Once in a while a game comes out of nowhere that exceeds all expectations. Kromaia Omega is a 3D space shooter that takes a while to grow on you, but once it does; be prepared to not leave your couch for a while.
It's rare to see a fully 3D space shooter in today's gaming market. Thankfully, Kromaia Omega is here with intuitive controls that allow for six degrees of freedom. Although the controls at first seem difficult to learn since there are so many, you'll quickly ease into them as they're mapped perfectly. Before you know it, you'll be strafing, pitching, yawing, boosting, rolling, accelerating, and decelerating like an expert pilot. Of course, a shooter isn't a shooter without a couple of weapons. Each craft is equipped with a primary and secondary weapon that are activated by tapping the shoulder buttons. The secondary weapon is more powerful but requires some reload time after using it, so it's best to fire it only when necessary. A few optional features are implemented such as being able to choose between three different camera angles, use an unlockable grappling hook, and have a second player take charge of half of the ship's controls. You don't ever have to concern yourself with these features, but it's satisfying to know that they're available. Anyway, mastering the controls may take a bit of effort but it's worth it in order to have a chance in the incredibly epic boss battles. The action sure can get intense so good thing the controls are as tight as they are.
Upon first glance, you may brush off Kromaia Omega as your average stylistic shooter. However, its visuals are much more meaningful than most similar-looking games. When you first start playing, you'll more than likely just be caught up in the chaos but you'll learn to read the screen as you play so you can take advantage of each situation. This unique style is sharp and sophisticated yet considering how integrated the gameplay is with the visuals, it ends up being more than simple eye candy. On the audio side; deep low-frequency blasts, abstract musical rhythms, and distinguishable audio cues make for one layered soundscape. If you have a decent sound system then you'll definitely be impressed by how beautifully cohesive every piece of music and effect blend together. Overall, this is a terrific example of both top-quality audio and visual finesse.
The main campaign is broken up into four stages and a final boss. In order to defeat the end boss, you'll need to finish each stage with four different armours equipped. Each stage unlocks a new set of armour the first time you complete it so basically the first four stages act as introductions to what these sets of armour are capable of. To complete a stage, you must fly through twenty nodes then battle a massive boss. You'll need a whole new strategy when you face the same boss again while wearing different armour. Therefore, playing the stages again doesn't feel repetitive at first since the armours are distinct enough to offer completely different gameplay scenarios. For example, one armour has homing projectiles while another's main weapon is a sword. Once you manage to get through the entire campaign, it feels great... but you're not done yet! A couple of extra modes consisting of Pure Mode (where you see how far you can get in the campaign with only one life) and a separate Score Attack mode are great fun to challenge while climbing the leaderboards.
Kromaia Omega is a fantastic game but it does have a couple of downsides. The first of which is that although playing through the stages again is interesting at first, it starts to feel repetitive after facing the same stage a few times. Sure, the different armour helps make it feel like a new experience but it's still the exact same stage either way you look at it. The only other negative point that I can think of is that it can be daunting at first to new players since everything from the intensely chaotic action to the menus can be confusing until you get used to it all. Once it starts to click with you then this is no longer an issue, but I can definitely see it turning off more impatient gamers from the start. In the end, these points don't add up to much but they're at least worth mentioning.
I haven't played a game as impressive as Kromaia Omega in a long time. As a fan of 3D shooters like Omega Boost, I must say that the developers (Kraken Empire) did a fantastic job of making the genre exciting again.
- + Phenomenally tight and intense 3D space shooting gameplay with epic bosses
- + Cool visual style and impactful audio
- + Plenty of replay incentives
- - The four main stages get repetitive after replaying them a few times
- - Can be overwhelmingly confusing at first