Trying every PS-Plus Extra game: Omno
Before I delve into any really long, open-world RPG, I decided to have a crack at some of the minor indie games that are offered as a part of my PS-Plus Extra catalogue. I have noticed over time that a lot of these games appear in the list and then disappear a couple of weeks later, so it is important to initially download them if you are going to have access to them at all. Once you put them in your library they remain there forever.
So I looked at this game OMNO, had never heard of it, and decided to have a crack at it for a bit before moving one.
I played it for about an hour and could already tell what the developers were going for.
OMNO is an exploration story game, where the story isn't laid out to you. There are others like this but the most famous one is probably a game called Journey which was pretty damn epic.
You wake up in a field and run around and interact with your surroundings and although the objective of collecting energy orbs is evident, this is never told to you in any sort of tutorial or with words on the screen.
You have a staff that is used for various things but at least in the hour that I played, it is never used as any sort of weapon. The other creatures you encounter on the 4 levels that I played don't attack or kill you and while that might change later, this staff and all the other creatures on the board just seem to be part of elaborate puzzle solving. This is also where this rather beautiful game, especially when you consider how small the studio that made it is, can begin to frustrate some players out there.
For me at least, I get a little bit bored of solving very similar puzzles over and over again only to proceed to the next level which basically has a similar or exactly the same sort of puzzle-solving mechanics to it.
There is some level of metroid-vania going on here as you will acquire new skills as you progress. It IS NOT metroid-vania in the sense that even if it is possible, there is no incentive or even possibility as far as I could tell, to return to previous levels.
These "upgrades" can be a bit bittersweet because while they do change the game a bit they aren't really necessary. For example: When you get the "surfing" add on (which is more like a snowboard) you are able to fly down hills in a fun sequence when you first acquire it but after that the only thing it really accomplishes is it makes the new areas you encounter larger, which just means you are spending more time walking from one power orb to the next. I'm yet to encounter any area where the "surfing" is actually necessary in order to progress.
Overall, the game is beautiful, has wonderful music and a great overall ambiance. The downside is that the gameplay is extremely repetitive and while there might be a lovely story that you figure out in the end I am guessing that you are actually dead and this is the afterlife much like it was assumed in Journey.
So people might get a bit bored.
The good news is that you do not have to pay extra for this game in order to enjoy it for an hour or two. For me, I put it down after the obligatory 1-hour that I require myself to play all PS-Plus Extra games that I take on.
Overall opinion: Fun for a while, but not unusual enough to hold your attention long-term
Games I have already tried in my journey to play at least 1-hour of every PS-Plus Extra game
- Gravity Rush 2 (action adventure game with fast movement in every direction. It has RPG elements and a pretty decent story. Make it past the first hour and the game really opens up. Recommended)
- Oddworld: Soulstorm (2D+ platformer with great graphics, sound, and voice-acting. Unfortunately it is plagued with a lot of repetition. Recommended for a few hours)
- Bee Simulator (sort of like a flying FPS game but with no combat. It's graphically impressive and filled with tidbits of knowledge about bees... unfortunately it is repetitive as hell and gets boring fast. Not recommended)
- Prison Architect (a prison management simulator game similar to SimCity. It's a great game but just like most simulation games, it just isn't very playable using a controller. Not recommended on PS4)
- Hotline Miami 2 (a top-down shooter with gruesome violence and terrible AI. Would be great for speedrunners and hardcore gamers. Casuals like me are going to quickly tire with it)
- Battle Chasers: Nightwar (turn based RPG of medium-length that does a good job of teaching you how to play in the first hour. It's pretty old-school and I happen to like that... recommended)
- Chorus (3rd person open-world space fighting game. It's graphically impressive but combat is too repetitive to really hold your interest for the entire story. Still recommended though.)
- Portal Knights (a very well made survival action builder game similar to Minecraft. I really enjoyed this and look forward to playing it more. Recommended)
- Saints Row: The Third (clever and funny FPS game that intentionally puts you in impossible and absurd situations. It's innovative and humorous but ultimately quite dated and got repetitive and boring pretty quick. Not recommended)
- Balan Wonderworld (A rather beautiful 3D(ish) platformer that is extremely easy but still engaging enough to hold your attention for a few hours. Recommended for casual gamers)
- The Artful Escape (an adventure game of sorts with awesome visuals and music, but repetitive areas and controls combined with IMO far too much dialogue makes this game get boring, fast... Worth a look but not recommended to play)
- Until Dawn (interactive horror game that you don't really control a great deal of. It's reasonably entertaining, you can't lose, and the graphics and sound a pretty great. It's not really a game but I enjoyed it and played it to its finish. Recommended)
- 11-11: Memories Retold (a WW1 story that doesn't actually involve much input on the player's part. The game is very boring despite having a wonderful graphical style: Not recommended)
- Desperados 3 (a real time tactics / stealth game that I personally do not feel belongs on consoles at all. If you have never played these sorts of games on PC your opinion might be different. This one gets a "maybe.")
- Maneater (Action RPG where you play the role of a deadly shark. The idea is decent but ultimately the extremely repetitive gameplay makes this one easy to miss. Not recommended)
- TorqueL (physics puzzle platformer that is simplistic at first but quickly becomes maddeningly difficult. Gets boring pretty quickly on consoles and would be better suited as a time-waster on mobile devices. Not recommended on PS4)
- Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon: Turn-based cutesy RPG that is extremely story-driven just like anything Square is involved in. If you are huge fan of Final Fantasy you might like it, for me it was one hour then done forever.
- XCOM 2 : (Turn-based Sci-Fi game set in a dystopian future where you are part of the rebellion. Despite a very slow start IMO the game really gets involved later on... recommended)
- Darksiders Genesis (Top-down hack and slash that reminds me a lot of Diablo 3 but with a more restricted environment. It's very fast paced and as easy or difficult as you want it to be. It's a lot of fun and therefore comes highly recommended.)
- Guardians of the Galaxy (a copy/paste of so many other RPG's out there with too many cutscenes as is so typical of Square-Enix. Recommended for superfans of the movies, but not for really anyone else.)
- Injustice 2 (a DC comics oriented fighting game with tons of characters and IMO extremely complicated gameplay. It could be great for someone who is willing to devote enough time to memorizing all of this, but I am not that guy.)
- Life is Strange: Before the Storm episode 1 (A graphic adventure that isn't really a game so much as it is a movie that you have some control over. Recommended for people looking for something extremely casual but with a very well-written story)
- Evil Dead: The Game (a team based multiplayer game that has the humor and gore that you would expect from anything done by Evil Dead. Unfortunately, it doesn't really stand out from the pack well enough for me to give it high props. Recommended for a short while - see if you disagree with me)
- Immortals: Fenyx Rising (A Zelda-esque open-world game based on Greek mythology that is one of the best games I have played in a while. Highly recommended)
- Pixel Piracy (an 8-bit adventure game of sorts that puts you in the role of a pirate ship commander. I'd love to tell you what the objective in this game is, but I don't know what it is. I was extremely bored after the required 1-hour of play and immediately deleted the game from my hard drive. Not recommended)
- I am Satsuna (an old-school turn-based RPG developed by Squre Enix that functions exactly like Squaresoft games from the 90's. Recommended for people who really love that sort of game environment but not so much for anyone else)
- Killzone: Shadow Fall (an open-world(ish) FPS game with RPG elements. I found the interface to be hard on the eyes and that they really do a terrible job of teaching you how to actually play the game. Not recommended for average gamers but possibly a real winner for veterans of the franchise because the story seems quite good.)
- Dead by Daylight (A multiplayer survival horror game that was probably very fresh and fun when released in 2016 but these days there are so many clones of this type of game that there isn't much incentive to play this one)
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands (A open-world RPG/FPS game similar to the FarCry series. IMO the world is unnecessarily huge and there is a lot of dead space with nothing in it. This means a lot of your time is spent just traveling from one mission to the next and the missions all start to feel the same after a while. I lost interest after 4 hours or so)
- Sakuna: of Rice and Ruin (a metroid-vania-esque platforming with townbuilding elements. This is a casual game that will appeal to most people I think, especially those who are looking for a little less "hardcore" game to play. I have gone well over my 1-hour requirement and think I will continue and perhaps complete it. Recommended)
- Shadow of the Beast (an action adventure platformer fighting game that is a throwback to the 1989 original. It looks promising at first but ultimately the action part of the game is pretty repetitive and well, this isn't much of a surprise seeing as how it was drawing its inspiration from a game that is nearly 40 years old. Fun for a while but I bet you won't stick with it. Maybe recommended)
- OMNO (a puzzle-solving story game that is lovely, cute, and has great ambiance. The only downside is that if you have already played a few games of this sort such as Journey you are going to get bored pretty fast. Recommended for a few hours and only if you can get it for free.)