Back in 2016 Spearhead Games released the indie game Stories: The Path of Destinies. The game took the concept of an action RPG and added in a time traveling mechanic where you would learn new things each time you played through the story. You would then repeat the story with your newfound knowledge in order to progress the story further. I bring up Stories: The Path of Destinies because the game I am looking at today is its’ spiritual successor Omensight. Omensight takes the time traveling mechanic and the world from Stories: The Path of Destinies and combines it with a murder mystery that you have to solve to prevent the end of the world. Omensight takes an intriguing storyline and combines it with some compelling gameplay to create a really enjoyable experience.
We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank Spearhead Games for the review copy of Omensight used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review.
In Omensight you play as the Harbinger a warrior that only appears in times of great danger. The world of Urralia has been at war for a long time. One day a powerful priestess turns up dead and the world suddenly comes to a end when a dark mysterious force destroys the world. As the harbinger you are summoned to travel back in time in order to piece together what happened on this last day in order to try and prevent the end of the world. Can you solve the mystery in time before the world is destroyed for good?
So before I get into the rest of this review I want to quickly point out that I haven’t played Stories: The Path of Destinies yet. It was a game that I have wanted to play for a while but I haven’t gotten to it yet. I bring this up because with Omensight being the spiritual successor to Stories: The Path of Destinies I am not going to have the exact same experience with the game as someone who has played the original game. I also can’t make any comparisons between the two games. I can say though that if you have never played Stories, I don’t think it is necessary to enjoy Omensight. Omensight doesn’t feature any of the same characters and mostly just uses the same world and some of the same mechanics. Playing Stories might give you a better background of the world but otherwise it didn’t impact my enjoyment of Omensight.
At its core Omensight is an action RPG. You will spend most of the game fighting enemies with some occasional platforming added in from time to time. For combat Omensight gives you a light attack, a heavy attack, a dodge and a jump. Combining these abilities gives you various combos that allow you to deal more damage. The game also assigns one button to use each special abilitiy you unlock throughout the game as well as one button that allows you to use the special ability of the character that is accompanying you. The platforming sections of the game are basically just jumping from platform to platform to get to the next combat area. The RPG elements come into play as you gain experience and currency which is used to gain levels and purchase upgrades for your character.
As a whole I wouldn’t say that the combat is highly original, outside of maybe some of the special abilities, but it doesn’t really matter as it is quite fun and straightforward. I think the main reason why the combat works so well is that the controls are simple and responsive. You really can’t blame failure on the controls as they work really well. What I like about the combat is that it is quick and makes you feel powerful. You can quickly move from enemy to enemy as the game has sort of a lock on feature that guides you towards the nearest enemy in the direction that you are attacking. This allows you to chain attacks together against several enemies at the same time. The combat kind of reminds me of the Batman Arkham series. I really like that the combat is done in a way that players of different skill levels can still enjoy it.
I would say the most unique mechanic in Omensight are the time travel and murder mystery mechanics. As I have not played Stories: The Path of Destinies yet I can’t compare how it works in comparison. Basically the time travel mechanic in Omensight starts with you choosing one of the characters to follow for the day. You play through the day until it eventually ends in the destruction of the world. You then repeat the day and choose either a different path to follow or choose to follow a different character. Each time you repeat the level you gain additional information that you use to help piece together the game’s mystery.
For the most part I really enjoyed the murder mystery aspect of the game except for two things. Outside of being the precursor for the time traveling mechanic, the murder mystery aspect doesn’t play much of a role in the gameplay. Basically you play through the day to gather information which continues the storyline. You don’t really solve much of the mystery yourself as the mystery is basically solved through playing the game. While I don’t know how it could have been implemented more into the gameplay, I kind of wish you had more input in actually solving the mystery. The game does have a harder difficulty where the game doesn’t keep track of the clues gained throughout the game which might make the mystery a little more challenging. I still think the mystery will solve itself through exploring the different paths though.
While the mystery doesn’t really impact the gameplay, I actually liked it quite a bit. In addition to the graphics and the overall story, I think Omensight does a really good job creating an intriguing atmosphere for the game. The mystery has a lot of twists and turns which make for a compelling story. You get invested in the characters and want to see how the story ultimately ends. Generally I am not a big fan of backtracking in games and yet Omensight found a really interesting way to backtrack while keeping it interesting. While you will be exploring the same areas several times with different characters, most of the times you play through the area something will change. Most times you can either explore a different path or another change tweaks the world in some way. The game also gives you the opportunity to skip the beginning of levels that you have explored taking you right to the critical decision point in the day where you can then choose to pursue the other decision. I really like this idea as players that want more experience/currency can play the level from the beginning while players that don’t care for repeating the same stuff can skip to the most important part of each level.
While the mystery/time traveling mechanic usually does a good job making each time you explore an area feel unique, towards the end of the game some of these areas do start to feel a little repetitive. There might be some small changes to the areas but for the most part they are exactly the same. While the combat is still fun, at times it just feels like you are doing the same things over and over again with only a small section of the day being unique. This doesn’t ruin the game but I think the end game would have been better if there wasn’t as much repetition.
On the difficulty front I would say that outside of the hardest difficulties Omensight is only moderately difficult. Omensight has a total of five different difficulty levels. There is an easy, medium, harder combat, harder mystery and harder combat and mystery difficulty levels. The harder mystery difficulty levels basically don’t keep track of the clues for you like the easier difficulties forcing you to keep track of the clues yourself. I ended up choosing to play the game on medium difficulty. On the medium difficulty I would say that I rarely died but I did lose a decent amount of my health in the tougher fights. The medium difficulty is about the right difficulty for someone that wants a little challenge but doesn’t want to be overwhelmed and die regularly. If you want a more challenging game though I would probably recommend trying one of the higher difficulty levels.
At this point I haven’t quite finished Omensight but unless something unexpected happens I would say that I am on the last couple days. So far I have played the game for around six hours and I would estimate that the rest of the game will probably take me around 2-3 hours. Your time with the game may vary due to a couple factors. First when I play these type of games I like to explore every nook and cranny. I also went back and replayed every level to try the other choice for each critical decision so I could see the entire story. If you only do what is absolutely needed to finish the game I think you could shave a couple hours off the game’s length. At the same time though if you play on one of the harder difficulties the combat should be more difficult which should extend the game some. I would probably say that for most people the game will probably take around 6-10 hours to complete.
Overall I had a lot of fun playing Omensight. Even though I wish the mystery aspect of the game impacted the gameplay more, I really liked the idea behind using time travel to solve a mystery. Omensight does a really good job creating an intriguing and exciting adventure. Most of the gameplay in Omensight relies on the combat with some light platforming and RPG elements. While the combat isn’t highly original, it does a great job creating quick and responsive combat that anyone can enjoy.
If you don’t generally like action games that feature a lot of combat or don’t particularly care for the game’s concept, Omensight may not be for you. If you like action games though or are intrigued by Omensight’s concept, I would recommend checking it out.