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[Review] Omensight: Definitive Edition – Nintendo Switch

Omensight: Definitive Edition

Reviewed by Thomas

  • Developer: Spearhead Games
  • Publisher: Spearhead Games
  • Release Date: 13/12/2018
  • Price: £15.09 / $19.99

 

Introduction

The story of Omensight had me hooked from the start. You control the “Harbinger” who is set to save the world of Urralia and its inhabitants from destruction. The beautifully woven narrative set this apocalyptic tale apart from countless others. The overarching narrative down to each character’s fully voiced dialogue made this a memorable experience. The writing was done in a way that I didn’t feel allegiance to any of the allies you work with. Rather, I felt loyal to my calling  to save the world at any cost. As you enter this land, you meet a cast of animal characters who unknowingly play part in Urralia’s end. There is the bard, Ratika who leads the Rodentia clan against Emperor Indrik of the Pygarians. You also fight alongside the Emperor’s top General, Draga of the feline race. And of course there’s a drunken bear, Ludomir with his own score to settle. Each character is fully voiced with the exception of the silent protagonist whom you control. The surrounding cast make sure to point out your silence, almost mocking you at times. They get frustrated when you try to attack them or take too long searching for secrets. The dialogue is heavily influenced by your actions. This made Omensight feel less like a game and more like an experience.

Groundhog Day

Saving the world isn’t as easy as showing up to conquer the final boss in glorious battle. The harbinger has to learn the truth of Voden, the world devouring foe and how its power was unleashed. As well as a way to stop it from happening. The only catch is the Urralia succumbs to Voden’s power at the end of the day. You have little time to figure out what happens as you can’t be everywhere at once. Each character you work with knows a small piece of the puzzle. To help in your endeavor, a Witch pulls you from devastation at the end of the day when the apocalypse starts to have you repeat it over and over. You get to choose which character will be your ally while the rest are potential enemies when you repeat that final day. This was repetitive at times. Reliving the same day. Facing the same foes. Limited to only a few locales. Again, the writers did a great job making this same day feel fresh as each time you start over you learn a little more. More of the mystery is uncovered. You begin to step back from one small image of the picture to view the whole thing. Later in the game you’re given the option to skip certain parts to experience the changes in the story instead of reliving every single moment.

Overall, the story was well polished and is one I’ll think about over time.  Which is what I look for in any entertainment medium. A story that I’ll reflect on and want to learn more about its universe. Each character is unique and the voice cast did a tremendous job bringing them to life. Down to the observant General Draga to the sassy Ratika and even the arrogant Emperor Indrik.

Experiencing Urralia Firsthand

The gameplay felt secondary to the story. For me, that was perfectly fine. At certain points later in the game you can sue for peace and I was glad when it worked. As is standard with action-RPGs you traverse a set area fighting your current enemy. The combat is live and fast. You speed around the board and chain together combos. There are two ways to level up. At the end of each failed day when you return to the Witch, you spend experience to unlock skills and amber to strengthen the skills. Amber is like currency and you pick which skill you want to spend it on. The skills unlocked when leveling up are predetermined by the game. I felt that was a good choice as it allowed you to incrementally learn your abilities and when best to use them.

When you enter combat there are a few things that stood out to me. First, your enemy one day may be your friend the next. This occasionally caused me to stay my blade while an opponent attacked my ally. The developers cleverly added dialogue from your “friend” letting you know the battle wasn’t over. This, aided with on screen icons helped you track down the remaining villains.

Battles at times were chaotic, forcing you to dodge an incoming attack. An exclamation mark above an enemy signals you to dodge. For the most part this worked well. Often your opponent would be off screen and fly at breakneck speeds to strike you. At which point it was too late to avoid the attack. Pots and barrels are strategically placed full of amber and apples. The amber for upgrades and, you guessed it, the apples to heal your mistakes.

The combat was pretty standard as well as your skills. Fighting served its purpose in this narrative game to help the pacing. Each ally has a special attack that they use to assist you when requested. Each boss battle felt natural and rarely unfair.

Art for the Ears and Eyes

The score was perfectly crafted for Omensight. The music flowed with the game and changed pace when it needed to. I really enjoyed the audio  and dialogue. I can’t give enough credit to the voice actors. And the soundtrack is one that I’ll recall with pleasure. I appreciated the level of detail that Ratika the bard also had songs in the game. My first time meeting the leader of Rodentia as a teammate, I couldn’t help but wait for her serenade to play out before progressing the story.

The graphics are vibrant and beautifully done. I noticed the choice and color pallet once the game loaded. Omensight is truly a sight to behold. Each board is unique and each race stands out. Like the story and audio, the graphics are pleasant and fit nicely with the world and narrative.

Does the Game Run, or should You?

Omensight was first released on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on May 15, 2018. I have not had the opportunity to play it on any other platform so I won’t give comparisons. There were only a few areas where I experienced technical issues with the game on Nintendo Switch. A few battles an enemy would end up offscreen and gave no way to defeat them and progress. I had to reload and continue again. There was also an area where you can deviate from the main path to a hidden section. Each time I entered, the game would completely freeze. I ultimately had to abandon my attempt. Being a completionist this bothered me as I wasn’t able to locate one of the “memories” which gave rich back story. Loading times were frequent and long. I consistently experienced  issues where the main loading screen would run slow and lag each time the day progressed or ended. There were four phases to each day. Morning, midday, night and rapture. I liked how the developers used the loading screen to duplicate as the world map. The map would update as each part of the day played out, showing you where each character was.

Other than those few issues it ran smoothly on Nintendo Switch. I played half the time in docked mode and the other half in handheld. Both modes experienced the same problems and can likely be remedied with a patch. However, none of them were game breaking and you can experience the main story to the end.

Final Wrap

My time with Omensight was enjoyable. The story and cast are phenomenal. I would love to learn more about their world and lives. I spent extra time trying to track down the memories hidden throughout Urralia. This insight was exciting to read and learn how their world works and how each character fits in it. Aside from a few repetitive sections the game never felt like a chore. I would recommend anyone who enjoys action-RPGs and deep stories to immerse yourselves in Omensight. If you previously played on another console I don’t think the portability of the Switch is enough to invest in multiple copies of the game.

If you don’t own this game yet, the Nintendo Switch is the perfect platform to play on. Each “day” took about 15 – 20 minutes to complete so playing on the go was advantageous.

My Children’s two cents

I went into this game wondering how it would impact my children and if they would enjoy it. I have a six year old and nine year old daughter and one eleven year old son. Each of my children enjoyed the game immensely and loved the art. I couldn’t even get them to go to bed when they knew the final battle was around the corner.

Conner’s feedback was mostly focused around the action and combat. He enjoyed watching each battle play out and the art style used.

Kyrie, my nine year old, loved that many of the main characters were female. She pointed out that “it is rare in games to play as a woman and not be forced to be a man.” (I agree, boys are icky)

My six year old Taliya was perhaps the most insightful. She observed the intuitive level design and placement of healing apples and challenging platforms. She also noted that upon defeating enemies there wasn’t blood and gore. They simply fade away. She also pointed out how each character spoke which made the story better. And finally she mentioned she did not enjoy Ludomir’s foul language.

Pros

  • Engaging story
  • Fully voiced dialogue
  • Beautiful soundtrack
  • Vibrant graphics
  • Immersive world

Cons

  • Occasionally repetitive
  • Long load times

Omensight’s wonderfully crafted narrative and engaging action will leave you yearning for more when the tale is complete.
4/5

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