Omega Strikers is a cleverly designed game; at first, I was drawn in by the colorful characters and straightforward premise. Odyssey Interactive, made up of former Riot Games employees, has been brave enough to ask: What if League of Legends characters 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 quick, fun, and dynamic; Omega Strikers is the game in which you want to try one quick round to kill a few minutes, and then, uh-oh, Spaghettios, 45 minutes have passed.
The game gets underway with a quick draft where each team picks their strikers. Theres a small but varied cast of characters on the way, with more on the way soon; players may choose from ten nice characters.
We wanted to create something that was both attractive and accessible. We did not want to go down a dark, gritty fantasy road. We wanted to make it 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 moves with a little MVP outro, and you have a match that lasts only a few minutes. This is a decent pace because its difficult to get too involved in Omega Strikers. Instead, Id find myself admiring an opponent's plays and wondering if I could emulate them.
In a conversation with Polygon, Richard Henkel, co-founder and president of Odyssey, explains how each player plays a different way, not only by their base kit, but also by [customizing] your approach to PvPing with other players or focusing on scoring.
Each match starts with the players arranged in groups of three. The goal starts out as a very narrow gap. Over time, it widens, creating an increasing sense of pressure; for instance, I played a witch who could create zones to speed up her allies and hurl tornadoes to stun her foes.
All of the challenges that come with a Overwatch or League of Legends match have been sanded away. There are no mastery traps, no text chat (a very deliberate decision, according to 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 then spam a silly emote.
Omega Strikers is a small, well-built game, but it's clear that the game has room to grow. Odyssey intends to work with creators, 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 family game night or college club.
Omega Strikers is currently a tiny and humble game, but Odyssey expects that the moment-to-moment fun will build launch momentum and lead to a strong grassroots community. It will be extended to other platforms in future updates.