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Reviewed: Omikron: The Nomad Soul
Author: Chris Kim       Date: December 4th 1999
Page: 2

Essentially, Omikron: The Nomad Soul is just as the title says. The nomadic soul goes around possessing other bodies, this soul is the soul of the player. As the game describes it, you are the only one that can save the world of Omikron from the fate that lies before the player. As the adventure continues on, the player will find himself uncovering various parts of these people's lives, activities, and actually becoming them without any knowledge of their brain. As the player moves along, his soul will move on to other bodies and take control of them to gain more knowledge of the parallel universe he is in.

What the game combines are a rather odd bunch of genres into one. The adventuring takes place in a typical Third Person action scene with a panning camera in real time, a first person action shooter screen for one form of combat, and then the third genre tossed in is the recently neglected fighting game genre. The game itself isn't too horrible, but what really does bite is the generalization of all three genres. All of the basic elements of each of the genres are existent, but lack a lot of the refinement that many of the new games in the particular genre have experienced.

Honey!
Wrist Television?
Attack!

The general storyline that is followed in Omikron is pretty simple. An awkward turn of events have occurred and the only one that can save their parallel world is you, the player. The odd thing is that Kay'l, the main character who is also a police investigator, in the game actually "jumps" onto your computer screen and tells you to possess his body and figure out what is wrong. The city of Omikron is generally pretty believable and complex complete with people, stores, and cars.

Adventuring in the world of Omikron is not one of too complexity, as mainly the player just goes around in the city accomplishing various tasks to uncover what has been happening. There will be many side missions such as going to stop a smallish crime. A large portion of the game involves talking to other people to dig a conversation with a series of various questions for them to answer. Using these questions, various parts of the story will be dug up, which will bring the player slowly closer to the conclusion of what has happened. Despite having multiple questions, responses to most of the questions are the same or have the same result. Even if the conversation is led in a different direction, the conversation typically will end up with the same conclusion despite any road that was taken in the conversation.

Game style leans to be being very linear. Similar to how Rage of Mages 2: Necromancer worked, there are a lot of unique non-linear quests, but the main story itself to actually progress the game is fairly linear. The puzzles that are required work as with most other adventure games, find an item and use it in a certain situation based on what others tell the player. The most appealing feature about Omikron probably are the vast environments and large areas to explore. The city that the game takes place in is in fact quite large. Many places like bars, strip clubs, supermarkets, and stores are just a few of the places that can be visited.

Brawl to the Death!
Traps!
Sungod Weapon

There are various items in how the player must collect their objects. Rather than having to store all items, the player has a sneak, or bag in which eighteen items can be stored. There is also a transporter that can hold items when too many are held. Items can be used, used on each other, or examined. Also in the pack are extra items like a map, rings, and money. One really cool thing to use is the memorization feature that memorizes all tasks that need to be done in the menu system. Another cool set of items is the sliders, or taxis that transfer the player from once place to another with one simple call. The player never dies either, he will just be restored in the place with little life left.

One other thing is that the game even has an experience or role playing style scheme to it as well. The player will gain strength and statistics as he continually trains or does the desired exercises often.

Action gaming has been given a fairly simplified model in Omikron, rather than having a lot of complex strategies and quick moves, the game is just a bunch of run and fire. There aren't a great variety of weapons, from the basic green bolt gun to the machine powered guns. This action mode is usually activated when a large number of opponents are on screen and need to be killed. The screen will transition into a first person shooter mode. The opponents will then grab their weapons as well and start attacking. The very odd thing about the game is the extremely limited jumping ability of the player, awkward controller scheme, and enemies appearing out of nowhere. Opponents seem to just suddenly appear from out of nowhere, sometimes even in massive numbers. The player also just goes in and attacks all enemies. One really bummer about this action mode is the complete lack of strategy. The player just goes in and pops everything in sight. The AI is also extremely pumped up, nearly every shot from the enemy will hit the player, even when the player strafes and continuously moves.

Cool Slider
Popped On the Side
Bar Fight

The fighting game is very similar in structure and style in how Sega's Virtua Fighter works. The game environment takes place in a full 3D environment with the ability to jump, move up and down, crouch, kick, and punch. Just like Virtua Fighter a vast range of different moves and combinations are available to the player, although very hard to perform these moves. The controls are extremely unresponsive in fight mode. Players will typically just jump and kick at ground level with nothing special added because of the difficult to use controls. The combat can be intense at times, but usually the fighting just ends up in disbelief or frustration because of the very hard opponents and difficulty in controlling the player. But, when the system is working properly, the game mode can be quite fun idea, with simulators and tournaments in the game, combat is quite fun to mess around with.

Another portion of the game is a swim mode. With so many different game designs and different control schemes, there is no denying that it feels as if the game was programmed by four different parts of the development team. All the parts of the game have distinctly different feels to them; they don't feel too integrated into each other. This is especially true in the swim portion of the game, unlike games like Tomb Raider or Shadowman that introduced fairly similar control schemes; Omikron's swimming is vastly different from the adventure portion. But that really isn't too bad, is the control still works decently here.

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Added:  Saturday, December 04, 1999
Reviewer:  Chris Kim
Score:
Page: 2/5

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