Reviews - Updated on April 12, 2022

Do you like works about the end of the world? What about detective stories with murder investigations? What about time travel with the ability to influence future events? I would answer all these questions in the affirmative, and in Omensight all of the above topics are perfectly combined. More than two years after Stories: The Path of Destinies, the developers at Spearhead Games are back with a new project.

groundhog day

The game takes place in a country called Urralia, where different peoples once peacefully coexisted. But these are troubled times here – the leader of the Pygarian Empire, whose members were previously chosen by the gods, seeks to conquer the neighboring region, Rodentia. By doing this, he and his subjects will have complete control over Urralia, and only the Godless Priestess can protect the oppressed. However, she was killed. By whom? What for? Under what circumstances? This remains to be seen.

The last hope of the surviving residents is the Harbinger, whose role the player takes on. Her task is complicated by the ancient great serpent that destroys the world after the death of the Priestess. Therefore, the Harbinger will have to relive the last day of Urralia’s existence over and over again, and the witch will help her in this, transferring the heroine to a safe place with a huge tree of life in the center. With the help of this tree, it will be possible to resurrect the Priestess and try to avoid the appearance of the snake, but first you need to find her soul, which will take quite a long time.

The story here is very exciting – it became more and more difficult to tear me away from the TV every minute. Next to the witch are four statues of key characters in the story, when you interact with them, you travel back in time and find yourself next to these heroes. You live with them all day until you reach the final minute, when the ancient serpent awakens and destroys everything. If the end of the world comes, you return to the tree of life and approach another statue, repeating the process until you solve the main riddle.

During these missions, the Harbinger automatically fills out her “diary”, recording all the information received over the past day. Someone blabbed and told about the secret, someone just said an important detail during the conversation, some character made a sincere confession a second before death – everything is taken into account, and after that the witch gives advice, hinting where to go next. History does not stand still, and with each new piece of evidence you are getting closer to the truth. At the same time, you don’t need to investigate yourself, as in some The Sexy Brutale – if there were puzzles at the forefront, then the script and the mostly linear story are more important here.

Omensight game review

Phrases that are important for the investigation are marked in green.

Time loop

The need to experience the same day dozens of times expectedly leads to the monotony of the gameplay. You find yourself in familiar locations, see the same heroes, fight opponents that you have already killed. It didn’t seem to me a significant drawback, but some episodes can really get bored, especially when it comes to traveling in slow transport and battles with “bosses” – some of them will have to be won too often. Perhaps the point is the development time and the small budget – Stories could hardly boast of excellent sales (especially with such a stupid name), and only two years were spent on Omensight.

Another element of the game prompts such thoughts – the so-called “omensights”. These are visions containing unexpected information about the victim or her killer, and you get such data just like that, because the screenwriter wanted it that way. It would be much more interesting to come across such evidence during a frank conversation with one of the suspects, or somehow come to conclusions yourself, based on previous races. But this is not the case here – “omensights”, which take the investigation to a whole new level, miraculously end up in the arsenal of the Harbinger, who can show them to each of the heroes and extract new information from them.

Otherwise, there are no complaints about the plot. I especially liked the characters that the Harbinger will travel with. Their dialogues are interesting to listen to, and they sound great. Most of all I remember the mouse Ratika, who plays the balalaika, sings songs and sometimes speaks in verse. You become attached to everyone over time, and the dialogues that change depending on the evidence found add interest – sometimes it’s interesting to see the character’s reaction to the “omensite” shown to him or something else. Yes, and it’s a pity to kill them, although you know that in a couple of minutes you will restart the mission and complete it differently.

However, if the main characters are voiced perfectly, then the secondary characters are sometimes impossible to listen to. Imperial soldiers, for example, seem to be talking on the phone, not participating in the war. But here, again, the problems are probably associated with a small budget.

Omensight game review

One of the Harbinger’s skills allows you to slow enemies near her.

Defective Detective

Saving the world is impossible without the destruction of hundreds of enemies, and therefore we will have to fight constantly. The combat system is not outstanding or deep, but it is impossible not to note how beautifully the heroine fights and how elegantly she moves around the battlefield. Everything here is done according to the Batman: Arkham template – with a light hit, a strong attack and a dodge, which is used if a large exclamation mark is hanging over the enemy. Over time, more options become available. First, you will slow down time with each successful dodge, then learn how to grab opponents and take away their health, then get a dash and a long-range attack. Not all techniques are equally useful, and there are no special combinations here, but the fights look very stylish, and therefore do not get bored.

How well you performed during the mission depends on the amount of experience gained. It rewards for passing without death (which in most cases is not a problem), for the active use of skills and for the search for collectibles. While exploring locations, you will find many chests where crystals are hidden, for which you can buy all kinds of improvements near the tree of life: increase health, make the sword stronger, and reduce the cooldown of skills. Some upgrades are associated with companions – they all have one unique skill, which is activated every few seconds by pressing a separate button. Ratika will speed up the Harbinger and her attacks, Ludomir the bear will crash to the ground and knock down opponents – depending on the situation, these teammates’ abilities can come in handy in difficult times.

Omensight game review

All the characters here are anthropomorphic beasts, just like in Stories.

But I can’t praise the episodes with jumping on the platforms, although I have never fallen into the abyss. The weight of the character at such moments is not felt at all, and the fixed camera, which rotates only of its own free will, only complicates life. Jumping into Omensight is not often forced, but until the finale, you will jump from platform to platform in the hope that everything is calculated correctly and do not fall off. The heroine can cling to ledges, so filigree accuracy is not required from the player, but still it would be time for Spearhead Games to somehow improve this component of their games.

But the studio never had any problems with artistic design. If Stories looked pretty, but a little sloppy, then Omensight is very nice to look at, and you don’t want to look for flaws in the graphics. The locations, even if you return to them again and again, the designers tried to periodically modify – instead of night, morning will come and the open-air areas will flood the sun, then new details will be added. The only thing that sometimes destroys the atmosphere is the ill-fated camera: sometimes it doesn’t keep up with the closing doors, and sometimes it stubbornly refuses to turn around, which is why you don’t see the next doorway with a secret chest.

I will separately mention the Russian version, which I usually do not do – this does not affect the final assessment. But it’s hard to remain silent here – indie games have not had such strange localizations for a long time. Then the characters change gender in the middle of the dialogue, and Ratika the mouse begins to consider himself a man. Or Uralia is called Uralia or Urallia – it is not entirely clear what difficulties the translators had. Some remarks were clearly printed by real people, some were taken from Google Translate – the phrase but her words, they ring truth turned into “but her words, they really are a ring.” The local subtitles could be devoted to an hour-long issue of Lost in Translation.

Omensight game review

The heroine quickly moves from one enemy to another.

***

It may seem that for every advantage in Omensight there is a disadvantage, and the game really has a lot of rough edges. But with all its minuses and shortcomings, I still recommend that you familiarize yourself with it, at least at a sale. The story here is exciting, albeit clichéd, and the manner of presentation and well-written characters make it much more interesting. And the combat system, although it does not bring anything new to the genre, looks good and makes every fight beautiful and dynamic. I really want Spearhead Games employees to stop rushing in the future and spend more time on development – they are clearly trying to create something original, but every time they stumble over obstacles that they definitely have enough talent to eliminate.

Pros: a fascinating story with an unusual manner of presentation; memorable characters that you quickly become attached to; excellent visual style; nice fights.

Cons: The omensight idea clearly looked better on paper; some repetitive episodes are annoying; platform elements are made so-so; terrible translation into Russian.

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