Review by DLopez

"One of the finest adventure titles for its time."

Omikron is a game that has created a divided audience. There are those who played it, didn't like the slow pace and ''adventure'' portions, then thought the shooter and fighting portions sucked. Thus, they hated the whole game, which is unfortunate. But then, there were people like me who just drank in this game like a cool glass of water and were just immersed and entertained for hours with this amazingly well-told, ambitious adventure.
To start things off I will say that, yes, the shooter and fighting portions are pretty crappy. Well, to be more accurate, they're just not very well done, they're unfair, and the controls could have used some work. However, cheap deaths can generally be avoided by simply setting the game's difficulty to lowest setting.
With that out of the way, the real light in this game is it's wonderfully immersive landscape (the world of Omikron is brilliantly realized) and entertaining story. Although set an oppressive, futuristic society complete with hovering cars, the central story concerns an ancient demon (Astaroth) attempting to take control of the world by letting demons secretly control parts of the government. You begin the game inside the body of a policeman, and your view of the inside world of the police allows you to see how the corrupt government has begun to become. As the ''nomad soul'' you travel from body to body, although doing so all the time isn't a great idea. While exploring the city and performing tasks to help an ancient religious order that wants to stop Astaroth, you can possess the bodies of certain other inhabitants of Omikron. In doing so, you gain their abilities and, in some cases, a few nifty items (and maybe even an apartment key which will gain you access to whatever they stashed at their house). However, leaping into other bodies when you don't HAVE to, is usually a waste of precious magical energy and might result in getting a really crappy character, so it's best to save first.
Regardless of all that, it is the afforementioned ''slow'' portions where you explore and figure out puzzles that are simply a joy. The graphics are nice, the city is convincing and large, and the music and ambient effects are godly. It's simply a wonderful place to briefly escape to. While much of Omikron is dated now (heck, the GTA games have a much bigger cityscape to explore), for a very long time it was, in my opinion, the ultimate example of a fully immersive environment where you were free to explore and generally absorb the game at your own pace. It's highly stylized and beautiful, and the absorbing story moves things along. No game yet has really come close in my opinion. While games like, say, Grand THeft Auto 3 allow you to explore a large, fully immersive environment (and it's definitely a great game) the focus is more on direction action in the GTA games. Omikron put the focus for much of the game on exploring and puzzling certain things out. The world was not just there to look at, but to really wrap around your character. You felt the personalities of the other characters and the oppressive atmosphere of the government. It all came together quite nicely and if someone ever puts out a game like this again with a focus on story, artistic design, and a fully immersive, truly rich setting, it will be quite the experience. Quantic Dream claims they're developing a new game for 2004, but the date keeps getting pushed back (it WAS 2002..then 2003..etc..). They also made a lot of public announcements that Omikron 2 was a guarantee...but that was a long time ago. I hate to say it because of all the anti-Omikron sentiment still lingering on the internet, but Omikron 2 sounds like a pure gaming dream. For everyone's sake, I hope Quantic Dream makes good on that promise.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 07/11/03, Updated 07/11/03

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