Nobody said that rewriting doomsday would be an easy thing to do. Fortunately, with Omensight, the team over at Spearhead Games made sure it was at least a refreshingly sharp task.
You take on the role of the Harbinger, a mysterious silent-type who shows up on the day of Urralia’s apocalypse. The catastrophically fateful day, is fairly reminiscent to Ragnarok proportions, and brings about the arrival of a serpent named Voden. Voden is a real jerk who wants to destroy everything and has been waiting for the opportunity for a while.
Your job as the Harbinger is to relive that day and investigate the events that lead to the apocalypse and ultimately find a way to prevent it.
The investigation is told through a Rashomon-like web involving different perspectives, where you follow 4 pivotal characters at the height of the Urralia war and the devastating murder of Priestess Vera. Each character’s perspective will shed some light on event and get you another step closer to discovering the reason for the hub-bub apocalypse.
The Priestess’s murder seems to have something to do with the arrival of the serpent, so all focus is placed on discovering who is at fault. Preventing the murder might be the key to saving the world.
Hack-n-slash mechanics make up most of the combat and will have you going up against different factions of Urralia as well as the followers of Volden. Controls are smooth and playing well is rewarded with powers that expand the experience even when in repetition.
Each time the world ends, you are able to go and pair up with a new character. Or in some cases, certain power ups and knowledge earned, will allow you to go back and pair up with previous characters in order to unlock doors or dialogue that was formerly unavailable.
Reliving certain days can feel a little repetitive after a while, but the murder mystery aspect and the slow peeling of narrative onions assist in keeping interest through any repetition doldrums.
The vibrant color palette of the world is a nice place to spend your time. Despite the serious nature of the game, which is based around the world coming to an end, characters and locales remain attractive and never too heavy.
Or so it seems. Later in the game you are forced to kill certain characters that you previously shared the battlefield with. The Harbinger herself doesn’t seem too concerned with those decisions but as a player, I found some of those moments tough to get through from a moral compass standpoint. The larger message of course being that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Or possibly that breaking eggs is necessary to serve this salvation omelette.
The title ‘Omensight’ refers to a sort of truth bomb mechanic that you can eventually unlock, that assists in making characters see the error of their ways and to possibly change trajectory in their approach. This can lead said character to choose a different arch that may assist in changing events that lead to the apocalypse.
Omensight is a breath of fresh air. The murder mystery approach and the tangled weave of characters is substantial in its execution. The fact that these characters make you care about their plight is impressive, and the twists along the way make for a fun ride. The mix of this sort of format, narrative and game play make for a unique, innovative and welcome experience.
Omensight is out now on PS4, Steam, GOG, Fanatical and Humble Store.