Echelon: Explore, Discover and Eliminate

A Command & Conquer clone to its very core, Echelon doesn’t push the envelope that much. Or at all. Set in a distant galaxy called Ring World, three species of aliens predictably battle it out to the bitter end – the Aruthas, Eriins and Trasks. The missions will fit the culture, weaponry and goals of the species.

9_1Echelon uses a pretty standard C&C game interface, production model, orders, resources, artificial intelligence and all the usual elements. Anyone who’s ever played an RTS game will be able to just jump right into the campaigns. The graphics resemble a sharper, higher-res Red Alert, though are still very 2D at a time when RTS games were rapidly going 3D. Buildings, decoration and units are all arranged in a very grid-like pattern, and this is easily discernible when you order a group of units somewhere, and they arrange in a perfectly square formation.

There’s resource gathering and management, defense construction, and the occasional tank/infantry rush that has come to be so familiar. On the downside, there are no training missions in the game to acquaint the player with the units; you just get dropped right into the middle of things. When you draw the line, you realize the campaign is too short and the story linking them together is just about non-existent. Plus there’s no multiplayer, or even a skirmish mode.

Echelon isn’t the worst C&C clone even made, but it’s lacking in all the important places. You can find games that have managed this old formula with more flair and originality.

System Requirements: Pentium 100 Mhz, 16 MB RAM, Win95

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