Imagine existing in a world filled with a multitude of intelligent species. Species that resemble cats, birds, rats and other such animals that in fact also possess and control magic. Combine this with oppression, war, abuse of power and the ability to travel back in time to rewrite the past and what is born…Omensight.
Omensight throws players into the shoes of an unusual being known as the Harbinger. A highly skilled and feared warrior who exists outside of time and only appears in the world at times of great calamity. It is your duty and destiny as the Harbinger to save the world from complete destruction. As the Harbinger you have already foreseen the world’s annihilation and have now set forth to travel back through time, to rewrite what has already come to pass and uncover the cause of this untimely destruction.
Omensight starts off as every time travelling title does, in a linear perspective. You are introduced to your character and then taught the basics in combat and pushed through the level to learn all about platforming. However, this as I soon discovered was just the beginning and as soon as the game opened up into a hub space, which would be for the remainder of the game my fortress of solitude, things changed instantly. As I mentioned the game starts off in a linear perspective but this is obviously to take you through the basics and once I was through this I found myself being able to actually select the path I’d like to take.
Time and time again
Immediately after you are dropped into this hub space in the game, which we can think of as a pocket in time separate from the game’s storyline where the world has ended, I found that I could re-enter time but from two separate points. Each point would lead me to key characters who in turn will guide me through the game and their last moments to help me uncover and discover the plot and mysteries that led up to the world’s destruction. Omensight’s trick and main mechanic is that I’ll be visiting both these characters and two others throughout the game over and over but each time different from the last. And this is where Omensight shines.
At first, after visiting three of the characters I couldn’t understand how the game would possibly put me back into the same point in time and change things up but the developers thought this through quite well and the second or third time you visit the same characters you’ll in fact change their entire perspective with new evidence which in turn not only progresses the storyline but also develops and grows you and the characters that are accompanying you, which says a lot since you already know the fate of said character as you’ve already lived through their lives time and time again.
Another strength of Omensight is the character development. At first glance, or rather, first meeting each character feels shallow and selfish. Each with their own agendas that make you as the player believe that the path you took five minutes ago was the correct one and then upon further investigation and new evidence, you find that the characters all have their own reasons for acting in the ways that they do and these reasons aren’t only valid but in fact make your decisions feel like the wrong ones. Indeed Omensight had me questioning and thinking about the true meaning behind every decision I made and every path I took. It turned the innocent into the guilty and then the guilty back into the innocent to only slap me in the face and turn things around once again. Enemies became allies and allies became enemies and the circle just continued. Things do obviously clear themselves in the end but the journey is a roller coaster.
Slash them up
Of course, messing with time is never a safe thing and the more you do it the more enemies you’ll encounter and Omensight isn’t shy in this area. Being the Harbinger and a skilled warrior does have its advantages though and the game offers the protagonist a wide variety of skills to utilize while battling through hordes of enemies, which unfortunately were a bit generic and easy to take out. The battle style is essentially a hack and slash but with a certain flair. Although the main attack options are a standard slash and power slash the Harbinger possesses skills such as the ability to stop time around her so that you’ll be able to pick off enemies like flies. You’ll also be able to perform counter attacks by dodging enemy attacks at the right moment and call on your aids to perform special attacks whilst travelling with them. A smooth and fluid battle system.
Omensight had me questioning and thinking about the true meaning behind every decision I made and every path I took.
All in all, Omensight is a beautiful title to look at and I enjoyed the time-travelling mechanics within the game especially swaying back and forth through all the key character moments. The developers were smart and offered players an option to skip through parts that they’ve already played through allowing players to completely bypass at least 80% of a level that you already played through to get to the point where you change a decision you would make the first time playing through that moment. And although the battles were, unfortunately, a bit too easy the Harbinger’s special abilities did offer me more than just a normal hack and slash would and in turn turned a repetitive battle system into something more fun.