Developer: Spearhead Games
Publisher: Spearhead Games
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Action, Adventure & Fighting
Release Date: December 13, 2018 (EU & NA)
Harbinger of Death and Delight.
Omensight: Definitive Edition, by award-winning Spearhead Games, creators of Stories: The Path of Destinies, has made its way finally on Nintendo Switch. The game was previously released on Xbox and PS earlier this year to favorable reviews and is playable on December 13th on the Nintendo Switch. Omensight stands in the shadow of Nintendo’s year end release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but does it give us enough to sidetrack some SSBU or will it be a long forgotten game in the annals of a December eShop release?
The story of Omensight has you commanding the Harbinger, a warrior who appeared at the end of times in the land of Urralia, during destruction and chaos. You are called to relive the days leading up to the end of the world. With your sword and Omensight, the ability to see and share the truth with others in the world, you fight alongside various characters living out their point of view of the warring nations.
While the future is not set in stone, the fates have allowed you to partner with others on the battlefield to uncover a murder mystery to unlock the truth and prevent the apocalypse.
From the outset, Omensight, sets its sights on being one part fantasy action game and one part character and story-driven. The unfolding narrative has you seeing the war and destruction from a few sides of the battlefield. This unique telling, and retelling, through time travel, adds an interesting twist as a game mechanic.
As you journey along the varied storied paths and uncover bits of the whole narrative, you will link up with Ludomir, Ratika, and Draga. Their fights are their own, and their perspective on the war, the end times, and who killed the Godless-Priestess seem to conflict with one another.
As you battle alongside each character you will visit some areas several times, as reliving days and visiting locations over and over again will branch off in different paths depending on the choices you make and which abilities you have at a given time.
The varied pathways and branching narratives being to add upgradeable abilities like more health, shorter cooldowns on special abilities, and the abilities to unlock chained gateways which allow you to venture further into the world.
Some people may not enjoy the repetitive nature of the game which has you visiting a handful of locations over and over again, albeit most of the locations are visited in different room order altogether, there was some overlap. Reliving days and joining up with a character you have been with before will only net you different results if you have unlocked a new ability or chose to go a different direction when there is a branching path.
Omensight sets itself apart as a Switch game, in my opinion, with its unique art style and awesome voice-work, stages that feel large despite a very linear, room to room design approach, and a narrative that had you uncovering the story from all angles.
It was cool to see the story unfold and learn of the various sides of the battle. Having to fight alongside warring factions gave you a real sense of loss after having just fought alongside someone that later parishes at the wake of the destruction and chaos as the world ends.
The music and sounds of Omensight are a real treat. From the emptiness of a cavern tomb or the bombastic overtures of a war raging around you the songs and sounds of Omensight were a welcomed choice in this indie action adventure game. The ambiance can be felt in the larger open spaces when you had the opportunity to seek hidden rooms and uncover chest filled with shards, which can later be used to upgrade your abilities.
Omensight has some great voice-work as well. From the booming commands of Ludomir the Bear, to the pompous and arrogant Emperor Indrik whose voice came off as proper and upright with just an edge of shrewd haughtiness. The character dialogue, both during cut-scenes, which were audio clips accompanied by speech bubbles, or while on the battlefield never felt out of place. Omensight, while an indie title, had a lot of love and care put into its world and character building.
If Omensight has any issues on the Switch its long load times. I counted 10-15 seconds, if not more sometimes, just loading into one room after a battle. Sometimes those load times would lead to a second load time if I had reached the end of the day and was heading back to the hub world. The worst was the loading of a new section of the game that stuttered after opening up a new doorway after unlocking a chain. Games that are high on action can die quickly if the pace is slowed by loading or frame rate drops. Omensight has several of both.
There were more than a few fights that I had lost due to mistimed dodges affected by a stoppage in framerates to almost unbearable during boss encounters. I would think that improvements to framerate and loading issues could be fixed post-launch and I hope to follow up with the developers to see if these things will be remedied in a patch.
If you like action-adventure games with a good narrative, Omensight is going to be right up your alley. The game has fast and fluid fighting, most of the time, and a great cast of colorful and enjoyable characters. The game’s narrative does a wonderful job of interweaving the stories of several characters across their last days and how the war and chaos has affected them. You will become closely tied with each of the main game’s antagonist and see different perspectives surrounding one murder-mystery that has affected everyone in the world of Urralia.
Omensight is by no means a spectacular game experience on the Switch, but it may just be the first must-have in a post-Super Smash Bros. Ultimate world. I actually took time out of Smash week/end to play through the game and bring you all this review and not once did I regret my time away from Smash Bros. In fact, the game is so good, that my eleven-year-old daughter chose to play Omensight three different days this week for her screen time. That is saying a lot, especially when she has the likes of Smash Bros., Pokémon, and her Minecraft world to build.
THE VERDICT: 8/10
*Review Key Provided by Spearhead Games
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