in partnership with DECA in 2016. The game runs on the Wartech 3.0. It offers team-based multiplayer missions with authored narratives, persistent player characters, and an approachable nature. It is also developer Duckroll’s first title. In Echoes, two factions, "Vandals" and "Security", fight in the outskirts of a utopian city known as "Azrael", a floating utopian city surrounded by the waters of a flooded Earth. Azrael was designed to be a perfect city, with renewable resources and no pollution. However the Security governs the city with an iron fist. Corruption is rampant and with a growing inequality gap the city is on the verge of civil war.

Gameplay

Echoes: Operation Stranglehold is a first-person shooter which features a Parkour System. The game lets players quickly maneuver around environments in dynamic and unique ways all based on player position and immediate need. Echoes contains 2 playable factions; Vandals and Security and up to 64 players on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. First and foremost an online multiplayer shooter Echoes encourages objective based teamwork. Players can "spot" targets: marking their positions to the player’s teammates. Players can also set custom waypoints. The game has a team leader feature where certain players are chosen to be team leaders (randomly based on rank or by vote). Team leaders can deploy weapon, supply, and cover drops to "keep the fight going", and assign various orders to teammates. Also the game features a “frontline” system to keep the action going where objectives are distributed based on the concentration of players in a given area of the map (areas with a high number of players will have multiple objectives instead of having objectives appear in fixed locations spread out across the map). When one player selects a particularly important objective, other team members are offered complementary objectives. A spectator mode is included, enabling players to spectate others in first or third person, as well as use a free camera to pan around the map from any angle.

The game features a Bullet-dropping-system. In addition, the game features a unique “gun first” system where the player can always shoot and perform melee attacks regardless of any other current action they are performing.

Similar to Battlefield 4’s "Levolution" gameplay mechanic. The game utilizes the Wartech engine to allow players to destroy, deform, and manipulate anything in the environment. This includes effects such as shooting a fire extinguisher to fill the room with obscuring clouds, car alarms going off when stepped on, metal detectors going off once passed through, or cutting the power in a room to reduce others' visibility. Players can create custom characters with additional rewards bought with experience points or unlocked by completing challenges. You decide the combat role you want to assume in the world of Echoes: Operation Stranglehold as you fight to save yourself and mankind's last refuge. Echoes offers a compelling mix of dynamic battlefields, extensive customization options, and an innovative multiplayer experience that will keep you coming back for more.

Character Customization

Echoes’s advanced player customization offers a near-endless combination of looks for your character - allowing for the appearance of your character to be truly unique. As you progress through the game and acquire more experience, you'll have even more opportunities for customization.

Most customization options are locked by default and must be unlocked by leveling up. Things like tattoos, scars, and hair styles are purely aesthetic, while different types of clothing offer small boosts and bonuses. Players are able to create and save up to 12 characters.

Customizable Features

When first creating your character you will be able to alter:

Gender – Male or Female

Faction – Vandal or Security.

Primary Archetype - Character archetypes are basic "themes". Each Archetype has a distinctive character design/appearance, and are used to separate the many differing article of clothing, gear, and body features into a few broader categories. Characters can only use archetypes belonging to the same faction. Archetypes are unlocked semi-randomly (i.e. the order which they are unlocked is random) by leveling up, with extra clothing and gear for an archetype unlocked by completing the required challenges. Primary Archetypes affect the overall look of the character. Physical features such as: height, body thickness, scars, and hairstyles are ‘locked in’ after choosing your primary archetype. Though things like hair, skin, and eye color can be changed after selecting your primary archetype. Also it does not affect articles of clothing.

Voice - Which voice actor will be used when communicating with others.

From then on, you will be able adjust their appearance with:

Sub-archetypes: Affect the clothing and other accessories that can be applied to a character. Sub-archetypes can be mixed and matched on any applicable part of the body. Sub-archetypes do not affect Physical features such as: scars, height, and hairstyles, to change those players must first change their Primary Archetype.

Emblems: Small designs that are associated with a Character and used to represent a player's identity in multiplayer games. They consist of a two-colored design or pattern over a chosen background (typically a geometric shape), with a user-selected color scheme applied to the result.

Parts of the body that can be out fitted with Sub-archetypes:

Face: Tattoos,  Masks,  Hats, and  Face Paint

Chest: Tattoos,  Shirts,  Jackets, and  Pouches/Pads

Arms: Gloves,  Tattoos (left and right separate), and  Wrist Items

Legs: Pants and  Pads

Note: Different articles of clothing can be customized further by adding different camo patterns.

Loadout Customization

After customizing your characters looks you can further customize him/her by deciding what gear your character will bring to the battle. Players can carry up to two weapons (one primary and one secondary), three pieces of equipment, and a melee weapon. Unlike most multiplayer shooters Echoes: Operation Stranglehold lacks a class-based multiplayer system. Instead players are allowed to equip any weapon he/she wants.

Each weapon can be custom made to fit the circumstances you're using it in. Weapons can be customized at up to nine different points with various Weapon Attachments. Each time a new attachment is added or removed, the stats of the weapon will change on screen. The weapon can be kitted up to excel in Power, Range, Maneuverability, or Control. Weapons are unlocked by leveling up while attachments are unlocked by completing weapon challenges or obtaining a certain number of kills with the weapon.

The types of attachments and modifications for the weapons customization tool are as follows:. Magazines: Allow for greater ammo capacity, alternative ammunition, and faster reloading.

Optics: Allow the attachment of optics.

Under-barrel: Grips and bi-pods for increased accuracy, or launchers and shotguns for increased damage.

Side Rail: Aiming lasers and various sensors attach here.

Gas Systems: Fire rate adjustments are made here.

Paint: Camouflage (aesthetic only, has no effect on weapon performance).

Barrels: Change the length of barrel for long, close or mid range combat.

Muzzle: Add suppressors for stealth or recoil compensators to increase precision.

Stocks: Change the stock to increase maneuverability or accuracy.

Grips: Changes the pistol grip of the weapon.

Note: When selecting and outfitting a weapon the player should take the weight into account. Depending on the weight of the weapon (maneuverability) the player’s movement speed and parkour abilities may diminish.

In addition to the Character’s firearm he/she may also choose to carry three pieces of equipment.

Equipment is broken down into several categories to choose from:

Soldier: focused on tanking and being the frontline fighter.

Medic: focused on keeping your team alive and making them stronger.

Engineer: focused on building, repairing, upgrading turrets and buffing your teammates firepower.

Operative: focused on stealthy operations, hacking, and sabotage.

Melee weapons allow the player to counter melee attacks. Melee weapons are unique to a character’s Primary Archetype.

Leveling/Challenges 

Players increase their level (known as Rank) by earning experience points. Experience points are earned by completing objectives and killing enemies with other xp bonuses thrown in for team work actions. Ranking up unlocks weapons and character archetypes that the player can use.

There are also weapon, equipment, and character challenges which unlock new attachments, equipment, and clothing respectively upon completion.

Combat

Combat in Echoes: Operation Stranglehold is a unique blend of fast paced intense action and tactical gameplay. Aided by an awesome parkour system, Echoes promises to let "nothing get in the way of your gun" players will always be able to "point and shoot" even when performing other actions.

Killstreaks

Echoes: Operation Stranglehold features a unique twist to the regular killstreak mechanic. After reaching a certain number of kill in a row the player is rewarded with a killstreak. These killstreaks are small rewards which enhance a player characters ability (i.e. extra health, full ammo, increased reload speed, ect.). Killstreaks do not make the player invincible but rather gives them a noticible edge in combat. As more kills are obtained (without dying of course) the killstreaks become more and more effective. There are 8 distinct categories of killstreaks, when creating a new character the player choses one to unlock. The rest, players can unlock by using up one perk point.

Assualt: Increases damage or damage resistance.

Support: Gives additional ammo, equipment, or grants the player the use of weapons above his/her level (limited ammo).

Medic: Gives additional health

Saboteur: Decreases time it takes to capture an objective or gives enhaced speed.

Engineer: Gives the player a turret, or energy shields.

Operative: Makes all melee attacks counterable and gives the player additional time to counter melee attacks.

Recon: Highlights enemies on the minimap.

Ninja: Makes the player not show up on the minimap (negates Recon), or stops the warning when the player tries to capture an objective.

Detection

In Echoes there is a simple detection system. When the player fires his/her weapon the location becomes marked on the minimap. If tagged then the player can be seen on the minimap or by other players through walls (tagging requires another player to have an unobstructed line of sight on the target).

Objectives

Objectives are the central activity that players will be tasked with accomplishing in Echoes. Objectives are dynamically generated based on your loadout, your condition, your location, your teammates, and the overall status of the battle in all gameplay modes. You'll always know exactly where to go, what to do when you get there, and what your reward will be for success. Completing an objective will get you experience points.

Melee Combat

There are two main types of hand to hand combat in Echoes: Operation Stranglehold:

Armed: Occurs when the player initiates a takedown with a melee weapon equiped and selected. Some of these attacks can be countered but they must be by other players with a melee weapon equiped and selected. If timed correctly a player can redirect a frontal attack back upon the attacker.

Unarmed: Occurs when a player initiates a takedown without a melee weapon selected. These attacks can be countered by a timed button press, resulting in a counter kill.

Unblockable attacks

Some attacks can not be countered regardless of being armed or unarmed. However armed attacks are much more quicker. These types of attacks include:

Assassinations: Occurs when an attacker initiates a takedown when behind another player.

Death From Above (DFA): Occurs when the attacker is above another player. DFA's are initiated when a player jumps and initiates a takdown in midair (the attacker locks onto another player and the edges of the screen become blurry). At that point the attacker will be given limited control over movement to hone in on the victim's position. If the attacker misses then he/she becomes temporarily stunned.

Sprint Kills

Sprint Kills occur when a takedown is initiated while sprinting. Armed sprint attacks are unblockable. Unarmed sprint attacks, however, can be cancled with a button press and results in the attacker being stunned rather than counter killed.

Cover: Cover can be used to protect the player from incoming fire. Players can enter cover by holding down the action button.

Suppressive Fire: Firing at enemies causes their health regeneration to stop and reset, their accuracy drops, and the edges of their screen become blurred. While suppression is most effective with weapons with a large magazine capacity and a rapid fire rate, any weapon is capable of suppressing an enemy.

Health Regeneration/"Downing": After taking damage a player's health will begin to slowly regenerate provided he/she avoids taking further damage or suppressive fire. To regain health faster players will have to use healing equipment. Downing is a state of incapacitation (caused by taking extensive damage or repeatedly being shot in the legs), in which a character cannot attack and requires assistance from allies in order to be returned to fighting capacity. Once downed a character can only slowly crawl and shoot with greatly decreased accuracy. Downed characters are susceptible to incoming fire and can be dispatched with a vicious takedown.

Turrets: Various turrets can be deployed using equipment from the Engineer category. Different turrets have different uses. Turrets can be disabled by taking extensive damage or hacking.

Perks

Perks are added boosts and bonuses to a character's abilities. Perks are earned by leveling up and performing a task multiple times i.e. performing a lot of sprint kills enables the "Unstoppable" Perk which makes sprint kills unblockable. After each level a player can only choose to unlock 1 perk that they meet the requirements for. You can Respec, or sell, all of the perks of a character for the cost of one level. Once unlocked and purchased a character automatically equips the perk, a character can equip an unlimited number of perks (but only one of each perk).

Map/Gamemodes

The maps in Echoes are scaled down or up based on the player count. Each map is broken down into sections. One section is chosen at random as the starting point then other neighboring sections are selected based on player count.

Matches start with a variety of opening cinematics (based on the map, gamemode, and faction) and end with a variety of closing cinematics (based on map, gamemode,and which team won/lost). Top player's are showcased in the cinematics.

Spawn points are a mix of dynamic and statically generated respawns. Captured objectives and team leaders act as spawn points. While other spawn points are generated randomly by choosing areas free of enemies.

In terms of game modes, there are currently five available modes.

Conflict

Objective Game Type

20 Minute Time Limit

Respawns: Yes 

Summary: Conflict is an objective game type where two teams fight over numerous random objectives placed on the map. Interact with the objective to take it for your team. After taking an objective, your team must defend it until the countdown timer runs out.

Some objectives will require you to interact with them to capture them for your team. Once captured, you will have to defend them. The enemy can recapture some objectives after your team has captured them. Your team can then capture them back. Once captured objectives offer various rewards for example: if your team captures a ammo cache then that team can resupply at that location.

Saboteur

Objective Game Type

15 Minute Time Limit

Respawns: Yes

Summary:  Saboteur is an objective game type where two teams try to blow up the other team's base. A neutral bomb will be placed in the middle of the map. The first team to take the bomb and detonate it in the other team's base wins. If the bomb is not detonated after the 15 minutes, the team with the highest score will break the tie.

The user holding the bomb will not be able to run. In addition to that, they will only be able to use their secondary weapon.

Decoy

3 Objectives (1 Key, 2 Decoy). 

Summary: Decoy is an objective game mode. Two teams fight over three objectives throughout three rounds, each lasting ten minutes long. Two of the objectives are decoys, one is the key objective. Once the Key Objective is completed, it will reveal a fourth, final objective which ends the round when completed / defended. Neither team will know which is the key objective. After completing the Key Objective, the Round Timer will reset, giving the Attacking Team more time to go after the final objective.

Team Death Match

15 Minute Time Limit

Summary: The team with the most kills wins!

Stockade

10 Minute Time Limit

Summary: Just like Conflict only players are sent to the "stockade" upon death. Killing an enemy player releases a teammate from the stockade. Capturing an objective frees all teammates from the stockade.

Parkour

The Parkour System is a key feature in Echoes: Operation Stranglehold. It allows players to easily and intuitively perform a variety of acrobatic maneuvers to navigate the environment. When you press the action button, the game dynamically evaluates where you're trying to get to, and makes it happen.

Players can engage in parkour while near an object, wall, or ledge. When the player approaches an obstacle, the game analyzes the type of obstacle and the direction the player is looking and attempts to navigate the obstacle based on this information. For example a player can either climb over, or slide under an airport scanner depending on whether they approach looking at the top or bottom of it.

Maneuvers

The following moves are available to players.

Wallhop  (press the action button when facing a wall then double tap the action button while holding the left thumbstick in the direction you want to go): Jump off nearby walls to cross larger gaps or reach higher ledges.

Slide (hold down action button while sprinting) Slide to easily enter cover or slide under enemies to surprise your opponents.

Mantle (press action button when facing a ledge): Pull yourself up to higher ledges or over cover.

Vault (press action button when facing an obstacle): Get over waist-high obstacles with ease while maintaining your momentum.

Slide to Break Fall (while falling face a wall and hold down the action button): Avoid taking damage when jumping off high ledges by stylishly sliding as you reach the ground.

Wall Run (press the action button when facing a wall then press the action button again while holding the left thumbstick in the direction you want to go): Be a true ninja as you tilt your world view.

Factions

Choose to fight as either a member of the bold and vicious Vandals whose mission is to 'liberate' Azrael, a long forgotten futuristic city, or the sharp and elite Security whose mission is to save and reform Azrael to it's past glory.

Vandals

The Vandals are a loosely connected organization that's in opposition to the Security and actively engages in combat in an attempt to establish a more free and equal society. They see themselves as liberators for freedom and equality, but the Security just sees them as terrorists.

A militant group that highly values individualism. Vandals are comprised of a motley group of insurgents, terrorists, self-styled freedom fighters, members of the criminal underground, and other people supportive of the 'cause' with each having their own values and ideas on freedom and society. In fact, it seems like the only thing members of this 'organization' share is extreme hatred toward the Security and their affiliates. Relations between Vandal members are thus a complex web of alliances, deals, betrayals and power struggles.

Vandal armor is thrown together from old, shabby-looking clothes combined with anything else they can salvage from scraps. Their weapons are noticeably more worn and crude compared to the weapons the Security uses, which does not change gameplay. Often times Vandal members appear to be little more than crazed anarchist juveniles. They are the perfect embodiment, or, in some cases, caricature, of the rebellious punk culture.

Security

An all volunteer outfit the Security are in place to keep order in Azrael. They see themselves as protectors of order, but the opposing Vandals sees them as fascist oppressors.

Made up of elite counter-terrorist and peacekeeping forces from throughout the world. Calm and precise, these highly-trained and experienced soldiers are especially skilled in urban warfare. The Security are mainly the police force of Azrael, but with the prospect of a civil war they were moved to a lethal force. Most Security personnel have volunteered because they're convinced that for Azrael to survive, it must have peaceful order and conserve its remaining resources. Some want to be a part of their elite society. Some are simply attracted to the Security's cause by the provisional allowance of an extra daily food and supply ration. But virtually all members of the Security pride themselves on their professionalism and hold themselves up to a very high standard. They share a close bond with each of their brothers in arms and they view themselves as part of a tight knit group. In a sense, they are the perfect modern-day embodiment of the medieval knight: chivalrous, brave, and steadfast in their beliefs. However, this should not be mistaken for softness they are a highly disciplined and trained fighting force. Security soldiers are capable of carrying out their orders with chilling efficiency and are not afraid to make sacrifices for the "greater good".

Bristling with tactical gear the Security have armor of a uniform-like style, professionally manufactured with well-maintained weapons.

Gameplay Differences

Security: Feature a futuristic looking HUD similair to Battlefield 4's HUD.

Vandal: Feature a minimalist HUD with objectives and such, projected onto walls and other objects.

Both factions unlock/use different weapons.

Background

Collectibles

Collectibles are items which provide in-depth explanations and expositions of the background in Echoes: Operation Stranglehold. They offer an understanding of your location, your foe, and everything about the Echoes universe.

Players must complete a series of tasks to unlock audio logs, video diaries, letters, and other items.

Setting

Azrael is a floating megasity featured in Echoes: Operation Stranglehold. It was originally constructed in the 2020s as an experiment in sustainable technologies. In the decades that followed, natural disasters turned the Ark into humanity's only shelter from calamity. Shortly after Azrael's resources were mostly depleted, disagreements over resource rationing led to a civil war between the Vandals, a group of oppressed lower-class workers, and the Security, Azrael's police force.

Azrael was constructed just off the coast of San Francisco. Originally built by an American university for use as a research platform for Ocean thermal energy conversion, with some assistance from the U.S. Government. However, they were unable to solve efficiency problems, so the project was ultimately scrapped. Shortly thereafter, Azrael fell into the hands of a large corporation that turned it into a massive five-star eco-resort, designed with the goal of creating a self-sustaining habitat independent of natural land masses. Its location was kept a secret. As such, it was the perfect haven for scientists focused on green living and the rich and famous, who lived in luxury in Azrael's lavish Resort.

Azrael consists of a huge outer wall, which surrounds hundreds of platforms. The wall is made up of wave-absorbing ramps, which harvest energy from the ocean waves. The platforms are arranged in a hexagonal honeycomb based design. The design gives it maximum surface area and makes it easier to add expansions. The vast majority of Azrael was constructed using a special alloy called "Titanium-60". Most of the city's collective mass lies beneath the surface of the ocean. Azrael contains numerous technologies for harnessing renewable energy, solar panels, an Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion plant, underwater turbines, and wind farms. By the time the Echoes takes place in, all of these systems are either failing or already unusable.

When the seas began to rise in the 2020s, Azrael became the only safe/stable place on the planet. Expecting a massive influx of refugees from all over the planet, Azrael's overseers had the city moved to an undisclosed location in international waters. Azrael briefly became safe, secret, secure, and self-sustaining. Even despite the relocation, large numbers of refugees managed to find Azrael. Many of these refugees were dangerous criminals, and many more had caught highly-contagious diseases. These concerns did not outweigh the overseers morals (also they didn't have enough resources(guns) to force them out) and so these refugees were allowed into Azrael. Azrael's original inhabitants found themselves in an emergency situation, Azrael was being forced to support many more people than it was designed to. Resources quickly depleted, and the sudden influx of refugees meant that the overseers did not have time to design appropriate accommodations for them. The result? They were forced to live in hastily and poorly constructed shanty towns, and many of them were relegated to intensive physical labor to help keep Azrael running.

After losing contact with the outside world the citizens of Azrael, though initially grateful, eventually grew dissatisfied with the poor conditions and soon began to question the reason for the resource rationing. Soon a radical movement formed called the Vandals. These individuals intended to overthrow the current government and distribute water and food freely. The threat of disease and violence led to Azrael being divided into two sections: the Upper, where 90% of Azrael's wealth was concentrated, and the Lower, a bunch of rusting slums housing the refugees that make up 90% of the population. The two sections are separated by an inner security wall. Soon the Security was formed and the overseers quickly began recruiting and went on a firearm shopping spree to counter the Vandals.

Sequel

Following the success of Echoes: Operation Stranglehold developer Duckroll has announced a direct sequel titled "Echoes Act 2: Red Enigma" is in development.

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