If you’ve ever played Stories: Path of Destinies then you’ll be happy to know that Omensight is the spiritual successor. Tossing aside the comedy, things have gotten a bit more serious. It’s kind of a murder mystery action platformer. You play the same day over and over again, attempting to solve the reason behind the end of the world. You play as the harbinger, a silent warrior summoned to restore balance between two factions at war; in order to do so, you team up with two from each side. Each day you choose one and discover clues. You can use these revelations (called omensight) to show the characters what you’ve discovered. They will gain this knowledge and help you along your journey to save the world. You get stronger as you level up but things won’t get easier. There’s a lot of focus on combat, but the story line is even more important.
Here’s what I liked:
Team Work Makes the Dream Work — The world is based around animals instead of humans. You can partner up with a bird, rat, bear, and a cat. Each has their own personality and position within the factions that are at war. Three of them even provide team-based moves. The bird is a bit different, and refuses to let you “order him around”. The rat will give you a nice speed buff, and the other two both provide a form of an area-of-effect style attack. You can even throw enemies into them and they’ll instantly kill them. When I forget they are even fighting alongside me, they’ll give me a reminder to toss a bad guy at them. Need some help jumping up a ledge? They’ll give you assistance in reaching it. I just wish I could swap over and take control of them!
Different Paths — While the endgame will happen any route you take, getting there can vary by choices made. Making some decisions will alter the course of the story. You can gather the clues and figure out what character to start the day with. Later on, when fighting them, you can either attack or use omensight. They have forgotten who you are because the day had started over and erased their memory of the events. Attacking them can lead to different clues, but so can using omensight. There are even different routes you can take on the levels as long as you have unlocked the right seal power. I’m really impressed that it’s all compacted into a few areas, making each playthrough feel different enough to avoid too much repetition.
Resting Area — Between days, you will have access to a little hub. You can upgrade your powers here as well as look at various clues you’ve discovered. This will help you plan your next repeating day. There are four statues and you will decide who to adventure with based on what you know. For example, you find out there was a betrayal and take this new information to the people who would care most about it. You can gather your thoughts before going on your next mission. There’s a nice clue board that allows you to catch up on information if you haven’t been paying attention – or forgot. If you wish to complete every bit of information, you can do so after the game has ended.
Here’s what I didn’t like:
Harbinger Mystery — There is no real backstory of the harbinger. Everyone seems to suddenly realize who you are, but you’ll never know. It does’t help that this protagonist you control is a mute. She won’t say a single word throughout the entire adventure. I guess she’s designed that way, but I’d love to have known more. In Path of Destinies, the fox (who you control) is much more fleshed out. You can’t get him to shut up, he has a mouth on him and he’s quite humorous. The harbinger doesn’t even have a name, just the title. I guess it’s just hard to care about her when there’s no real personality. Sure, she looks awesome and you feel powerful playing as her, but that doesn’t always constitute a good hero.
Combat Execution — As you progress in experience and meditate, you’ll discover new abilities and become more powerful. While the flow can feel fine, at times it will become clumsy. Using the time power doesn’t always seem to work. Pressing it more than once is a typical interaction. It doesn’t end here. Grasping an enemy only works under perfect conditions. If something is in the way (another bad guy for example) it will fail. With all the action going on, it happens way too often. There are plenty of battles that have a ton of enemies in crowds, which suddenly becomes a struggle to figure out what’s going on as you’re being hit from all sides. The combat is great but could use a lot of touching up.
If you love having choices that alter the course of a story, you’ll enjoy this game. If figuring things out proves too difficult, you can always put it on the easiest mode that provides hints on what to do next. The action works well (most of it) and you’ll feel comfortable with the platforming. I especially liked that after beating the final area, you’re able to replay any day you want in order to see all sides of the story. It’s pretty awesome that it’s a world of animals that are at war but can come to peace for a greater cause. Its cartoony-like graphics are pretty to look at and the stylish hack-n-slash combat never gets old. The only letdowns were janky abilities and the fact that the character you control has no deeper connection to anyone, even you.
Score: Highly Recommended
Omensight was published by Digerati and developed by Spearhead Games / Nephelim Game Studios on Xbox One. It was released on June 7, 2019, for $19.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.