December 13, 2018
Action role-playing, Fantasy
With each new generation of games coming, and furthering a fad or finding new mechanics, we reminisce, and often hold the standards, to classic games that we grew up with. With Omensight, an action role-playing game developed and published by Canadian studio Spearhead Games, it really feels like playing some of my favorite PS2 platforming games. Omensight was released for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4 on May 15, 2018, and recently for Nintendo Switch on December 13, 2018.
The land of Urralia is torn by war, as the dark god, Voden, consumes the world. The Pygarian faction fights to maintain balance, as the Rodentian forces seek dark power with a Ciphers to gain dominance, causing the End Of Time. You, the Harbringer, are summoned to help solve the murder of the Godless Priestess, but you can only have one day to solve it before the destruction of the world. Being celestial, you repeat the final day over and over, discovering more truths with each new evidence. The game keeps you guessing as you progress and think you know who done it.
The ‘Fuzzy’ Animal Cast
The land of Urralia is inhabited by tribes of animals, Imperial dogs, cats, and troubling rat, and the Harbringer, a celestial being. Its great to see a different species cast, as to your typical humans, robots, even monsters. Your companions all have a lovable factor to each personality, Draga, the stalwart captain who will defend the kingdom.
Ludomir, a bar bear who is seeking revenge for his slain sister, The Godless-Priestess, against the leader of the Imperials, Indrik. And finally, Ratika, the leader of the rouge Rodentians, who was also friends with the Godless-Priestess and friends with Ludimir. I wish I could personally get to know more about the characters, but outside of each character talking about how they relate to the others, are the collectible memories throughout the world that gives a back story to how each character grew into who they are.
The whole premise of the game is that the Godless Prietess has been murdered and the world is left vulnerable to a dark god, Voden. As the Harbringer, a celestial being, you control time in combat and overall gameplay, to solve the murder of the Godless Priestess. Each day, you pick which support character, Ludomire, Drage, Ratika, and live out the final day trying to uncover how each character is intertwined in the overall arc of the story. After each level, “your time is up,” with the dark god appearing and ending all life, but as the Harbringer, you save yourself and return to the beginning of the day and start all over again, except you retain the knowledge of what happened, even though your companions won’t.
“This is the Cel Shaded Hack n slash we’ve been looking for all year!”
As for your gameplay mechanics, the gameplay style reminds me of the Batman Arkham series as well as Devil May Cry where you gain more bonuses the more stylish your fighting is. The fighting is simple enough where I found myself relying mostly on dodging and using the light attack most of the time. But that does change as you move further into the game where the new enemies are introduced, and they not only lung at you, but also start doing multiple attacks after each other. When you start using all of your abilities and buffers, the fights can be fun and creative. One example, finding a platoon of Imperials with two fire mages up front, you can either use a fire trap to waste half of the platoon, or you can dash to the front, slow down time, and chain attacks to build your magic to use the lethal flurry attack.
Knowing Your Harbringer
Throughout each level, you fight and explore the world, gaining exp from stylishly beating enemies, and gaining amber from destroying pots and opening treasures. At the end of each day, you also gain bonuses from beating a new path for each character, no death, style fighting, and if you come across a new omensight or seal ability. All of these gathers can be used between days when you’re at the Tree of Life, and you use the two statues to spend your exp to unlock new abilities and spend amber to buff them. Playing farther into the game will unlock more buffs to each ability and companion.
Home, Tree, Home
The home for the Harbringer is the Tree of life. This is your hub where you meditate to the statue to spend your exp and level up, spend your amber to upgrade different abilities and companions. This is also where you pick which companion to follow for the day. You also have the Witch and her orb to help you along if you selected the help option. Being brash, and wanting to explore on my own, I did not select this option, so it won’t show or interact in any way, but I can always turn it on and off in the options, just like changing difficulties.
The controls are very simple, almost to a fault in the beginning as I saw myself using only the doge and light attack to clear out entire rooms. But as the game gets harder, you start to rely on other abilities to help you fight through waves of enemies. It’s easy to remember the few abilities in your arsenal, and upgrading each ability to have a lasting effect, you start formulating a plan on how to attack each different enemy with which ability.
Of course, getting hit, or not fighting at all, you will lose some of your magic and have to work back up so you can use higher abilities. Also, when you’re not fighting you will not have any fighting abilities to use. That is because you will be at a platforming section, where it mostly involves jump small distances, and pressing square to interact with doors, levers, and detonators.
Caricatures of the Characters
The use of the simple cell shading really brings nostalgia to me because it reminds me of the ps2 era platformers. It is family friendly, but the shaping of the characters and environment also draws in the older crowd who grew up on anime and comics, like Samurai Jack. And playing through this game in multiple different ways, you can see each set in every time zone, peacefully, or war-torn. The characters are funny and cute, even the bar crawling bear, yet not overly cutesy to push anyone away.
This game truly looks and feels like a classic. The artwork and gameplay beautifully blend together into an artistic stroke, making the player want to see more of this kind of master craft. The only downside to this is the repetitiveness. Even those it is the premises of the game, trying to get everything and running into the same areas and near similar fight can start to wear.
Overall, this game is beautiful, fun, and simple for anyone to play, with a story that keeps you guessing, which I think is fantastic! If you interested in indie single-player type game, seriously check out ‘Omensight’. This game should be easily accessible via PSN Store, Steam Store, or Nintendo E-shop. 9/10
Like or hate the review I did? Have a question, comment, or concern? Let me know in the comment below. Don’t forget to also check out other Video game reviews on The EXP Grind.