Eve Echoes review – space to grow

A fantastic sci-fi MMORPG that's secretly also an idle game

I am convinced that Eve Echoes is the best disguised idle game I’ve ever seen. Though it’s a sci-fi MMORPG with many complex layers surrounding what you choose to do with your own personal final frontier, the action of the game itself is mainly idle. Mining, leveling, combat, and travel, are mostly done for you with a few minor screen taps – but that’s why its so well suited for this platform.

Eve Echoes is the kind of game where you routinely make 20 warp jumps to pick up a package you bought. You go make a cup of tea, come back, and you’re still warping. You go have a bowl of cereal, come back, and you’re still warping. Eve Echoes is such a good idle game, there was at least one occasion where I forgot I was playing it. And I kind of love that.

This is the sort of sci-fi game where you can have epic fleet battles, but first you have to send around a memo to the rest of your corp, do a risk assessment, buy insurance, and find an appropriate calendar slot that suits everyone. Eve Echoes is absolutely what space will become if we ever actually get our hands on it.

But Eve Echoes is far more streamlined than its predecessor, and though it is still a commitment to understand – as with any complex game – I don’t believe it’s so hard that you’ll end up putting the game down. I played the original Eve in bursts, when I felt a craving for space simulation, but invariably ended up stopping because the learning curve was too steep. But after only a week in Eve Echoes, I feel committed. Here’s how it goes…

You begin your journey in Eve Echoes as a capsuleer, a clone of your previous self, after you died in unfortunate circumstances – don’t worry, it’ll happen again! You choose one of four different factions, each with their own starting point, reputation, and galactic relationships, though that won’t mean much to you in the first few hours, as you try to work out what the hell is happening.

Getting to know any game as complex as Eve is a shock, but its very much mitigated by Eve Echoes’ extensive tutorial system, which guides you through space-flight, combat, and leveling. I found myself hunting pirates for the first few hours, since they grant an instant cash bounty! Because of this I was able to upgrade through four ships in a week of moderate play – a small frigate, to a drone carrier frigate, to a cruiser, to an industrial ship. Eve Echoes doesn’t seem afraid to let people have nice stuff, as free-to-plays sometimes are.

I’m also pleased to say the combat system feels as great as the original, focused around balancing the amount of power you use for weapons, shields, and repairs. This is also an aspect of fitting your ship, as what you equip is limited by the power capacitor linked to your spacecraft. One of my favourite parts of the anomalies where you find pirates was how they’d act as like many staged battles, forcing you to manage power as a resource to survive each wave of enemies.

It felt like the quiet before the storm, or a universe waiting to be sculpted

Some anomalies, like the Scout variant are smart space-based dungeons, as you warp between harder battles, just like jumping down a hole in Zelda. The weapon selection is also as varied as Eve, but one significant thing is that ammo appears to have gone, which I think is a welcome change to make the game simpler.

Droning on

Droning on

Drones are great. They are like pets that live in your ship, but also have an array of deadly weaponry! One of my complaints with the original Eve was that drones were locked behind a paywall. No longer!

    But some things were hard to determine in my review. I couldn’t join a Corporation – a group of players – because none are currently available, and I didn’t have the millions of ISK required to start one. If I was smart I would’ve farmed pirates for days to create the first corporation ‘Sean is the Greatest Inc.’ The same can be said for selling stuff – Eve Echoes practices a player-made economy, meaning that there was no one around to buy anything I put up for sale! So please, hurry up and play the game so I have someone to sell things to.

    I must admit, though, I really like the feeling of warping around Eve Echoes’ universe with no one in-sight – it feels like the quiet before the storm, or a universe waiting to be sculpted. I think the fact that Eve Echoes is incomplete without its players is all you need to know about how special the game is.

    You can also complete Encounters – which are effectively story quests – by using the in-game hud. This is where you can find everything, from skills, to manufacturing, to inventory, to the marketplaces, both in-game, and the monetisation one for Omega Clone. Only on one occasion did I come up against a wall in terms of monetisation, and that was trying to sell a ship skin that was apparently worth 1,000,000 ISK – why wouldn’t I sell it, right? But I needed Omega Clone standard to do that.

    There are also two other currencies called PLEX, and AUR, the first of which you can purchase with ISK – once someone arrives to sell it, of course! You can purchase AUR with actual cash-money, and exchange it for PLEX and other special things. You then use this PLEX to buy snazzy ship skins. Omega Clone also unlocks more ships, planetary production, more skills, and gives you an XP bonus that lets you learn skills and level faster.

    I would say something about personal outposts, but there’s not much to say beyond: they seem comprehensive, with lots of sections for you to manufacture, but they will set you back a pretty penny. I guess that’s not a surprise when you’re talking about a personal space station, though…

    One thing I will say, is I did have some connection problems while playing, but as that has been happening with other games, I can’t be sure it was linked to Eve. I think it’s a good idea to play with a decent connection anyway, if possible. All in all, I think Eve Echoes grants a new lease of life to Eve, making it accessible to new players. I think I’ll stick with Eve this time, and that’s in no small part due to comprehensive tutorials, and the streamlined elements of the game. As with the original Eve, I’m excited for you to arrive, and to see how players will shape this universe.

    You can find Eve Echoes on Google Play and the App Store. If you want some tips to get started in the game, be sure to see our Eve Echoes guide, or our Eve Echoes race guide for choosing your character! We also have an Eve Echoes mining guide, to make money, and an Eve Echoes Omega guide explaining monetisation.

    Eve Echoes review

    Eve Echoes succeeds in channeling the classic Eve experience, while also streamlining for new players, bringing the game to a platform well-suited for its idle elements.

    9
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    $8.99
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