PS4 Reviews

Omensight Review

Omensight, Spearhead Games

The opening level opens amid a war. Particles from fire collide with snow drops in a relentless flurry. The Empire’s Pygarians mistake you for rebels and attack. You make your way across the battlefield and bond with soldiers from both sides in their dying moments. After witnessing their motivations, the world cracks and crumbles as the end-times prophecy comes to fruition. You are the Harbinger, and you have awoken to prevent the apocalypse.

High-Concept Premise

Omensight is an Action-Adventure from Spearhead Games, the guys who brought us the underrated Stories: The Path of Destinies. Their newest piece is a spiritual successor and one that all developers dream of.

The game follows a devastating war between the Pygarians (empire) and Rodentians (rebels) for control of Urralia. Behind the frontlines, The Godless-Priestess Vera has been murdered. She prevented the world from being devoured by The Void’s serpent, Voden. On the same day, the Pygarians plan an all-out assault on the Rodentian capital.

It is up to the sentient, supernatural being Harbinger to avert this disaster. The player will relive the last days of major players to uncover the murder-mystery of Vera. These include the witty rebel leader Ratika, loyal Pygarian general Draga, vengeful rebel Ludomir and even the imperial leader Indrik.

The Tree of Life

A very clever structure to level selection is through The Tree of Life. This is the place where you will select who you want to help during their last day. Every day counts as the world serpent reaches closer to breaking the Harbinger’s metaphysical barrier. This will encourage you to methodically pick characters and make decisions that lead to the most progressive breakthroughs.

Omensight, Spearhead Games

Every time you obtain information or a titular ‘Omensight’ they will appear on an inventive diagram – – ‘The Orb of Investigation’. Here, you can put the narrative pieces together (literally, depending on difficulty) in order to know what to do next. Ultimately, though, you will not be able to see everything on one playthrough. Like the branches of the Tree of Life, it feels like there are so many.

Layers Upon Layers

Nothing is as it seems in Omensight’s superb story of ambition, friendship, grief, and loyalty. By having an equal amount of characters on both teams, incredible insight is gained on who you should judge. Most of the characters are morally grey, making their stance in the narrative confounding. It was exhilarating to uncover mind-blowing revelations of character actions.

Plot developments not only subverted my narrative expectations. Your outlook on characters can evolve through the time you spend with them. With each day, it felt like I understood the characters more clearly. Textual collectable type ‘Memories’ also reveal much, envisaging characters’ past in often heartbreaking detail.

It does not hurt that each character is veritably likable. These anthromorphic animals are idealistic and sympathetic. They have each dealt with personal tragedies as a result of war. Even if you do not agree with some actions, you can at least resonate with their well-written intentions. Even though killing any of them is inconsequential, it still feels sad when you have to do it. Your attachment to these characters will grow strong as you go through a whirlwind of emotions.

Art Design and Deliberate Visual Choices

Another awesome character element is their stills in dialogue. Each one is drawn with charm, with a handful of different ones for various reactions. The actual character models are pretty good too, but like Persona, the 2d art is more visually striking during these sort of scenes.

Omensight, Spearhead Games

Environmental design is very emotive, too. Cinematic camera angles can give a grand glimpse of an epic battle, the emptiness of a prison, etc. These invoked feelings, alongside the long shots, give you the impression that the story does not just revolve around The Harbinger.

Omensight, Spearhead Games

The cel-shaded art style makes the whole game look vibrant. This lends itself well to some colour schemes the art department implements. Snow shadowed by red, blazing fires and prison floors drenched in the orange evening glow looks marvellous and gives an artistic feel. There is also special attention given to shadowing that makes for some unique patterns.

Omensight, Spearhead Games

Combat and Light RPG Elements

Okay, so Omensight is an astonishing artistic achievement for an indie title but how does the actual gameplay fare? While character and art design are Omensight’s pivotal strengths, the combat is pretty enjoyable too. Alike Spearhead Games’ Stories, the combat feels akin to the Batman Arkham games. While seeming simplistic at first, the combat steadily turns into an entertaining distraction from the plot.

Playing as a supernatural being naturally allows the execution of special abilities. One of the most powerful ones is the ‘Delay of Fate’ which slows down enemies caught in a big sphere. Another fun power is the ‘Phantom Grasp’ which can grab enemies and bombs, throwing when willed. You earn these by gaining XP (killing enemies, gaining information, etc). Ambers – – – found in chests – – – are a currency of which you can use to upgrade these powers.

A number of possibilities make the combat quite dense at times. For example, killing harder enemies causes weaker ones to surrender. Companions can also help you in some dynamic ways. Throwing an enemy at a companion using Phantom Grasp will allow them to perform a stylish kill. Overall, the fighting makes you feel cool as slick thrust and slash movements barrage your enemies.

Conclusion

Omensight presents an epic story of war as it beautifully interweaves the motives of its 4 amazing characters into a massively engaging murder-mystery. Fight, decide, and realise in one of the best indie games this generation.

Disclaimer: Review code provided by publisher

8.5

Characters

9.0 /10

Plot

8.4 /10

Combat

7.9 /10

Art Style

8.5 /10

Replay Value

8.5 /10

Pros

  • Captivating Characters
  • Engaging Plot
  • Fun Combat
  • Beautiful Environments and Character Stills
  • Many Pathways for Replay Value

Cons

  • Sometimes too much Exposition
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