You would be forgiven for believing that this week in particular is one that wont see the arrival of new games on the Xbox One storefront. After all, E3 2018 is here and that tends to serve as a black hole, sucking the attention from most folk that enjoy watching new and exciting reveals. That assumption, however, goes right out of the window. There’s a total of four games releasing this week, one of which is Omega Strike; a 2D platformer that surprisingly comes with some depth, if ever so slightly faltering in other departments.
The premise of the game is as clear cut as you would expect. The game follows a band of heroes known collectively as the Omega Strike team. Doctor Omega and his army of mutants are marching toward world domination, with no one other than the Omega Strike team standing in his way. It falls to you to navigate and blast your way through a band of interesting locations and put a stop to Doctor Omega’s nefarious movement once and for all. Like I said, it’s pretty light on the overarching story, but it works well nevertheless.
Omega Strike is a metroidvania experience through and through, meaning that as you dive deeper into the game and unlock new capabilities, you’ll be able to travel back to previously charted locations to reach new areas. This is the sort of concept that the game maintains throughout, which isn’t a bad thing by any means. On the contrary, I quite enjoy this formula so it was nice to see Omega Strike taking this foundation seriously. The game also has a solid tendency of mixing up the fields of play via action-packed boss encounters.
Omega Strike has a solid base, we’ve established that. So, what’s the problem? There’s just not enough diversity within. Sure, there’s a nice range of characters for players to make use of, but outside of playing as them just to bypass an area that requires a specific character’s trait, there’s little reason to swap to and from. If the characters in Omega Strike offered more of a difference in regards to individual playing styles, I would have been more inclined to overlook this. That being said, however, it’s a small issue in the grand scheme of things.
Gameplay typically consists of (Metal Slug-like) clearing each room of enemies as you move through at a fair pace. There’s no shortage of foes to take on in Omega Strike, with many of them bringing their own behavior and attack patterns to the table. The controls remains fluid and responsive throughout, ensuring that any error encountered while jumping, running or shooting, will likely be down to the fault of the player rather than that of poor mapping or input delay. Whatever the case, there’s no denying Omega Strike of its quality.
As alluded to above, each character brings their own flavor to the mix through the use of unique weaponry and traits. These traits, such as being able to blow up objects or reach higher ledges, will be used frequently throughout the game in order to proceed further in. On the basis that it complements the game’s steady pace, this works well in its favor. Though, again, there’s little reason to fast-swap outside of that. I often found myself sticking to just one character religiously whenever I could. Still, it’s very easy to overlook in the long run.
On the whole I found Omega Strike to be quite exhilarating. The game very rarely breaks immersion thanks to how well it’s laid out. The upgrade system is very straightforward too, lending the game its accessibility alongside its easy-to-play design. That’s not to say that the game will hold your hand, quite the opposite, in fact. Omega Strike’s difficulty curve is very well balanced and will gradually challenge you with new and exciting enemy variations (over 45 in total and 12 bosses) as you rise in capability. It’s tough, but not frustratingly tough.
The world within is served to you as a large interconnected set of locations. It can be somewhat daunting at first but it doesn’t take too long to bond with. The map will slowly unravel its secrets and passageways as you earn abilities and move through, but I’ll warn you, there’s very little in the way of directional assistance. I wont hold that against Omega Strike because by design, it wants you to spend time taking in the world and on that front, it succeeds. However, those with little patience may find themselves inevitably annoyed.
Omega Strike has a wonderful soundtrack that sits inline with the theme of the game, going hand in hand with its stunning visuals and distinct locations. There’s no shortage of interesting sights to take in, all of which remain equally as well designed as the other. I should also point out that the game has quite an impressive amount of length, easily offering up several hours of play. Overall, I found Omega Strike to be a very competent adventure. Certainly one of the strongest experiences of its kind in recent times.
Omega Strike is fun, thrilling and more importantly, rewarding. The game’s well designed interconnected map gradually opens up as progression is made, which further bolsters the game’s steady pace. More encouragement to swap between characters would have been welcoming, though overall, Omega Strike is a well rounded action-platformer that’s jam-packed with varying enemies and challenges throughout.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.