Every so often a game comes out that I wish to review not because the developer asked nicely and sent a copy, but because I am simply excited to do so. Such was the case with Omensight, by Spearhead Games for PC and PS4.
Beginning at the End
Set in the same world (and a spiritual successor) to their earlier Stories: The Path of Destiny, Omensight takes place on the eve of a grand battle between the Pygarian empire and the rebelling Rodentian forces. Things are not going well for either side, but it looks like a victory from Pygaria will at least put an end to the war.
Then Voden, the void serpent, arrives and ends the world.
You play as the Harbinger, a being that arrives at the end of the world to avert disaster. You must find out who murdered the Godless Priestess, the one tasked with stopping Voden’s return. To do this, you use a pair of powers: The ability to return to the dawn of a person’s death, and the titular omensight to share your evidence along with the irrefutable knowledge that it’s true.
Each chapter, you’ll have a choice between up to four characters, one of whom will teach you how to unlock a seal as part of their story, while another will lead you on a path where you can unlock one of those seals to find the next omensight, triggering the next chapter where you’ll use that omensight to convince your partners to take a different path.
Two Sides at War
Unfortunately, this is a game at odds with itself. It calls itself a murder mystery, even supplying you with a deduction board to keep track of clues unless you pick a difficulty without it. That said, there’s no penalty for doing extra rewinds, or incentives to do the game in nine days (Or more realistically thirteen, for a route that uses acting on clues rather than knowing the answer already or making lucky guesses). To the contrary, doing the opposite and taking every route but the proper one is the more rewarding path as you uncover more lore and see more levels, and the extra xp gained along the way unlocks new abilities to make combat more varied and interesting.
This is exacerbated by the inability to do routes from earlier chapters. Whenever you receive a new omensight, you have no choice but to present it when you meet a companion. With all the collectible lore and clues to find, it can be vexing to have paths locked off forever, especially when a chapter select makes sense lore-wise: You’re repeating the same day endlessly. All that changes is what, if anything, you decide to show them.
A Song is a Song
The art and graphics are easily my favorite part, not to slight the story and gameplay any. Like their earlier Stories, Omensight uses bright and vibrant colors alongside beautifully detailed character and level design for a distinctive and memorable cartoon-like look.
As for the music, readers of my previous reviews may know I typically don’t have much to say about music. It’s typically just there and serviceable. For this game I sprang for the soundtrack immediately upon beating it. Most of the tracks are lovely, but special mention goes to Ratika’s song “The Cage.” It’s the sole voiced song, which works its way into other tracks central to her as a melancholy leitmotif, especially during her boss fights.
Going Back Again
Overall, Omensight is well worth the price of admission. It’s short and the lack of a chapter select is a bummer, but I highly enjoyed what time I spent with it. I do wish I could play it more without making a new save file… but the fact that I’m doing so and that I wish for more content perhaps says something about the game.
~Final Score: 8/10~
Review copy purchased for PC by reviewer. Screenshots provided by reviewer.