Omega Strikers is a cleverly designed game; at first, I was drawn in by the colorful characters and simple premise; Odyssey Interactive, made up of former Riot Games employees, has been brave enough to pose the question: What if League of Legends characters, with their unique abilities and powerful personalities, sat down to play three-on-three soccer?
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 game where you want to spend just one quick round to kill a few minutes, and then, uh-oh Spaghettios, 45 minutes have passed.
A quick draft starts off the game, with each team picking their strikers. There's a small but varied cast of characters, with more on the way, and players may choose from ten neat characters.
We wanted to create something that would be both appealing and accessible. We didnt want to go down a dark, gritty fantasy route. We wanted to create, like, a hopeful and energetic vision of the future, according to Dax Andrus, the co-founder of Odyssey Interactive. This playful, energetic style lifts you up as you play it.
After getting the ball in, you go into a match that lasts only a few minutes. The losses roll off like water off a ducks back; the high moments continue to sing; the clear action just feels good. Wins feel great, as the camera zooms in on your striker, and there's an appropriate amount of fanfare.
In a conversation with Polygon, Richard Henkel, co-founder and president of Odyssey, said it's a very character-driven game where everyone plays in a completely different manner, not just through the design of their base equipment, but also through training options, or focusing on scoring.
Each match starts with the players arranged in groups of three. The starting line begins as a very small gap. Over time, it widens, creating an increasing sense of pressure. For instance, I played a witch who could summon storms to stun her foes.
All of the problems that plague Overwatch or League of Legends have been gone. There are no mastery traps, no text chat (a very deliberate choice, says Henkel), and automated ways to detect grief. The only way to truly grieve someone is to run up to them for a post-goal celebration, and spam a silly emote.
Omega Strikers is built with a small, solid core, but the game has room to grow. Odyssey intends to work with creators, including a 1% revenue share in the first season with a creator who wins the most games. The intention 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 hopes that the moment-to-moment fun will build brand momentum and lead to a strong grassroots community. In future updates, it will extend to other platforms.