Omensight Review (PS4)
''A bad omen?''
Omensight is an action adventure mystery game developed and published by Spearhead Games. Something has gone terrible wrong in the world of Urralia and it is up to you as the world's Harbinger to fix the all the wrongs that have been done upon the land. Is this game a sight for sore eyes or is it just a bad omen? find out below!
The land of Urralia is facing an end of the world crisis. War has been on going for quite some time and multiple opposing factions have taken up arms against one another in order to achieve a ''higher power''. With all the hatred and fighting going on, an ancient prophecy has been fulfilled one which unleashes the evil spirit Voden. With Voden awakened,the entire world is then destroyed and left in ruin, but you as the spirit Harbinger have the power to turn back time and fix all of the events to save the entire world. But is it worth it to do so?
Oh man. Where do I even start with this game. Going into playing this I was expecting a straight forward start to finish hack and slash type of game that I could just breeze through in only a couple hours,but I was mistaken. Omensight is of course at it's core,a hack and slash,yes, however it mixes in a story of murder and mystery with it,as well as a pretty in depth level up and ability system that makes it a blast to play for long periods of time.
First off,let's cover the combat and fighting aspects of the game and then we'll move on to the more juicy details afterwards. Your main forms of attacking in this game range from using your quick fast attacks which do minimal damage, but is effective for quick hit and move situations or you can use your heavier style attacks to deal more damage,but ultimately it takes longer to use and is relatively slower to use. You may alternate between using both forms of attacking based off your current combat situation though, for example, some enemies put up defense shields and with this defense shield,only heavy attacks will be able to break their shield and leave them vulnerable. Mix together heavy and quick combos to overwhelm your foes.
Your main form of defense comes in the way of dodge rolling. Dodge rolling can be used as both a defensive measure and offensive measure if performed correctly and used properly. When rolling, defensively it can give you the edge by getting out of the way of an AOE attack(area of effect),but offensively, if you time a dodge at the exact time an enemy is about to land a strike on you then you will will momentarily stop time for just a few seconds. This allows you to get in some extra cheap shots or even just find time enough to get the hell out of dodge. It feels so satisfying to stop time and go into attack combos!
As you progress through the game while you defeat enemies and find hidden chests hidden around each level, you will gain more exp and crystals that you can use as currency in order to gain new abilities and skills. The two categories your new skills align in are ''Abilities'' and ''Blessings''. The abilities totem has to be filled using your gained exp and when the totem is completely full it allows your character to level up and then unlock a brand new ability each time. There are only 5 core abilities to unlock here, Phantom Blast,Delay Of Fate,Phantom grip,Lethal slash,Phantom dash and Lethal furry. 5 might not sound like a ton to you,but each one of these abilities can be leveled up every time you get enough exp. So for instance if you have all 5 abilities, if you keep leveling up, you'll unlock better techniques or make those stronger, so its wise to grind out some exp every now and then to get stronger and stronger.
The other half of your unlockables has to do with gifting amber,aka crystals. In this section you're able to offer up any crystals you find as your currency in order to level up your current skills such as phantom grip or attack damage. However you're also allowed to upgrade things such as health and combo damage as well, there's really a ton to unlock as each skill listed can be upgraded multiple times and every time you upgrade one fully,a new one seems to open up. Now during my playthrough I unlocked a TON of these and it still didn't scratch the surface of everything I could do. I'm definitely going to give it another go to see how far I can take it.
Oh boy now we get to get into the juicy stuff I was talking about earlier in this review and it has to do with the storyline and the characters that take part in it. Granted, I'll do like I always do, I'll explain a little bit of it in detail but I won't spoil anything major for the player because again it's one of those games that a player should experience for themselves to see all the twists and turns the story has to offer you. So with saying that out of the way,let's get to it!
In Omensight you play as a Harbinger who according to prophecy only comes to the land of Urralia in dire times,to be more specific, only at the time in which the world is about to end and all life as we know will be completely erased from history. As Harbinger you bare witness to this event actually unfold,but you are swept away to a ''halfway'' in between dimension by a spiritual witch. She tells you of the fate that has befallen upon the land of Urralia and it's your job to prevent it from really happening. So you must summon your inner ashton kutcher and butterfly effect the hell out of time and space to prevent a tragedy. But wait, that's not the full story!
You see, there has always been balance in the world due to the spirit of the goddess priest(Vera) always watching over the land,but something terrible has happened and she has been murdered,ah!,what a twist!. This is where the game turns into a murder mystery, because now it's your job to track down her killer and prevent her from being murdered. Once you bring the killer to justice,then the entire world should be saved from the evil Voden and from his return. Sounds easy enough right? It's not and I'll tell you why.
In order to find out who exactly killed the goddess priest you have to go through 4 main characters pasts to see everyone's perspectives and to see what secrets they might be hiding,plus who they might be working with, it's a complete ''who dun it'' type of scenario. You select each character by going to a stone statue that's built in their likeness and then choose to go back in time to that exact moment in time before the world ends. Then you will be able to see things entirely from their perspective and hopefully even persuade them to an alternate course of action.
The 4 characters you can choose to play with and learn from are Indrik,the powerful emperor,Draga, an elite soldier of Indrik's empire,Ludomir, a drunken and clumsy bear who's the self adopted brother of the goddess priest and then there's Ratika,the leader and master thief of the rat clan of the world. Every single character has their own distinct personality and unique characteristics to them that make each one both likable and hateable at the exact same time. During my livestream playing this I was getting so pissed off at specific characters due to their actions, it was great. I hope others will get into the game like I did in that manner.
While playing with these four characters,know that there are only a total of 6 levels in this entire game that you will play through,so there's a ton of backtracking and going to places that you've already been to. This can get quite repetitive and all around tedious seeing the same areas dozens of times,just from a different characters perspective, but there's actually a very good reason to why this is necessary. For instance, when you first complete a character arc for a specific chapter you will be granted a special power that activates a certain seal that unlocks doors you might not have been able to open previously. Some of these either hold secrets or they are directly involved in the story. So you might not even advance further until you unlock a portion of the story.
When fighting with each character they also have their own abilities that you can direct them to use during your many fights. Pressing the R2 button will make them do a special attack in a specific area, but it has a cool down time, so don't overly spam it and only use it when you feel you need to. The great thing about these characters is they're actually pretty damn useful and that's saying something for these type of games. Usually in these type of games the AI is horrible and never follow you or do what you want them to do,but this was a blessing to me,they listen and it works well. Each character's abilities are also able to be leveled up via gifting amber too,while in gifting amber you can determine how strong their attacks will be by donating crystals. This makes a lot of the battles extremely easy because between you and a leveled up AI partner, you just mow everyone over like yesterdays lawn. Go home and be a family man,monsters.
Each time you get info and learn of events from the perspective of any character listed above, you get to open up your handy dandy...''Notebook!'', that's right kids! wait no,I'm not steve, I can't do that,please don't sue me nickelodeon. Instead you gain access to something called the ''Investigation orb''. In the investigation orb you have two sections,the timeline which pieces every single event together from beginning to end and the ''clues'' section which operates sorta like the sphere grid from Final Fantasy 10. Each character has 4 sphere grids to unlock each,but they can only be unlocked by playing through the story and doing events that transpired in a completely different way using your Omensight. Omensight gives you the ability to let each character see their own actions that lead to their wrong events or even someone elses actions. This will completely dictate which side they will go to,good or evil. It ends up giving you A LOT of twists and turns and always making you want to see what will happen next.
This game is absolutely stunning. To me it looks like a really smooth version of cell shading. Everything is so vibrant and colorful and pops right out at the player the entire time you play. The level design and animations in this game are also superb,sure there might not be many levels overall,but they subtly change depending on the time of day you're in and depending on the overall situation of the world around you(world decay). The forest in the day time is probably my favorite environment in the game as its so bright and colorful,it reminds me a lot of another game I enjoy for its art style,Okami.
Don't even get me started on the music to this game. Some of my favorite soundtracks from this game were the Celtic Irish type of music, it's absolutely beautiful. Other tracks on the OST are also no slouches,music raging from heart pumping war drum beats to vocal hymns. I want this OST and I want it now. I don't care if willy wonka drops me down a chute like Veruca. I still want it and no one can stop me!
But folks, it's that time again, you know what it is. With all the good in the game,there has to be some sort of bad right? well yes you're right. There are a few things in the game that are a bit nit picky,but some of them actually effect the gameplay a little bit so they have to be called out somewhat. I mentioned that there are around only 5-6 different levels you get to play through in this game earlier and that doesn't sound TOO bad right,well it kinda is in some ways because the game can run you around 6hrs+ just to beat it, that means you'll be spending a total time of 1 hour in each specific level. Play one level for 15 minutes, to go a different one, then go back and have to play through the older level again for 15 minutes and then off to the next. It gets pretty tedious and pretty repetitive. You really have to focus on the story and push through with some will power after about 4 hours. Once you do that and interact with the characters,its fine.
Another issue I ran into a few times were points where I had to interact with certain characters and the environment together. In some scenes you're required to use your AI partner to get to higher platforms or to move around big platforms together and out of the way. Well sometimes they'll move an object into a path that is blocking an enemy monster and you can't kill that monster in order to be able to move onto your objective, so you must find a way to kill yourself and start all over again. The other issue is if you jump up on a ledge with a character but then notice a treasure you missed and backtrack, the AI character won't follow you. Instead he/she will stay on the platform and will not help you back up. You're stuck either praying for them to come down or killing yourself to re-do the area. Very annoying.
Omensight is both a pleasure to play or a chore to play depending on the type of gamer you are. If you enjoy an engaging story in between constant hack and slack battling, then like me you will enjoy this game quite a bit. Other than the occasional tedious and repetitive repeat missions and the AI messing up a few times here and there, the game overall is a blast to play. From it's fast paced action,it's amazing soundtrack,beautiful graphics and extremely interesting and engaging storyline that will leave you guessing, Omensight gets a definite yes from me and I hope you all go out and buy it and give it a go if you have the time on your hands. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
Omensight is out now on Playstation 4 and Steam
*Review code for Omensight provided by Spearhead Games