I tap on a couple of buzzing drones on the other side of the screen and my pistol blasts out two gouts of freezing plasma energy, destroying the annoying little critters before they can sink their whirring blades into my armour.
Then from behind two alien swordsmen appear, brandishing blades of white hot energy. I dodge back, then unleash my Echo, dragging a finger across the screen to trace a line of toxic goo that will slow down and damage my assailants, then finish them off with a well-placed sword lunge of my own.
This happens in a matter of seconds, and it's Echo Prime at its finest. My fingers swoop and tap, dancing over the screen as blows and blasts rain down. And while this intergalactic ballet of violence isn't always on show, the game is worth it for the times it gets things so right.Echo, echo, echo
You play as some sort of deep space peacekeeper from the far future who is contacted by an ethereal race and tasked with saving the universe. Cue running down a lot of corridors slicing and blasting alien scum.
The controls take a little while to get used to, but once they click they allow for some fast-paced hack-and-slash action. Tapping on an enemy will attack it. If you're close up you'll use your sword, and if you're far away you'll use your pistol.
Tapping the screen where there isn't an enemy will have you scuttling to that position, or you can hold a finger down to keep moving. Pressing with two fingers blocks, and swiping away from an enemy performs a dodge.
Swiping towards a foe performs a hefty jumping sword slash that does a decent amount of damage.
There are a few niggles with the scheme, mainly when you miss an enemy with your tap and instead of firing a laser bolt you run straight at them, but after a while you'll find yourself adjusting, and the combat flows.Not the dolphin
Your special powers in the game are called Echoes. You collect different ones as you play, and as you level-up you get new slots to attach even more. As well as your own Echoes, at the start of each level you're given a choice of three others from random online players and people on your friends list.
Using another player's Echo gives you an extra boost, and it trains it as well, meaning it's stronger the next time they go to use it. There are a vast number of different Echoes, each offering different benefits.
Some are explosive blasts of energy that harm your attackers, others are passive buffs that increase your shield power or slowly regenerate your health. Choosing a solid combination that works for you adds an extra layer of tactics to the game.Fight the power
There's a depth to Echo Prime that isn't immediately obvious from the first few levels. To begin with things feel a little generic and anti-climactic, but it's well worth persevering with, as new equipment and Echoes add exciting combat possibilities to proceedings.
It isn't perfect, and the backgrounds and art style aren't the most inspiring you've ever seen, but the rapid pace of the combat and the experimentation the Echoes system offers add up to make a satisfying experience.