Omikron: The Nomad Soul

 Street corner
Exploring Omikron
   A first look at French developer Quantic Dream's Omikron: The Nomad Soul shows what seems to be a complex adventure game. A generic main character wanders the streets of the vast and detailed city of Omikron, while numerous people and vehicles pass by. Omikron does include the city and the people, but not a main character. In reality, your "character" possesses no physical form; you (as the game player) move about by taking over the bodies of the city's inhabitants. When one body dies, you'll immediately hop into the last one to touch your old form.

   Needless to say, the possibilities for this system are immense. Not only does it make adventuring much more non-linear, it should allow several solutions to many of the game's obstacles. That's not to say the game isn't without a goal, however -- you'll have to progress through four chapters to defeat the ancient evil threatening the city. Quantic Dreams has prepared an extensive history of the city and its world; the legend appears on the company's website.

Whatever this is, it looks cool

   Despite this rich background, Omikron is actually centered on action. The combat engine is mainly based on fighting games, as it contains life bars and martial arts moves, though a few firearms and other weapons are also available. How widely the 50 or so bodies' abilities will differ is still up in the air, though at least some variation is almost a given. In any case, puzzles will also be included to test your mental as well as your physical prowess.

   Omikron boasts an extremely ambitious design, but how well Quantic Dreams can manage to implement it remains to seen. The numerous paths created by the possession system hold great promise, but that promise could be easily dashed if the gameplay doesn't live up to the concept. With only a few screenshots released so far, it's impossible to tell whether Omikron will be a mess or a success, but it's certainly a title worth keeping an eye on. The originality alone should make it worth playing.

Preview by Fritz Fraundorf, GIA
Omikron: The Nomad Soul
Developer Quantic Dream
Publisher Eidos
Genre Adventure
Medium CD (?)
Platform Sony PlayStation
Release Date  12.99
E3: Omikron impressions
10 E3 screenshots
20 new sketches and renders
North American box art