Omega’s forwards is a cleverly designed game; at first, I was drawn to the colorful characters and the simple assumption. Developer Odyssey Interactive, made up of former leads from Riot Games, dared to ask: what if League of Legends the characters, with their unique abilities and strong personalities, sat down to play football three against three?
Polygon has been invited for a preliminary test Omega’s forwardsand the answer is that it is fast, fun and dynamic; Omega’s forwards it’s the kind of game you just want to play one quick round to kill a few minutes then uh-oh Spaghettios, 45 minutes have passed.
The game round starts with a quick draft in which each team chooses its attackers. There is a small but eclectic cast of characters and more are on the way, and players can choose from 10 neat characters. The list is a breath of fresh air; there is a shy witch surrounded by faerie familiars, a goo girl in space outfits, a giant friendly bear, and a shirtless guy who shoots fire from his hands.
“We wanted to create something attractive and accessible. We didn’t want to go the dark, hard fantasy road. We wanted to create something like… we call it a hopeful and energetic look to the future. A mix of Splatoon and Overwatch in a way, says Dax Andrus, co-founder of Odyssey Interactive. “Your lows in the game are blunted and your highs are highlighted by this fun, energetic style that lifts you up as you play.”
Once you’ve locked your striker, you’re into a match that only lasts a few minutes. It’s a good pace because it’s hard to get mad too much Omega’s forwards; there is simply not enough time for a match. Losses flow like water down the duck’s back. Instead, I admired my opponent’s games and wondered if I could repeat them myself. At the same time, the sublime moments continue to sing; kinetic effects, strong visuals and clear action just feel good. The wins are great as the camera gets closer to the striker, the game plays a bit of MVP outro, and there’s just the right amount of fanfare.
“It’s a character-based game where everyone plays in a completely different way, not only through the design of their core set, but also through training options and [customizing] the way you engage in PvPing with other players or focus on scoring, ”says Richard Henkel, Odyssey Co-Founder and CEO, in an interview with Polygon. “There are many variations and what those high moments may look like is different – some players are super aggro, others are sharpshooters or want to score all the dice-breaking goals.”
Each match starts with players lined up on the map in three-person formations. Once the game starts, the target starts out as a very narrow gap. It expands over time, creating a growing sense of pressure. Each character has unique abilities; for example, I played a witch who could create zones to speed up her allies and hurl tornadoes to stun enemies.
All the sharp edges that complicate the fit Observation or League of Legends have been ground. There are no masterful pitfalls, no text chat (a very thoughtful decision, says Henkel), or automated griefing detection systems. I’ve found that the only way to really make someone really sad is to run up to them while the camera focuses on them to celebrate after a goal, and spamming them with a silly emoticon.
Omega’s forwards it’s built from a small, strong core, but it’s clear there is room for expansion in the game. Odyssey intends to partner with devs, including a 1% revenue share in the first season with the creator whose community wins the most games. The developer intends to verify the developers to keep the program; the point is to make the game acceptable on a family gaming night or student club. There is also a place for collegiate esports, comics, and maybe even other games.
Heaven is the limit, and when Omega’s forwards Now small and humble, Odyssey hopes that instant-to-moment play will gain momentum and lead to a strong grassroots community. Omega’s forwards launches Friday in beta on Steam; will be rolled out to other platforms in future updates.