Omensight is a quirky, fun experiment in storytelling, in the form of a murder-mystery/action platformer hybrid. It's fun, it's intriguing, and it's worth a deeper look if you want something different from the standard fare.
Story & Flow
In Omensight, you play the role of a silent guardian, called the Harbinger, summoned by Fate to stop the apocalypse. The action plays out like a typical hack and slash platformer, but with one unique quirk: you replay the same day, over and over again, following key characters. As you repeat each day, you unravel the mystery of the murder of the Godless Priestess who supposedly holds the key to stopping the end of the world. You follow four characters through their days, gaining knowledge, putting together clues, and using said knowledge to change the events of the past. With each change, you inch closer and closer to solving the mystery, either through unlocking seals or presenting characters with visions called Omensights.
The combat can be a lot of fun, despite its simplicity. You’ve got your basic one-button tap, tap, tap combo, in addition to a heavy attack and a dodge. As you progress from battle to battle, you'll gain experience and shards, which strengthens your character and gives you the ability to learn new combat abilities, like dashing attacks and the manipulating time. You can use the shards to pimp those abilities out, or pad your offensive and defensive stats. The combat can get a little repetitive, but the biggest flaw here is the camera, which is completely controlled by the computer, so occasionally platforming becomes a chore or an unseen enemy might knock you out of your combo. That said, the combat is generally an enjoyable experience. The biggest problem is the story.
Let me be clear: I love the story. In the beginning, the game does it's best to make the entire affair feel like a mystery and for the most part, it works. You have suspects, there are clues to gather, and you even have entire screens dedicated to organizing your clues and figuring out what your next move is. Unfortunately, it never really develops in the right way, and the mystery gives way to repetitive combat.
With the time travel mechanic in place, you'll find yourself returning to the same locales over and over. While you may change who you ally with (which brings it's own level of confusion when you forget who the bad guys are for this go round,) the puzzles, fights, and visuals are the same. By the end of the game, you no longer feel like you're solving a mystery, merely uncovering the story. There's no sense of urgency since you can repeat the day as many times as you like, and there's no way to make a wrong guess. You can't accuse an innocent or follow a wrong trail. You simply find the next clue to unlock the next bit of story progression.
Where the game really shines, however, is the characters. I quickly became attached to them and desperately wanted to know more. You can unlock memories from each of them that, while not directly affecting the mystery, do shed light on their pasts. Unfortunately, the Harbinger only cares about her mission, so a lot of what makes the game intriguing is left to your imagination. And... this brings me to the biggest failure of the game for any completionist. Fail states.
If you're unfamiliar with the term, it's when a game lets you progress forward even though you can't win. It's a relic of days gone by and has no place in modern gaming. Now, while Omensight doesn't keep you from beating the game, it does lock you out of certain content one you get the aforementioned Omensights. Each of those visions change what a character will do when you meet them and sharing the vision is mandatory. If you could opt out or even go back to a previous Omensight, it would open the game up to find missing pieces and complete story elements. As it is, if you get a new Omensight and haven't seen the unaltered day of a character, you're out of luck. I had to start a new game just to understand one KEY story point in the game, which feels inexcusable.
Graphics & Sound
This is where the game really excels. The art style is superb, from the cut scenes to the gameplay itself. The world is beautiful, if a bit repetitive. To top it all off, the music is incredible. The main theme, "A Cage is a Cage" is still bouncing through my brain. When I first encountered the character Ratika singing it, I sat the controller down just to listen to her finish the song.