What started as the “Unannounced Spearhead Games Project” in my email inbox for PAX South 2018 invitations then became a wonderful new game called Omensight! This author and one DKC Gaming colleague got to preview a small section of the game, but even in this one small segment, there were two different outcomes that could be achieved. In just a small amount of time, Spearhead Games was able to leverage the PAX South 2018 demo to show just how deep this game could potentially go in terms of story-line.
In Omensight, you are the Harbinger, a highly skilled warrior who exists outside of time. You are summoned to rewrite the fate of a land called Urralia that has been annihilated. The backdrop of the game’s story has you finding out which characters have played a hand in the destruction of Urralia, like the powerful sorcerer-detective you are. The PAX South 2018 demo was a wonderful indication of what could happen when you appear alongside these characters, swaying the story one way or the other when you decided to either side with them or against them. My personal favorite obsession within the small demo was Ratika (rat-ick-uh), a spunky female mouse (yeah, not rat) who leads an entire rodent community, but also knows quite a thing or two in combat… she’s also quite the singer.
Omensight Key Features
- Manipulate time to witness the outcome of events from different perspectives
- Join a diverse cast of characters with mysterious roles to play in Urralia’s story – and each other’s
- Learn key information about specific characters, then help or hinder them to prevent the end of the world
- Fight using fluid, stylish combat that combines swordplay and magical abilities
Omensight PAX South Goods and Bads
The Goods: As the Harbinger, you’re an absolute badass. The PAX South 2018 demo did great at giving you a tutorial *as you go along* in the story, which is nice because it doesn’t feel like the tutorial drags on forever or that they really forced you into it. Turns out the Harbinger is capable of quite a lot, in terms of sword-fighting AND time-altering magical prowess. And that combat system in Omensight is very fluid; it just feels natural as you harness the powers of your Harbinger-gained badassery.
Omensight is a fantastically imaginative game, and visually it is just as strong. It has a hand-painted appeal with incredibly deep level design. This is a game with its own unique art style, and surely anyone who gets their hands on it will appreciate the level of graphical detail.
It would be remiss to not mention the story’s detective-like gameplay aspect, where your choices affect the outcomes. Many games purport that “your choices are very important and will affect the story with every decision,” and only some get it right. Omensight will definitely get it right, and an added level of detail to prove this is the screen you see after completing each mission. After beating the demo at PAX South 2018, we got a look first-hand at a scene akin to Law & Order: SVU or any good detective series. There were images all laid out like a giant bulletin board of suspects, again, like a typical detective show. All the images on this “bulletin board” in the game have all of the information and events that have happened up until the point the player is currently at. It is a nice touch to nod to those detective scenes in popular media.
I could certainly see how the game might become repetitive. When playing a “button-masher” type of beat ’em up game, one can go for about 10-15 minutes and have already performed just about every combo naturally in it. Being that the Omensight demo at PAX South was presumably prepared for the show floor, the final version of the game will likely keep things fresh and interesting with the engaging storyline, as well as the addition of some new moves that will probably be learned throughout gameplay.
My aim is often to find a title that will bring something new to an existing genre. I believe Omensight only scratches the surface of doing something unique in the action platformer space. The saving grace of the game is beautiful graphic artwork, the “your choices affect the future” story-line, and Ratika. I’m not kidding, I specifically performed any of the actions that would make Ratika happy, *even* with one of the game’s staff standing there questioning my decision… it also turns out I made the “right” decision from a moral good standpoint by sticking with my girl Rat. Ratika is love.
Omensight will be available on Steam in 2018.