Remember Stories: Path of Destinies? You know, the game we had free with PlayStation Plus sometime last year? Well, I enjoyed it so much when I had it as a freebie that I’d been eagerly anticipating what developers Spearhead Games did next. That ‘next’ thing is Omensight – a fantasy adventure that sees you re-living the same day over and over as you look to unravel a strange time-twisting mystery.
If you’re a fan of Stories: Path of Destinies, you’ll be a fan of Omensight. It acts a spiritual successor to Spearhead Games’ first title (it even takes place in the same universe), though some improvements to the gameplay and some clever time-bending features make it an even better experience this time around.
Omensight puts you in the shoes of the Harbinger – a strange and mysterious warrior-detective who’s able to directly influence the events of the future. How does she do this, you ask? By using her combat abilities to beat down enemies, her detective abilities to unravel any mysteries, and by using her ‘omensight’ powers to witness events that occurred in the past. Simple.
The Harbinger has been called upon because the world of Urralia has found itself in a bit of a bad situation. You see, two factions have been warring with each other, and the only person who could bring peace to the nation has been murdered. This leads to a vicious snake-like God appearing and bringing an end to the world, which isn’t great for anybody. You’ve got to find out who murdered her, why, and how you can prevent it.
This wouldn’t be possible for your typical detective (not even Sherlock Holmes), but the Harbinger can live out a ‘Groundhog Day’ like scenario where she goes through the same day over and over again until she finds success. This doesn’t necessarily mean just doing the same things over and over again either, since Omensight lets you interact with four different characters across ever-changing scenarios. You’ll find out everything about them and what their motives are, whilst you’ll also be able to make different choices or perform different actions that directly influence what you discover next.
It’s a neat system, and one that worked in a similar fashion in Stories: Path of Destinies. The whole decision making side of things never becomes boring or predictable either – even though you’ll play out some events more than once, knowing an extra tidbit of information from a previous run through of the day can completely change the approach you can take the next time.
That being said, Omensight is still a little guilty of making you see a lot of the same things time and time again and yeah, it can grow a little repetitive at times. Thankfully though, the story is both intriguing and exciting enough to completely draw the player in, with the sense of discovery that comes with solving the mystery proving to be more than enough of a reward to keep you wanting to progress through. Add to that some great writing and a stunning world to explore, and it’s easy to see that Spearhead Games are onto a winner with Omensight.
Outside of the game’s unique investigative process, you’ll also be making your way across levels in small platforming segments and battling any foes that come your way. The combat will feel familiar to anyone who played Stories: Path of Destinies, with it taking the same simplistic approach that will feel common place for anyone who has played a modern action title.
You’ll string together light and heavy attacks in quick combos with simple button presses, all whilst pulling off slick defensive manoeuvres that help you slip and slide your way between incoming attacks. You’ll learn new abilities too, so your skillset is always growing with more powerful moves.
In honesty, it could be a little bit too simple, but there’s enough challenge offered by your enemies that it never grows boring. Add to that that some dangerous environments that you can use to your advantage, and you’ll actually find that Omensight’s combat is typically pretty exciting – regardless of how much it might depend on button-mashing.
The world itself is impressive to look at too, with Omensight adopting a creatively cartoon-like world that’s full of vivid imagery. I loved exploring each environment and uncovering its secrets, whilst the anthropomorphic characters you meet are cleverly designed. Urralia just feels like a fascinating and beautiful setting for a game… well… outside of the whole ‘world ending’ thing, anyway.
Developer: Spearhead Games
Publisher: Spearhead Games
Release Date: Out Now
Platform(s): PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), PC