OMENSIGHT Review: Armageddon With A Side Of Murder Mystery

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The end of the world is coming. You know it, for you are the Harbinger; a being whose sole purpose and meaning of existence is to stop this very situation. To complicate matters, a murderer is running free and is probably the party responsible for bringing about the end of the world. Oh, and then there is the war going on. Taking place in an anthropomorphic world of magic, Urallia is fraught with conflict and steeped in war.

Story

Part Groundhog Day, part ZeldaOmensight is an interesting game with a decent story. One that isn’t going to shock you, but has enough twists and turns to be mistaken as a soap opera mini-series.

As the Harbinger, you exist outside of time and are tasked with reliving the final day of existence. The hope is that you can stop the dark serpent Voden from invading and devouring our existence while simultaneously finding the killer of the Godless-Priestess; the one woman who held the balance. Most puzzling of all is why her soul hasn’t returned to the World Tree to pass on her responsibility and powers to the next woman.

With this overarching story, there is also the war that is being fought. The imperials (all the animals, under a banner of the birds, save for one) versus the rebellious holdouts, the rats. A conflict that on the final day of existence is reaching its climax, but how that pans out exactly is up to you and your choices.

Overall the story was pretty good. The pacing, while good, may have been a tad too fast. It could have easily been drawn out a little without annoying most players. The characters are consistent in their actions and motivations for the most part. There were a few moments that "came out of left field," that I can appreciate, but not everyone will.

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GamePlay

Omensight gameplay is your standard Action RPG fair. You have your jump, light attack, heavy attack, dodge, and a few special attacks. One of the special attacks is based directly on whichever character you happen to be following at the time.

Typical gameplay begins at the beginning of the “final day of existence,” where you choose which character you are going to follow for the day. Initially, there are only two choices: A rat bard leading her people in a rebellion or a gruff bear mourning the loss of a dear friend. As you progress you will open up the possibility of following two other characters. It needs to be noted because it is such a helpful feature; when you go to choose a character, if following them will reveal nothing new for you, you will get a message letting you know as much and asking if you want to continue.

At various times throughout the game, you will be offered a chance to use your Omensight, the ability to telepathically share events (either past, present or future), which can drastically affect the way that events pan out.

Once the day has ended, all events have panned out for the day and reality has been torn asunder. Then you are transported to the tree of life and are able to upgrade your abilities, stats, and unlock new abilities. You then choose another character to follow and the day starts over.

As you are progressing you are also piecing together the mystery of the murder of the Godless-Priestess, learning tidbits about all the players of the drama, and finding their drives and motivations.

The combat in the game isn't going to really win any awards for originality, but was intuitive and remains true to what players would expect from the genre. The gameplay itself isn't anymore repetitive than any other action-RPG, but feels like it is due to the constant replaying of the same levels. The games core gimmick, playing sleuth while fighting bad guys, is sound novel and I like it.

Graphics and Sound

Omensight is done in a not quite cell-shaded art style, but fairly close. The art looks good, the characters are well animated, and the world is vibrant.

The sound is captivating and complements the game well. The music is catchy and there were parts that I enjoyed hearing and hearing again; a good thing for obvious reasons. The voice actors seemed well chosen and fit the characters well. My only qualms are with the voice acting/speech mannerisms of Ratika.

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Replayability

To be honest, I can't see this game having a whole lot of replay value. For starters, the mechanics require it to be redundant anyway, possibly making the process of playing the game all over again slightly gut-wrenching. That aside, I’m not entirely certain if changing the order that events pan out affects any of the outcomes, although I can see it possibly giving some new dialog and further elaborating on the colorful cast.

What Needs Work

My only major issue with the game is that it is short, really short. I beat it in around 10 hours. I enjoyed every minute of playing it, but I have to call it like I see it.

Smaller side issue: A more elaborate or in-depth skill system could have added a bit more of depth to the game and allowed for players to better control their gameplay experience when it came to combat. I feel it also would have made the game all-around more interesting. The linear progression of skills was a little bit of a letdown.

Verdict

Sure it’s short, but it was a fun experience most of the time, the exception being a few moments of frustration caused mostly in-part by a misunderstanding on my part or hand fatigue after several hours of playing. If you have a penchant for action-RPGs, or RPGs in general, and want something with an interesting twist, then Omensight is a great choice for you. I'm begrudgingly giving it this score because I wish there was more. That is to say, I probably would have given it a higher score if there was more game to play. 

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