Review by gnomes

"Omikron is a bad game."

Omikron has bad graphics. Omikron has bad control. Omikron has bad sound effects. It's got great music though, but I think that is more because of David Bowie than the team behind Omikron: The Nomad Soul.

The premise of the game is simple. You jump dimensions and take control of the body of a cop on another planet who is on a quest to find out what happened to him and his partner. Sadly the problems with this game start right here.

The text in the game is very small, and to top it off, blurry as well. It isn't in the most readable font, either. The only saving grace in relation to the font is the voice acting which helps one through the conversations. However, most of the game won't have audio to help read the text. Where there is voice it has been fairly well synced with the characters mouths, and that is a plus.

The character models themselves are ridiculously low poly, and many of the faces strangely resemble that of a babies rather than an adult. Most notably, the mechanic at the maze-like police headquarters. In addition to having very low poly models, the textures are quite bad. Now I don't mean simplistic, bad. I mean heavily pixelated, blotchy eye-sore, bad. They are pretty jaggy, too.

The horrible lighting somewhat hides the fugly textures, mind you. Now when I say "horrible lighting" I am implying that, upon starting the game and experiencing the lighting effects the player becomes aghast with confusion and demands to know where they are. There is a distinct lack of light in Omikron. The game is very dark. It literally bends light around itself. As you can guess, this can make it difficult to navigate the city and it's buildings.

The city was designed to have that "Blade Runner" feel. It does, except that it doesn't and doesn't ever really come close. I suppose it would, but it is far to open. Buildings are spaced very far apart, the streets and sidewalks are wide. Truthfully the only thing giving that "Blade Runner" feel is the spectacular lighting effects I mentioned before. Oh wait, I didn't. They don't exist.

Equally as absurd are the building interiors. They look as lively as dark and foreboding alley-ways on the lower east-side. This is no joke. The rooms, halls and elevators have more in common with what's lying behind your fridge than interior design. I suppose it all sets a very eerie mood. Or it would, if not shattered by the load times.

To be fair there aren't any load times, per se. The game loads. The developers thought it'd be neat to let the player still play the game as it loaded. Well it wasn't. The game gets very choppy, and then very fast to compensate several seconds later. The total effect being the game pauses, but the player can still issue commands. Those commands are then carried out in "fast forward" after the load. Normally loads are only several seconds, however.

This brings us to the control. This aspect of the game actually proves the existence of God(!). Now I know, you are saying "but how can this be?!" Well it is because only God himself could have created something so vile. The analog stick is not used at all. It's D-pad all the way. That means thumb cramps. Oh yeah. Plus very inaccurate walking. Also, there is a jump button which, as far as I can tell, doesn't let the player jump over things, but merely jump a distance. That means the player has to use the D-pad to slowly walk around everything, like long couches. There is a run button. It's the R-trigger. Coupled with the D-pad, it serves to magnify the inaccuracy of the D-pad itself. There is a dumb stumbling animation whenever the player stops running. It really is the motion equivalent of the phrase "Whoa whoa whoa there!"

This brings us to sound effects. The sound effects are bad. Often when something has stopped occurring, such as walking or a door opening/closing, the sound effect continues to play. They also seem of very low quality, do not vary, and sound quite generic.

The music is a bit better. Again, this is probably because of David Bowie doing the sound track. It is of high quality and sounds excellent.

As a warning, this game has saving issues with the standard 4x memory card, and cannot properly save when a jump pack is inserted in the bottom slot.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.0 - Poor

Originally Posted: 12/22/04

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