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Reviewed: Omikron: The Nomad Soul
Author: Chris Kim       Date: December 4th 1999
Page: 3

There is no multiplayer game, which is an okay decision on the part of Quantic Dreams. The game wasn't really designed for mulitplayer, but the fight and action scenes of Omikron could be seen as possible multiplayer open games. It was probably a good decision to leave the game as it was.

Artificially speaking, the intelligence level of the enemies in both the action and fighting parts of the game is quite difficult. That doesn't mean the intelligence is smart, it just means that the difficulty is so extremely difficult that the enemies can destroy the player relatively quickly. Instead of being given complex systems with the ability to move and perform some various tough tasks, they just converge on the player and open a can of whoop ass with a barrage of moves or weapon fire. In the first person game, opponents don't even do anything until they are either dead or the player is close enough. It seems as if the players run on a trigger system, when a player crosses a certain point on the map, then the enemies will move in for the kill. Otherwise, enemies will just stay stationary, even if they are being fired upon. On the fighting side of things, the AI isn't too sophisticated, just a various set of combinations and moves are thrown in to combat the player, nothing too impressive.

Difficulty wise, the game is quite difficult because of the nature of the AI. The attack all kill all scheme works quite effectively to remove the player from the game. Despite this, the other parts of the game work quite well with the puzzles and conversations. The puzzles themselves aren't too difficult, but they won't be solved in just one instant. Along the course of the game, advice or solutions can be purchased for rings, the source of saving.

Music Videos
Combat Simulator
Leaving Home

On the interface, the console system and the item organization system works very well. The player can use items, use items on others, or examine them. Storage in the sneak can hold up to eighteen items in the pack. Any more than that will have to be stored in the multiplan, which has unlimited storage capacity. There are many multiplan consoles around Omikron. Talking with others is quite easy, just click on the action button and just move up and down to select responses, easy enough. One other complaint about how the player interacts with the environment, the player must be almost directly in front of the object to pick up the object otherwise he will just say something stupid like "I don't know."

The largest gripe about the controls, however, is the very unresponsive commands. In either the fighting or action modes, the controls can sometimes get unresponsive. During combat, the player might just get stuck in place and not perform any moves or combinations while the enemy pounds in on the player. Or in the action mode, the mouse can't be used to guide the crosshair up and down, so combat will be tedious with using the keyboard to aim the gun up and down because the guns aren't on auto aim. While moving along the adventure game, the player will sometimes get stuck and not move at all, the weirdness of the movement of player sometimes is a bit confusing with the complete lack of ability to quickly circle or run without having such a wide curve angle.

Yummy Resturant
Bazooka Training
Clumsy AI

Graphically the game is quite presentable of excellent looking graphics. Nearly everything is done right in the graphics engine. The environments look astonishing, albeit a bit repetitive, player models look excellent, cutscenes are nearly in synch with the lips, and the special effects are nice. The environments make for some great looking scenery with well done lighting effects. Each of the effects can be dark or light in the city depending on the time of day. Lens flares aren't too uncommon; they aren't too shabby either. The well rounded and shaped buildings provide for some immersive graphical flare. The player models are really something though; the models actually make them look quite realistic. Skin tones are realistic, the way the clothing is modeled and movement looks very well done. The only complaint is that there are relatively few models, there seems to be ten of the same person on every block. The special effects work to great effect in all the game modes, with weapon fire, hits, or just talking.

The engine supports a wide range of acceleration with lots of detail settings and resolutions. The only problem with the game is that if the clipping distance is set at any more than medium, the game outside can be extremely choppy, this might not be a major problem, but just having building models and things just jumping out of the screen all of a sudden in the distance looks quite funny. Another complaint about the graphics is the slightly grainy textures. On some parts of the game, the textures are extremely fuzzy and pixelated, while in other parts of the game the graphics are very solid and well done. One other thing are the horrible clipping problems, remember Tomb Raider? Well, these same problems plague Omikron as well, running into the wall will have part of the player in the wall.

Synchronized Lights
Don't Wanna Hurt These Guys
Drink Up Bastard

The sound effects, work well to the effect that is needed. The sounds of footsteps, gun fires, door slams, elevator stamps, and other sounds are pretty accurately portrayed. The sound doesn't really add any more emotion or tension to the game than it normally would, but that really isn't a bad thing. The really coolest thing about the sounds is the superb voice acting. The voices of the characters all are done very well, almost movie style acting, in fact. The only problem with the voice acting is that the same voices are used on different characters, which ruins it a little bit.

Another excellent feature about the game is the unique music videos and soundtrack. Unlike most other games that just toss music into the background, music videos in this game are displayed as real performances of the polygonal models in the game. The music was composed by David Bowe, and is represented in the game by a character that performs.

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Added:  Saturday, December 04, 1999
Reviewer:  Chris Kim
Score:
Page: 3/5

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