Omen Of Sorrow PlayStation 4 Review

Omen Of Sorrow is a fun but flawed fighting game.

By RON, Posted 14 Nov 2018

With Omen of Sorrow, Chilean studio AOne dared to bring a new fighting game into a genre that’s no stranger to saturation. Their debut title is a 2.5D fighting game in the vein of Street Fighter V, or the rebooted version of Mortal Kombat, albeit minus the big budget of AAA titles. Looking towards the horror/gothic sphere for aesthetic inspiration, its visuals and character design visibly borrow from western folklore and literature.

Taking into consideration budgetary restrictions, Omen of Sorrow’s visuals pull their weight, for the most part. Although the characters and their interpretations are far from being original or revolutionary, they do come with their own appeal. The visually striking Imhotep can separate his lower and upper body at will, while the Assassin’s Creed-inspired version of Quasimodo comes with a hoodie and an ingenious hook system on his wrist. Alongside these two, you’ll find other familiar faces, like Archangel Gabriel, Frankenstein’s monster and Mr. Hyde, but also some some less familiar and more generic characters, such as a succubus and a couple of monster hunters. The animations range from ones that are very detailed and well-crafted to others that are quite stiff, giving the impression that the game wasn’t necessarily ready for release yet. The same goes for its music.

Omen Of Sorrow, PS4, Review, Screenshot

For a horror/gothic game, it falls really flat at times, which can be frustrating for those expecting something a bit more thrilling or which takes its time to properly set up the mood. There is not a single catchy or memorable tune to speak of. Omen of Sorrow’s dialogue lines are voice acted well enough, the personality of each character being developed with every delivered line, but the game’s writing commits the sin of dipping itself a bit too much into the cheese pot. Some lines transport you back to the golden era of B-movies, which is the complete opposite of what this game seems to have wanted. The characters and their presentation are far from being ironic, a parody or farce, which makes the existence of these lines of dialogue the more unsettling.

Ultimately, though, it’s mechanics that make or break a fighting game and, in the case of Omen of Sorrow they thankfully hit the right mark. The game feels well-balanced and distinct-enough character movesets provide solid gameplay with a vast array of options to choose from. You have your classic all-out aggro approach with a lot of dashing, like Wolverine or Sabrewulf, in the form of the werewolf Caleb. Mr. Hyde is a Hulk-like, tankier character, with the added twist of also being kind of a trickster. Along with his obvious physical might, he also has at his disposal several potions to throw at opponents in order to daze and confuse them.

Omen Of Sorrow, PS4, Review, Screenshot

The thing that separates this game from others are the two gauges present aside from the normal super bar. These two gauges are filled by opposing approaches. The first one – the Fate meter – is filled by playing defensively. If the gauge is full, the player will be limited to normal attacks until it drains, meaning they won’t be able to pull off specials or even grabs. On the other hand, the Fortune gauge will fill by connecting hits and allows players to activate their sigil, thus entering Blessed mode. In this mode, you will be able to make Bold Cancels, which will virtually allow you to cancel any attack, including normals, and combo your way to victory while it lasts. This actually leads to gameplay that’s fairly assertive, turning the game into a matter of calculating risks and rewards. The truly terrible mistake the developers did commit was not including a tutorial. It is barely acceptable even for a sequel in a long-running series, less so for a new title, especially when you consider how Omen of Sorrow introduces a fighting style based around the Fortune/Fate gauges.

Omen of Sorrow did not waste valuable resources on unnecessary gameplay modes. Only Story, Arcade, Survival and Online are available and that’s more than enough. While Arcade is what you might expect from a brawler, Story mode actually tries to give some much-needed context, although, because of its limitations, it does feel monotone, as barely any dialogue is actually spoken; instead, one has to read line after line of dialogue on screen while the characters stand still in idle animation.

And yet, Omen of Sorrow plays very well for what it is. Despite its obvious limitations and flagrant flaws, like not having a tutorial available, it still feels like something that fans of the genre will appreciate. They say the devil’s in the details and Omen of Sorrow has a lot of devils waiting to be explored. It might not be one you must play before you die, but it is a quite refreshing take on 2.5D fighting games and a game that, hopefully, will find its niche.
 

Sarwar Ron, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): PS4
Publisher(s): SOEDESCO
Developer(s): AOne Games
Genres: Action, Fighting
Themes: Fantasy
Release Date: 2018-11-06

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