Omen Of Sorrow Review – The Horrors Of Combat

Fight your way through a batch of classical monsters in beat 'em up Omen of Sorrow - out now on PlayStation.

The TekkenStreet Fighter and Mortal Kombat series have… pull the punches when it comes to beat ’em ups, and though you’re likely to have your go-to franchise, it’s nice to see a different IP such as Omen of Sorrow enter the mix. Rather than reinvent the genre, it’s a straight-up one-on-one fighter, only you get to play classic horror characters instead.

Feature-packed with local and online play, survival, training, arcade and story modes, Omen of Sorrow is a versus-type fighter. There are only 12 playable characters in the game, but each differs significantly. In the story mode, similar to the Injustice series, where you play every character in sequence, you’ll get hands-on experience with each and will likely note your favourites early on; equally, there will be ones you hate or even laugh at. 

Taking inspiration from literature and mythology, characters in Omen of Sorrow include Frankenstein’s monster, Dracula, a succubus character I’m not familiar with, Dr Jeckyl and many more. The problem with using licensed characters means that you might have to guess who some of the characters are if you don’t know your horror onions. Quite honestly, I wish there were some character profiles to review as most of them were interesting, but the story mode just didn’t satisfy in terms of exposition or, more importantly, entertainment.

Omen of Sorrow PS5 Review - Mummy dearest
Mummy dearest. Source: PR

Omen Of Sorrow PS5 Review

What’s the premise? I couldn’t tell you as I skimmed over it, eager to crack on. It’s all text-based, with a straight-to-video voiceover cutscene in between, making no sense. If you’ve been skimming over it, it won’t make sense. Still, the dialogue was awkward, with a few typos. Bring on the pain.

Actual combat is straightforward, with high and low punches and kicks, a throw and EX modifier. No character is the same, with one swinging a sword Yoshimitsu style, a wielder of blood, while one proper bitch slaps their opponents with alarming hilarity. Special moves resemble the classic semi-arc plus punch or kick to unleash a projectile, plus similar actions. Mentioning the hilarity of it, the mummy, Imhotep, can split in two with enormous upper body spamming range but makes them incredibly volatile around the ghoulies.

Released previously on the Xbox, Omen of Sorrow has since been made available for the PlayStation and Nintendo Switch, courtesy of Eastasiasoft. Though it’s a new title, there’s a retro vibe – not just because we’re playing horror classics, but it’s almost a no-frills fighter that doesn’t rely on special moves and insane combos. It reminded me a little of Body Blows on the Amiga.

Omen of Sorrow PS5 Review - Suc on this
Suc(cubus) on this. Source: PR

The visuals are nice – both the models and backgrounds – though I wish some of them were interactive, such as a large swinging bell that should have injured one another as it comes into the foreground. However, the animations in the game are hit-and-miss. Some characters gracefully move around, while others have basic movesets, float, or are generally comical. At least each one is unique.

Longevity for a beat ’em up will stem from multiplayer modes, and fortunately, there are options for local and online play (including ranked modes), plus the aforementioned story mode, training, and survival. Achievement hunters might be impressed to see that you’ll have to play some 300 or so ranked matches for one of the trophies. At the time of writing, 0.0% have platinumed the game, so anyone with these trophies has clearly earned it.

Verdict 

Omen on Sorrow isn’t of the same cloth as Tekken or Injustice, but it’s a stylish, if slightly generic, beat ’em up that will offer up longevity when it comes to multiplayer and the heavy-going achievement list.