Omega Strikers is a cleverly designed game; at first, I was drawn in by the colorful characters and straightforward premise. Odyssey Interactive, a company made up of former Riot Games executives, has been brave enough to ask: What if League of Legends characters, with their unique abilities and strong personalities, sat down to play a three-on-three soccer match?
Polygon was invited to a preview test of Omega Strikers, and the answer is that it's fast, fun, and dynamic; Omega Strikers is the sort of game where you want to do one quick round to kill a few minutes, then, uh-oh Spaghettios, 45 minutes have passed.
Each round of the game starts off with a quick draft, where each team picks their strikers. Players may choose from ten nice characters, including a shy witch surrounded by faerie familiars, a giant friendly bear, and a shirtless guy who shoots fire out of his hands.
We wanted to create something that was both enjoyable and accessible. We did not want to go down a dark, gritty fantasy route. We wanted to create, like, a hopeful and energetic view of the future, according to Dax Andrus, the co-founder of Odyssey Interactive. This fun, energetic style lifts you up as you play it.
The game plays a little MVP outro once you have locked in your striker, which is a good pace because you don't need to spend too much time on Omega Strikers. Instead, I'd find myself admiring an opponent's plays and wondering if I'd be able to replicate them.
In the conference with Polygon, Richard Henkel, co-founder and president of Odyssey, said the game is a very character-driven game where everyone plays in a completely different manner, not just through the design of their base kit, but also through [customizing] your engagement with PvPing with other players or focusing on scoring.
Each game begins with the players arranged in three groups. Over time, the goal narrows, increasing the sense of pressure. For instance, I played a witch who could create zones to speed up her friends and hurl tornadoes to stun her foes.
All of the difficulties that plague Overwatch or League of Legends have been sanded away. There are no mastery traps, no text chat (a very deliberate decision, according to Henkel), and automated systems to detect and respond to feelings of worry. The only way to really grieve someone is to run up to them for a post-goal celebration, and then spam a silly emote.
Omega Strikers is built with a small, robust core, but the game has room to grow. Odyssey intends to work with artists, including a 1% revenue share in the first season with a creator whose community wins the most games. The goal is to keep the game acceptable for a family game night or college club. There is also room for collegiate esports, comics, and other games.
Omega Strikers is currently small and humble, but Odyssey wants that moment-to-moment fun to build launch momentum and lead to a strong grassroots community. It will be extended to other platforms in future updates.