Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. What truly set this game apart from the rest was its sense of actually being in another world.
  2. The modifications that Appaloosa have made may sound simple but they enhance the game beyond recognition, tightening up the gameplay to what is now a extremely polished and well focused adventure title.
  3. It's hard but fair, gorgeous to look at and pleasant to listen to (Enya-inspired soundtrack notwithstanding).
  4. 80
    Sooo much to love in terms of graphics, story, and sheer originality, but the endless cycle of insanely difficult die/repeat/whatthehell? gameplay will eventually dominate your experience.
  5. There's nothing really like it on the PS2, and it's a marvel to behold in full flow. Sega and Sony should be happy that the conversion has gone so swimmingly well.
  6. 78
    The main thing that the story accomplishes is to move you through some of the most fantastic environments you've seen in a game. This it does very well.
  7. The whole organic, aquatic-tofu presentation of the game is poor preparation for one land-lubbingly brutal fact: Some of these missions are suddenly and disproportionately hard. But golly, they "shore" are pretty.
  8. Overall gameplaywise Ecco has proved to be one of the most difficult games I’ve ever played...But for those who have the skills and persistence Ecco The Dolphin might be an enjoyable romp.
  9. Between the unstable camera, gooey controls, and fundamentally tough objectives, finishing Ecco is definitely a labor of love. [May 2002, p.107]
  10. In spite of these kinks in its layout, Ecco provides a consistently smooth experience; you'll honestly feel like a deft aquatic mammal and experience the liberating, exciting things that compose a dolphin's everyday life.
  11. This is still the same game with only minor tweaking that doesn't make for any new experience.
  12. It's a weighty quest alright, but much of its size is artificial, being time spent wondering (a) where you’re supposed to go next and (b) how to get there.
  13. A surreal, calming game – frustrating at times – but wholly rewarding. [Apr 2002, p.60]
  14. Ecco has such great, ocean-worthy graphics; but it plays so, so poorly. [May 2002, p.82]
  15. The camera problems, and the loose puzzle structure add up to more frustration than fun. [May 2002, p.28]
  16. This game is hard – we're talking brutal, controller-throwing frustration here. The biggest problem is the control scheme. Frankly, it sucks. [May 2002, p.99]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Mar 1, 2012
    This is the best dolphin game ever made. While that might not mean anything to some, its true. As your controlling an exotic animal in water it could have been easy for the developers to take shortcuts. They took no shortcuts with Defender of the Future and gave us fluid, dynamic dolphin controls and with massive level design not seen since the original Tomb Raider. You may need a guide for this one, as its easy to get completely lost and just have fun swimming around. For that difficulty I deduct a couple points because it makes the game less addictive. Fortunately gamefaqs exists. This is a better game than the original Ecco on sega genesis by far. The story is CRAZY. Nobody could imagine this stuff; aliens, new planets, dolphin gangs, special powers. If you are a true gamer you must experience this one even if you don't end up beating it. Ecco destroys every Endless Ocean game both in gameplay, graphics, realism, and controls. Fish AI in this is more realistic. Sega must have spent a lot of resources making this, and unfortuneately it might not have paid off, but the work is still there. Play this game and give it a try. Ecco The Dolphin: Defender of the Future is its own experience whether you advance in the game or not and I recommend getting a used copy. Full Review »
  2. Nov 21, 2011
    this game is really fun, but one of my more boring games, i never really enjoyed this game, i played it just to finish it, i guess ecco is cool but it never really draws you in Full Review »