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Omikron: The Nomad Soul (Windows)

78
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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.0
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  MichaelPalin (1195)
Written on  :  Feb 11, 2006
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  2.57 Stars2.57 Stars2.57 Stars2.57 Stars2.57 Stars

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Summary

Biggest disappointment in my gamer's life

The Good

Some years after noticing this game in a magazine, and finding it interesting, I found the demo and played it. The demo was very exciting and revealed what could be one of my favourite games.

When the game begins Kay'l, the first body you put your soul in, jump out of the screen and tells you (yes, you) that his world is in great peril and that the only one who can save it is you throw this videogame, putting your soul in his body (!?!?). Once you do this you enter Omikron, gets beaten up by a demon and being told by a robot cop to rehydrate yourself, you watch the city in it whole. Cars, people apartments, shops bars, and a lot of cool sci-fi details. I just stop playing the demo and start searching for the game.

I was hopping for a great sci-fi adventure, I read a bit about it and found quotes like "in Omikron you can't reload every time you do something wrong, you must answer for every action you make". That's the only thing you must tell to convince me to play a game. And the story was really cool, inter dimensional saving hero for a "big brother"-esque city invaded with demons, what more can you ask for?

The game also has the participation of David Bowie. I actually don't hear his music, but I know that if David Bowie participate in something, it will be, at least, "different".

Aside from the good expectation I putted in this game, I also found some interesting things while playing. Apart for an awesome original story, you found too, a world not fully realistic, but with a lot of things to do, like reading books, going to sex shops, watching TV, going to bars, shopping music CDs and hearing them, going to some Bowie concerts and even playing FPS and fighting sections of the game. The story goes getting more twisted and rare (not always to better) and you keep knowing more of some side stories. In addition, every new body has his/her own short story, a bit of rol playing (well...) and usually his/her own apartment.

The Bad

All this sounds very promising, isn't it? That's what I thought.

For starters, this game is completely linear, and there are no such thing like "different actions, different paths", you only have ways of spend your time, like said before, and a linear main story. Well, there is a choice, you can say NO to Kay'l at the beginning and don't play the game. Even more, when you lose your first body, you lose the 50% of the motivation of the game, as the rest of the bodies are just that, bodies. They have some RPG-like features and a short resume of their story, but you wont even know new NPCs with them, neither the game will change a bit depending on what body you are in. And the stats are just trivial, the only important one is how good they fight and their hit points. That means, that when you find a good body in those stats you better maintain it. In addition, you win a new apartment with each new body, which means, a new save point.

And the save system is too a bad point. You can, of course, save whenever you want, but you need save point and a ring to save, and are limited (well, you can buy all you want). So, you must look for an apartment every time you want to save, so you better reincarnate a lot to have them all, and, if you have no money, the only way to get it, apart for selling what you have, is by fighting, nothing more, and, at the end, it gets very repetitive.

As for the FPS and fighting zones, you can't expect too much from them, because a game can't be good in three genres at a time. In fact, only the fighting one is fun. The FPS is the worst of the three, awkward and totally scripted, the movements are slow and is very difficult to aim; they are totally worthless.You couldn't even walk sidewards. And I remember having problems with the different weapons, in fact, I couldn't change weapons, and played all the game with the base pistol, that didn't help making better the game. The fighting section was actually very fun, but sadly it was too short and repetitive.

The adventure by itself, was just average: talk with NPCs, take some object to the right character, solve some silly puzzle and if you get lost, read some walkthrough as there is no point on wasting your time with an average adventure game.

Probably, if you start playing it, you will only go on with it because of the bizarre story and ambience, what was my perdition. And that took me to the biggest disappointment of them all. SPOILER: After leaving the city and going through the final part of the game, which gets more and more uninteresting, you eventually face the big boss, which I think is Lucifer itself. And to kill this guy, the only weak spot of his body is his back!!, you must run around him as fast as you can and shoot at him. Yes, that means you are in FPS mode, which remember that was really annoying, and remember that aiming was a total pain in the ass. So you must go for his back, which is very, very difficult (remember that you can't walk sidewards), aim at it faster as he turns and shoot. And do it like 10 times. Meanwhile he shoots at you with an attack that kills you in 3-4 shots. After 20-30 tries my average was 1 hit per try, I couldn't finish the fucking game.

The Bottom Line

This game is technically very bad, it has poor gameplay, is an average adventure game and a bad genre crossing attempt, and the only good thing of it is it's story and ambience, which are very good indeed.

Despite all that and all I have said, I think this is a game for the history of videogames. This game is bad, but it is "different". You can easily see that the developers are people with good ideas and with a real interest in improving videogames, what is very praiseworthy nowadays. So this is a game for videogame lovers, those who can do the sacrifice to play it just to play something original in the videogame world. And I will play Omikron 2 for sure, and other games developed by those guys, because, at least, I know that their games will be something "different".