Omensight: Definitive Edition Review – Nintendo Switch
July 20, 2019
Developed By: Spearhead Games
Published By: Spearhead Games
Reviewed By: Tyler Higgs
Thank you so much to Spearhead Games for providing a review code
Seeing developers take a chance and mixing together two unusual genres is something that always intrigues me. It takes a lot of work to create a title that’s unlike anything that has been done before. The developers over at Spearhead Games created Omensight, which is a blend of the hack n slash genre along with mystery solving elements. Can these two very different concepts create something that’s worthwhile?
Omensight puts you in control of the Harbinger, an entity that said to only appear when the world is in grave danger. A war is being fought between two groups, the Pygarians who are the imperial forces and the Rodentians who are essentially the rebels. It’s during this war that a woman named Vera who’s, known as the Godless-Priestess is murdered. With Vera killed the world is in danger and a terrible tragedy is soon to be commenced.
All or a sudden a creature known as Voiden unleashes across the world and suddenly consumes everything causing mass destruction. It’s on this day that you the Harbringer are brought to an area hidden away by a woman known as the witch. In here you’re able to transport back to the final day following 4 important figures in an attempt to find who killed Vera and how Voiden was brought back.
Omensight had me captivated from the very beginning of its plot twisting narrative. Going back and following each of the game’s prominent characters and learning about everything that happened on the final day is truly intriguing. I think Omensight really excelled in its ability to formulate an interesting narrative. The characters each had their own distinct personality and story which made me really care about the. the narrative is definitely one of the game’s high points.
As previously mentioned the gameplay is centered around hack n slash style combat along with minor platforming elements.
The combat is all about fast paced combat and stringing together combos. You have light and heavy attacks that you can chain together to form combos. Light attacks are good for quickly taking out enemies, but heavy attacks do high damage and can stun enemies when done together with light attacks.
You’ll have to really pay attention to enemy’s movements as the only notification that they’re about to strike is an exclamation mark that appears over their head. Once they ready their strike the attack will come very quickly. It’s essential that you’re always, ready to dodge or else it won’t be long before your enemies take you out. When you dodge an enemies attack time will even slow down a bit, allowing you to create an opening and attack.
As you gain experience and level up you will also gain new special abilities and new attacks that can aid you in combat. Some of these new attacks use energy which can be gained from defeating enemies. Some of these new attacks include sending out a long range bullet, or an instant death slash attack.
There’s also some really neat special abilities that the Harbringer can learn. I’ll list some of them below with a bit of a description.
Delay of Fate: Opens up a large circle in the area around you. Inside this circle time moves very slow for enemies. This makes them open to attacks while the circle is activated.
Phantom Grasp: This ability lets you grab an enemy or object and slow down time. You can choose whether you want to toss an enemy or maybe throw an object at a group of enemies.
Phantom Dash: This ability let’s you do a super fast long range dash that’s almost like a blink ability.
Each of these abilities have a cooldown and therefore cannot be used constantly. You can also upgrade these abilities with gems you find.
When you arrive back at your hub you can use the gems you find along your journey to purchase upgrades. Upgrades range from health upgrades, to stronger attacks, or ability upgrades such as less cooldown or longer lasting.
The combat is enjoyable, as it’s very fast paced, but requires a level of skill to be successful. Honestly, Omensight is a good game with its combat and platforming segments alone. However, with its added mystery solving elements it becomes an even greater title.
Before you get to the combat you have to choose the character whose last day you want to relive. These characters all play a role in the destruction of the world on that day, even though some may not understand what is truly happening. Each day you follow this persons actions on the game of the catastrophe. Once the day is finished Voiden will start to rise and you’ll be transported back to The Tree which acts as your hub world.
After the day finishes you will recap on all the new information you learned. So all the details about a character and maybe some points on the timeline that lead to Vera’s death and the end of the world. While information is important there’s two specific categories of information you will need to carry on.
Firstly, scattered throughout Omensight’s few different locations you will find orange, green, and purple locks. Each of these seals can only be unlocked by learning how to from the specific character. You’ll need the ability to unlock each one if you want to complete the game.
The other specific information you need are the Omensights. These Omensights reveal motives and memories that all surround around Vera. By returning to the start of a previous characters days, you can restart the events that transpired and show them the visions from the Omensight. You’ll have to show characters new proof of what happened in order to convince them to act on it.
Eventually, through investigating you will piece together what has to be done in order to defeat Voiden. Some choices you make may not really progress the story much, but instead will give you new information about a specific character. It’s very interesting, because you can choose to let the game hold your hand a bit or go in completely blind. If you ask for help then The Witch will give you hints of what you should do each day. Even still, you do get the feeling that you’re making the choices even though you end up at the same final event no matter what.
Omensight was something that on paper, I thought never really would have clicked. However, seeing the intense, fast paced action with these elements of mystery solving is truly spectacular. They work together to create not only a hack n slash style game with fun combat, but one whose story will enthrall you from beginning to end.
There’s quite a few aspects that I thought would be better to talk about here in the “Extras” category so let’s dive into it.
Omensight has collectibles that are scattered all around the different locations called memories. Memories allow you to read information and essentially memories from the characters pasts. These memories are quite interesting to read and definitely worth keeping your eye out for.
Another kind of extra mechanic I wanted to mention was the style mechanic. Depending on how you take out your enemies you can actually gain extra EXP. For example, if you kill a number of enemies in a rapid succession, or use an exploding barrel and toss it at some enemies a little name will pop up like “killing spree” and you will gain bonus EXP accordingly. It’s a really neat mechanic and made me actually want to pay attention to what I was doing.
For those that prefer to have a more casual time with the combat there’s also 3 different difficulty options to choose from.
Visually, Omensight goes for a very bright and captivating design and completely nails it. The characters are fantastic with many of them being voiced acted which, I have to say is some of the best voice acting that I’ve heard recently. The environments are surreal and beautiful. Each one has so much character to it and even though I had to play through some of them multiple times, I never got tired of looking at them.
The soundtrack here is also really well done and fits the mood and atmosphere of the game really well. Everything done visually in Omensight does a great job at representing a world that’s torn to pieces.
I truly enjoyed what Omensight had to offer for gameplay, so it’s truly disappointing that now I must talk about it’s technical prowess on the Switch.
Omensight is a bit of a technical mess on the Nintendo Switch. In both handheld and docked mode there’s constant frame rate issues whether it’s walking through big open environments, during loading screens and sometimes right in the middle of combat.
There’s also frequent long loading times, because you don’t simply load the level once before you start. No throughout a level you’ll most likely have to add at least 3 more areas in. You won’t be taken to a separate screen, but instead the game will just freeze where you are and start loading.
I also ran into this really problematic, bug where if I went to the home menu for any more than a few seconds when playing Omensight, it would crash once I returned. This was mitigated by me just leaving the screen on when I had to walk away for a minute, but still something that should have been fixed in a patch or something.
Unfortunately, if you do want to have the chance to play Omensight on the go you’re going to have to be able to deal with the technical issues that come along with it.
Despite some harsh technical issues Omensight is such a great journey to go through that, I think more people should give it a shot. It’s not every day we see developers seamlessly combine such different genres and mechanics to create a masterpiece like Omensight. Because, of its technical issues I think Omensight deserves the title of a flawed masterpiece that’s still worth trying as long as you can see past these issues.