One of the true goals of any sequel should be to improve on what came before. If your first game had some rough spots or mechanics that didn’t work out, a follow-up can refine and elevate those parts into something that is more true to your original vision. This is something that I feel Omensight does extremely well. Set in the same universe as Stories: The Path of Destinies, Omensight is a fantastical murder mystery about the end of the world that retains the storytelling chops of its predecessor while improving on the parts where you’re controlling a character.
You play as The Harbinger, a hooded figure with a blue lightsword that appears in times of great crisis. There are few crises greater than a giant purple dragon burning society to cinders, and you have just a single looping day to team up with a host of unique characters and gather the information needed to prevent this calamity.
Spearhead Games have already proven that they’re able to weave a fine tale, and Omensight doesn’t appear to break from that tradition. Each level sees you teaming up with a companion, taking advantage of their special abilities, and learning about their role in the end times. These companions aren’t friends till the end, and there are points in the narrative where your actions could anger them into a telling betrayal. Using this knowledge (handily stored on an in-game chart) will help you piece together exactly what’s going on and get to the bottom of the mystery you were summoned to solve.
This is all well and good, but the main thrust of my interest in Omensight comes from its much-improved combat system. The mostly isometric view of Stories has been replaced by the sweeping third-person camera of a character action game, and that change alone makes the game handle so much smoother. Leaping around and striking foes with aerial strikes felt natural, as did skipping across corners and swiftly dodging attacks with just a sliver of health remaining.
Your basic suite of slashes and strikes are amplified by magical powers that emerge due to your time traveling nature. The Harbinger can cast a time dispersal field that slows enemies and bosses to a crawl, and each companion character brings their own distinctive buffs to help in the adventure. There’s also a charging Hadoken-type move that I caught a brief glimpse of as I recklessly smashed it into an enemy at point-blank range. Needless to say, it was super effective.
The true trick of Omensight is the way that it weaves the two halves of its gameplay together and caters to different types of players. Big bosses aren’t just challenges to be overcome, they’re characters in the story, and you might be convinced by their side of the tale. If you choose to put down your arms in front of a boss, they might take you in and reveal secrets that you wouldn’t have discovered by just hitting them with your sword. Of course, since you’re repeating the same day over and over, you’ll be able to see from everyone’s perspective eventually.
Omensight is everything I could have wanted in a follow-up to Path of Destinies. It continues that game’s far-out setting and distinct character design while bringing the combat up to that high standard. The mystery angle and small bits of exploration strewn across the levels make the game feel big in scope, and I have high hopes that the final product can live up to expectations. If it all comes together, Omensight will deliver a solid narrative that also packs a punch.
Omensight was demoed at PAX South 2018 at the Spearhead Games booth.