Omensight: Definitive Edition
Reviewed by Josh Brant
Developed By: Spearhead Games
Published By: Spearhead Games
Category: Action & Adventure
Release Date: December 13, 2018
Some of my favorite video games of all time have included time travel in some form, such as Chrono Trigger and Timesplitters. Now, developer Spearhead Games have brought us their follow-up adventure from Stories: The Path of Destinies with Omensight: Definitive Edition now out on the Nintendo Switch, and it provides a fresh take on the time traveling formula. Omensight shares many similarities with Stories, but all the gameplay mechanics and story components feel like a natural progression. This is once again an action-heavy affair that has plenty of style, but lacks the staying power of some other high profile releases.
Omensight: Definitive Edition is set in the same universe as Stories and both play very similarly. In Omensight, the Godless-Priestess has been murdered, and as a result, the end of the world has commenced. As the Harbinger, it is your task to go back and forth through time in order to piece together evidence that will shed light on the situation and possibly prevent the murder in the first place. Your ultimate end goal though, being to possibly prevent the whole world from complete destruction.
The concept of a murder-mystery coupled with time travel intrigued me, but Omensight even made me feel invested with the overall writing and character development. You’ll revisit areas sometimes which can be tedious, but there is also a benefit that comes with it. You get to witness the timeline of different characters and areas, and witness their progression as time goes on. You can come back to a location with newly found knowledge and access new areas, or even more interestingly, actually give that newfound knowledge to someone else. This will obviously effect the way a character behaves and will change their timeline. The Definitive Edition allows players to revisit time loops from previous acts and allows for a more fleshed out experience.
The gameplay mainly consists of combat, but there are occasional platforming and exploration sections as well. Combat is reminiscent of the Batman: Arkham and Assassin Creed series’, as most of the time you will be slashing away at enemies with your light attack. However, you will need to pay attention to your dodge roll in order to prevent damage. There are other mechanics that change up the combat as well; shield enemies will require heavy attacks to break through their defense, and the environment is also as your disposal, meaning you can throw explosives at your enemies and set off environmental traps.
As you progress through the story, you’ll be able to upgrade your stats and powers, but will also be able to learn new moves such as the ability to slow down time around an area. Many levels also have you accompanied by a companion and you will be able to ask facilitate them to use their special abilities during fights. This brings more versatility to the combat and makes the people you meet on your adventure actually feel useful. Unfortunately, the combat is relatively simplistic, but does feel satisfying and is aided by the clash of sound effects and animations.
Aesthetically, Omensight is very beautiful and I really enjoyed the coloring of the models, character designs, and style as a whole. The soundtrack helps bring the world to life and adds atmosphere to every level. All the characters are likeable and I think that is definitely helped by the high quality voice acting with almost every line of dialogue being spoken.
Normally as you discover new clues Omensight will note them all down for you on a evidence screen in the menu. However, there is a difficulty mode where you can fully immerse the experience in a detective mode of sorts where Omensight will not keep that information for you. Instead, you’ll need to write down any hints you come across, which sounds like an interesting experience if anyone wants to bring out their inner Sherlock Holmes.
While you explore, there are optional lore books you may come across that contain some interesting backstory to the world and characters. One gripe I have about this however, is that it can come across as silly when an NPC character is leading you down a preset route and you go running off to find hidden items with your partner awkwardly waiting for you. Luckily, the characters you are with will sometimes comment on certain items in the environment.
Overall, Omensight: Definitive Edition is a solid action-adventure title with a great story and beautiful graphics. I loved the world and characters presented, but I felt the combat and similarities to Stories held it back from being a wholly unique title. If you liked Stories though, you will enjoy Omensight as it is almost identical in all the right ways. When you finally get the perfect outcome before a doomsday scenario, it’s immensely satisfying even if it did seem repetitive going through the same areas over and over again.