It’s hard to find a good platformer these days, as I trawl through Kickstarter and a few months ago as I would have regularly trawled through Steam Greenlight it seemed that the proportion of 2D platformers hoping to find their way onto the Steam marketplace was like an unending torrent. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can be a sign that this is indeed a popular genre, however, the main problem with having an abundance of something is that it’s hard to sift through them all to find the diamonds in the rough. This is our Omega Strike review.
For me, Omega Strike is not one of these unfound gems. Omega Strike is a self-styled Metroidvania game with an open-ended world and multiple playable characters. The narrative follows your team of heroes, aptly named the Omega Strike team, as Doctor Omega and his mutant armies march toward world domination and it is up to you to stop him.
To its credit Omega Strike is a charming game with a fantastic soundtrack, beautiful visuals and a plethora of entertaining characters that you’ll come across as you play through the game. However where it falls short is where I believe a lot of 2D platformers fall short these days in that it lacks any form of innovation or difference from other similar styled titles in the genre. It has the action film bravado of Broforce but without the frantic pacing, it has the main-character switching that we see in the likes of Trine but not enough of a difference between the characters to make you feel like there’s a necessity for their existence.
The main reason you’ll be switching between characters is that one can jump higher, or another can move boulders so that you can get to that little secret area in order to progress the story, however, the rest of the time you’ll find yourself just playing the same character as you plow through the levels. The character switching for this reason can feel a tad laborious as you’re switching out of need rather than want, whereas in the likes of action platformer Broforce there was a genuine enjoyment in seeing your characters switch because there was such a difference in play style and combat style (unless you had McGuybro, no-one enjoys playing him….NO ONE).
The open-ended world of Omega Strike equally proves problematic, this is a mechanic that can be incredibly difficult to get right which we’ve seen before in the titles that coined the sub-genre, Metroid. I found myself playing through the level happily, shooting up mutants and destroying crates for ammo and food as I went only to hit a dead end and realize I had to go all the way back to the start of the level to progress. At times this suited the narrative, it made sense, at other times it simply felt like it was drawing out the playtime.
Don’t get me wrong, Omega Strike is an enjoyable romp into the platformer genre, however, it’s not one that I feel brings anything new to the table. If you’re a fan of the Wolbyware’s previous work or are a fan of platformers I think Omega Strike is definitely worth a look-in however for this writer there’s not enough to keep bringing me back to the title.
Note: This review was written by Sam Steele, and performed on PC with a code from the developer. It was later played on Nintendo Switch as well, which is a port of the original release.