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Review: Omensight (PlayStation 4)By Insanoflex At 15.05.2018 23:04

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Omensight is an odd mixture of concepts that miraculously fit together. On one hand it is a hack 'n slash RPG, and on the other hand it's a mystery game where figuring out the motives of each character becomes crucial to progression. The way hall of this is handled is that the Harbinger has one day with one of four NPCs and their routine, which revolves around the death of an emperor and at the end of it all, doomsday will happen. As the Harbinger, she can show visions of things she has learned to these various characters in order to get them to stray from their normal path and, ideally, learn something new. It is a very novel approach to the "Groundhog Day" cycle that Majora's Mask perfected. Omensight might have only one day, but the object is not to make a difference, but to alter fates and learn what will happen - all for preventing the end of the world.

The other core mechanic of Omensight is the combat, which can be described as serviceable at best. Harbinger has a decent variety of moves at her disposal and can learn more as she levels up and spends crystals for upgrades. Since the game operates with a distant fixed camera angle that does an adequate job of tracking all movement, seeing all enemies is never really an issue. It is fair to say that the combat is very easy and rarely challenging even on the hardest available difficulty. Certain moves, like the slow-time ability, compounded with the sort of witch-time dodge offset upgrade, can make it so even action game novices can make short work of the harder late game hordes and bosses. The dodging and attack guidance feels pretty generous and accurate, and very rarely will Harbinger miss a beat. At times the action may feel a bit automatic, almost like one of the Arkham Batman titles. To be fair, the Harbinger is supposed to be a profoundly powerful entity, so in a way her over-poweredness has some logic to it.

There is a lot of incentive to fully explore the various routes till the day ends and all the cute little furries die gruesome deaths. Most obviously would be to acquire all the colour coded keys, even if it means having to replay the same few areas several times over. This is Omensight's weakness: the lack of interesting areas and repetition; and so the sin of Stories: Paths of Destiny re-emerges. Apparently, even the developer realised how tedious it could become since it had the foresight to include the option to skip all the battling and go straight to the checkpoint where the crucial actions can take place to change fate. This is very convenient but it also highlights a fundamental flaw with Omensight's design; there is no punishment for failure and the lack of challenge makes most of the action lose all urgency.

Much like Stories, Omensight looks amazing thanks to its colourful art direction and appealing character designs. The important reoccurring NPCs each have very distinctive silhouettes and coloured animal motifs. There is no mistaking of who is who and their respective voice acting is exceptionally competent and emotive. Things are rarely as they seem and the story clips along at a fast pace, which really helps sell the impression that there is a mystery that needs to be solved. Seemingly evil characters can turn out to be benevolent and someone who looked innocent turned out to have a cruel side to them. The best part about this is Omensight's sense of discovery is on the player-making choices, and that is why the mystery angle works so well. Things that do not work so well are the occasion glitches, frequent slow-down, and long load times. It is too bad that Omensight has several technical failings at the moment, but hopefully these issues will be addressed in an update.

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It turns out that the least interesting aspect of [i]Omensight[/i] is the by-the-number's action game mechanics. In a title that centres on a super being that looks like Anubis with a lightsabre, it is inevitable that there would have to be some sword-play in it. The qualities that will draw people into this plot are the mystery solving, how the Groundhog Day cycle works, and how users can change fates. RPG fans may not appreciate the brevity of the Harbinger's journey, and action game fans will likely fall asleep from the low difficulty of everything. This one seems ideal for fans of adventures, since at a certain point, most combat can be skipped entirely in lieu of plot progression with no consequence. [i]Omensight[/i] is a unique release, nonetheless, and comes recommended for those seeking something different.



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