Written by Derrick Smith
Developer Spearhead Games has crafted their next and arguably most impressive adventure to date, in the form of Omensight, which interestingly borrows slight influences from the studios previous game, Stories: The Path of Destinies. Offering various avenues players can take, this overall tale leads to a myriad of scenarios and ultimate conclusion which certainly put a smile on my face.
From the outset Omensight maintains a visually stunning universe, filled with progressive combat attributes alongside a heavy layer of narrative intrigue, after 14 hours of entertaining story and vibrantly colorful gameplay, simply put Omensight was an absolute blast, even if its initial expressions came along as a slow burn.
Omensight tells the story of a world known as Urralis, which is facing utter doom by way of an evil entity known as Voden. This overwhelming antagonist has been brought forth by the command of Emperor Indrik, however Urralis’ only hope in the form of Priestess Vera has now been murdered. This cause and effect has forced the capable warriors of the land to wage war, leading to the untimely deaths of key protectors.
Players are then introduced to the formidable Harbinger, a character which you control who takes to the wages of war with an attractive combative flair. The Harbinger who possess a sort of forward sight can decipher the coming destruction of Urralia and much like a super detective, takes to piecing together the mysteries leading to the Urralia’s impending doom. As the narrative presents itself, the Harbinger’s arrival is not in time to prevent certain death, however with the assistance of a generous and informative witch the Harbingers objectives and goals begin to take shape, as you are acquainted with the Tree of Life.
The Tree of Life possesses the power to transport players to key moments of the worlds protectors or key characters just before they have tasted death, allowing the Harbinger to play alongside the chosen NPC whose previous interactions play an important role in uncovering the truth. Interestingly, the narrative will sometimes take you in a myriad of directions, allowing you to meet new allies, discover new intel, as well as face off against previous allies. Regardless of the direction taken impressively you are always learning something new, unless similar actions are repeated.
Alongside the games sometimes convoluted yet interesting story, Omensight offers a progressive combat ingredient, that while there is space for more to be desired, there is just enough here to compliment the ride. As the Harbinger you possess abilities such as basic movements through running, jumping and evasive movements, in addition to executing an assortment of attacks which are progressive the further you tackle the story. Players will find it most helpful when your attacks are partnered with your allies for destructive resolve. The more enemies you defeat the more XP is earned allowing players to increase their abilities and skills. While player cannot customize their choice of skills which are randomly acquired, game currency acquired does allow players to make select and valuable purchases.
As with other combat-centric titles which use a light and heavy attack system, Omensight is no exception in this regard, and while the combat skill tree does increase over time, players might not feel powerfully engrossed in the combat, as the depth of the combat experience seems to play it a bit too safe. Nevertheless, what is on tap is quite fun. Whether light or heavy in the attack department, you will find yourself more than likely easily utilizing both throughout, as one does not necessarily contrast the other so much so as an altogether advantage or disadvantage. However, this is not a bad thing as it most certainly works here.
The control system does wonders for the combat offering a smooth and tight affair throughout. Whether slowing down time to get the upper hand on the enemies or bosses or skillfully grabbing an enemy and thrusting them into other enemies, or performing juggle attacks just before stylishly performing an evasive motion, the gameplay feel accessible, with just the right amount of challenge. Just a heads up, the more challenging the difficulty selected the better the experience, at least for this critic, so choose wisely.
Combat aside, with an alluring measure of intrigue expressed in the story through the narrative and acquisition of story memories which can be discovered throughout, I found myself very interested in returning to the locked gates, which are inaccessible unless accompanied with key characters who can open them. So, once my previous journey to save my companions had been accomplished, returning to these same areas to unlock the gates felt most gratifying. Unfortunately, I have decided not to go into great detail about these discoveries as they are quite valuable, so I shall not spoil it. You will thank me!
It must be mentioned how impressive the character development is maintained with the games host of characters. With the world in chaos and on the brink, the cast of cute animals are all at odds with one another, so whenever you decide on which character story line to follow as your allie, those not chosen also become your enemy or boss encounters within another characters timeline. This varied perspective of encounters kept me glued as I looked for those important clues. These important clues are often supported by the Harbingers ability to implant memories on the minds of varied characters which are demonstrated through cool story-driven cut-scenes. Implants have a lasting affect on the characters selected which influence their actions, leading to new actions taken and more to discover as you journey alongside these new path and efforts.
Despite the seeming back and forth story elements I never tired of the approach as the experience is well integrated with complimentary production value, which with some patience does bring together and appealing joyride. From the start, Omensight is beautiful game. The artwork associated with the environmental and character designs is an explosion of vibrant colors. The games musical score also imparts a wonderful layer of urgency and seriousness which work to give this cast of cute animals the right balance.
In this regard much can also be said for the games impressive voice acting which brought a convincing fullness to each character.
Omensight, is a engaging action-RPG title, with more than enough story-driven elements to keep players enthralled within its intimate and beautiful setting. While I may have desired more in the combat department, the games full production more than made up for my picky appetite.