Omega Strike (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

A scientist has developed a serum for soldiers in a military that makes them stronger and faster.  But soon after, the soldiers start mutating into monsters under the now evil scientist’s control.  Now it’s up to three resistance fighters to battle the mutant army and save the day!  Omega Strike is a 2-D action game made to look like a title in the 16-bit era.  It features run and gun gameplay similar to Mega Man, as well as some Metroid style exploration elements.  It’s available for download on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

You play as three rather generic military commando dudes.  Shortly after the start of the game, your two teammates are captured but you’ll find them again soon enough.  Each one can run, jump, and shoot, but they also have their own unique skills and abilities.  One guy shoots straight forward and can learn new skills like rolling into small spaces.  Another guy shoots in an arc and is really strong and can push boulders.  The last guy has a short spray weapon, and he can double jump to reach high places.  Switch between them with the triangle button when needed.

You’ll explore sprawling maps similar to Metroid.  You’ll find hidden items like life extenders and health kits, but also treasure which you can use to spend back at the town hub.  Spend your money to upgrade your weapons and buy other useful items.  Play control is pretty solid and the game is fair but tough, but not TOO tough.

The game has some small problems here and there, but they don’t really break the deal or anything.  I wish you could shoot in other directions beside straight forward and up.  Sometimes the hit detection on your character felt a little off, too.  In a few scant instances, goals and objectives can be a little unclear.  Environments are a bit generic and similar, too.  But really the biggest problem for me was that at near the end of the game, save points are more scarce and spread out, which gets a little frustrating if you have to start over after dying.  But otherwise this is a pretty solid little action game that looks and plays like something I would’ve rented back in the 16-bit days.

Kid Factor:

Omega Strike is rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors of Violence, Blood & Gore, and Mild Language.  You do shoot monsters and mutant soldiers, and when they die they explode into pixelly 16-bit blocks of blood and body parts.  It feels pretty tame now, but if this game came out back in those 16-bit days, it would’ve been as shocking as Smash TV, Total Carnage, or maybe even Mortal Kombat.  I only noticed some light cursing in the text once or twice, so language is used sparingly.  Reading skill is needed for the text, and younger gamers may find the game too difficult.  It’s best enjoyed by older gamers for the most part.

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