Earlier this week, some of the staff here at Niche Gamer (that is me, Tyler, and Jonathan) got an early look at Omega Strikers. This action-packed game is the breakout title of Odyssey Interactive, a team of industry veterans that have worked on popular titles like League of Legends and Apex Legends.
Video games constantly try to recreate soccer, I don’t know why but it just happens. Whether that’s faithful adaptations like FIFA or more colorful ones like Rocket League or Windjammers. Omega Strikers is gaming’s latest attempt to reinvent the proverbial wheel called soccer and to be honest there’s nothing quite like it on the market today.
Omega Strikers is a 3v3 game that’s like a combination of League of Legends and Windjammers. Players choose a Striker with unique abilities and passives, select some customizable passives to tweak their character, and then play ball… or puck… or whatever the thing you smack around in this game is called.
Games are played in a unique scoring format with a team winning when their score is both at least 5, and at least 2 points above their opponent; or when the time runs out. Characters have their own niches and roles they’re better at, but there’s nothing stopping you from going off-meta and playing however you want.
One character Dubu is a giant hamster-man that throws bowls of soup and is basically a big obstacle, clearly he’s intended to be a goalie; but you can take him out as a Forward and be just as annoying there. The tradeoff with characters like Dubu is that they’re better at playing ball than striking other players.
In Omega Strikers instead of just the ball, players can use their abilities on their opponents. This can stagger them and if you’re lucky you can knock them off the edge of the arena.
Players who are knocked out will be out of commission for a few seconds, giving their enemies an opportunity to score. While Dubu was an example of a more technical character, Juliette and “X” are characters who are better as Strikers that are more efficient as a Forward and can threaten enemy characters with their hard-hitting moves and mobility.
At launch the game will feature a handful of Strikers and some minor map variants. Currently, when in character select you’ll be able to see what map you’re loading into (currently there’s only an open map, and a map with a diamond-shaped obstacle) alongside what effects the map has.
Effects are minor buffs that mostly occur for a full seconds after collecting an experience orb. These orbs spawn on the map and when collected give your character experience. When a character levels up they become larger and faster, making them more efficient at the game.
Final Thoughts on Omega Strikers
I said near the start of the article that there’s nothing quite like Omega Strikers, and I still believe that. Games are quick, fun, and intense and there’s more creativity and flavor than just rocket cars pushing a ball (though the physics in Rocket League are fun to play with).
Currently the game is in a Closed Alpha and there’s some polish that isn’t there yet with clunky menus and unintuitive UI, but I can only trust that these issues will be worked out by launch.
The core gameplay loop is bound to keep players invested as long as they don’t mind the free-to-play battle pass monetization that’s so common in today’s marker; I understand that’s a deal breaker for some people.
With matches being timed and not taking more than a few minutes, it’s easy to pick up and play only a round or two if you don’t feel like getting invested. This gives it a leg up on MOBA games and Battle Royales which can take half an hour or more depending on how well you perform.
Ultimately, I can see Omega Strikers capturing a core audience of players drawn by the cartoonish art style that’s coupled with appropriately short matches and approachable gameplay.
Omega Strikers is now in closed beta for Windows PC (via Steam) and will hit smartphones later in 2022. A console release is planned on 2023, where the game will be full crossplatform play enabled.