The game Stories: Path of Destinies is a title I’ve reviewed in the past, but it was a game that stuck with me, despite some flaws. The story was so creative in its use of branching paths. When I heard about its spiritual successor, Omensight, I was immediately interested.
In this new title, you play as the Harbinger, a magical being summoned at the world’s end to prevent catastrophe. When you arrive, things aren’t exactly going in your favor. There’s a murder to solve, people to save, oh, and an ancient evil being unleashed. Does this game bring salvation, or would you rather just watch this world end?
A Murder, a Mystery, and Massive Problem
Omensight’s premise about a being that appears at the world’s end, and a murder that could be the key to preventing it, is about as good as video game premises go. That pitch caught my eye, and I’m sure it has your attention too.
From this launching point, Omensight plunges us into a world plagued by war. The Pygarians on one side, and the Rodentians on the other. You arrive on the eve of the final battle, and soon find out that someone is also planning on unleashing an ancient terror named Voden who will devour the world.
After the opening level, the story’s scope becomes apparent. Through early developments, you now possess the ability to go back to the dawn of that final day and follow one of several characters based on which souls you’ve bonded with.
As you return to the day’s beginning with characters like the rage-fueled Ludomir, or the stoic Draga, you will begin to find clues to follow that slowly unravel the mystery behind the world’s end. You also gain an ability that allows you to reveal new information and twist the perspectives of each character.
Through this style of storytelling, you begin completely in the dark and slowly piece together the puzzle. On the standard difficulties, you also have a board you can reference which tracks the timeline of events and clues you’ve uncovered.
A very cool “True Detective” mode takes away all the hints and forces you to piece together everything on your own. Not an impossible task by any means, but certainly a challenge. This kind of story runs the risk of repetition and crumbling under its own ambition, but Omensight is able to mostly dodge both of those things.
I can’t go into too much detail, but suffice to say the game manages to keep the tension and mystery going, even long after you’ve solved some of the game’s largest mysteries. There’s always another thread to pull, keeping you engaged until the very end.
The ability to skip through certain scenes you’ve already done also goes a long way towards mitigating that repetition. When all was said and done, I can’t say I loved the ending, but I did love every moment leading up to it.
Silky Smooth Combat Falls Just Short of Greatness
The gameplay in Omensight is a mixture of platforming and combat. The developers have indeed improved the combat from their previous title, but everything isn’t quite perfect here. Let’s start with the good. The combat looks stylish and fluid, the controls are responsive, and the abilities you earn are all useful and interesting.
A combo meter of sorts gives you charges of energy based on how long you fight without being hit. These are crucial to using your most powerful abilities, so dodging is key. Between each trip through the final day, you’ll also accumulate amber that you can use to upgrade your health, weapon, and abilities.
Your ally also has a rechargeable attack, and they do a good job of helping out in combat. Boss fights start out relatively simple, but quickly ramp up in difficulty. The final fight, in particular, was intense.
Now, onto the things that could have been better. For starters, the targeting is all over the place. When you’re bouncing between enemies, dodging, and jumping, the game takes your intended target into consideration, but you’ll often find yourself flying off towards the wrong enemy.
It’s not a huge issue, but it can put you in a bind if you’re low on health and trying to be strategic. This problem really becomes annoying when you’re trying to protect a specific point from enemies, a task that happens several times.
On one occasion, I did fall into the game’s environment during a boss fight and was forced to reset my game, but that was the only major glitch I ran into during my time.
A World on The Brink, Bursting With Color
Coming hot off the heels of their art style in Stories: The Path of Destinies, Omensight is an absolutely gorgeous game. The effects look spectacular in motion, and the wide color palette really keeps your sense engaged.
Frame rate during gameplay is very smooth the majority of the time. During loading screens, it can stutter and chug, but this doesn’t affect the actual gameplay. The voice acting from all the characters is enjoyable across the board as well, with some standout performances.
The soundtrack is appropriately epic, with great use of vocals, strings, and heavy percussion. It’s very well done. Omensight overall is a major improvement on the studio’s already excellent pedigree.
It has some rough edges in the combat, and repetition will set in eventually, but I never once wanted to stop my pursuit of answers and justice. If you played the studio’s original title, you must play this one. If you haven’t, play both, You’ll be glad you did.
Final Score: 8.5/10
A copy of Omensight was provided to PS4 Experts for review purposes
Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert date - 5/21/18