Omikron: The Nomad Soul

In an explosion of action and adventure comes Eidos' Omikron with the kick of a 3D fighting game and a soundtrack by David Bowie.

Omikron seamlessly splices together games from three genres: fighting, first-person shooters and adventure games.

At its best, Omikron is a fresh approach to a neglected adventure-gaming genre, with enough plot twists and shoot-em-up mini-games to keep you interested for weeks.

At its worst, Omikron is your typical puzzle hunt with non-player characters that can often be annoying.

But most of the game is a rich, atmospheric romp through a parallel dimension ripe with danger, misinformation, and betrayal.

It starts off with you swapping souls with Kay'l, a police officer from the world of Phaenon. Your soul is whisked away to the city of Omikron to discover that Kay'l's world has been turned inside out. For starters, Kay'l's partner, Den, has been mysteriously killed and you must investigate his death.

Yet, when Kay'l dies, the first person to touch his body becomes your soul's new host. And this leads to all new abilities, spellcasting, and also twists the plot even further. So with your soul moving from host body to host body, you must try to make some sense of this weird dimension.

Omikron's storyline and plot delivery mechanics--the story is delivered through the eyes of different hosts--alone will keep you buzzing all night. Each step, and new host, brings you closer to unlocking the dark secrets of Phaenon.

The graphics range from Blade Runner-like cityscapes complete with neon-garbed citizens to twisted, Tim Burtonesque landscapes with demonic architecture. I was immediately overwhelmed by Omikron's distinctive alien look and feel. But the polygonal characters are very blocky and could use some cleaner textures--most the textures are murky, and/or blurry.

The audio score is incredible--from the sounds of urban traffic and stray gunshots to the eight original songs co-written and performed by David Bowie. The soundtrack is the atmosphere!

And gameplay is a smooth transition between exploration mode to fighting mode to first-person shooter mode and back to exploration mode. Omikron's supports gamepad, joystick, and even your mouse. Omikron controls are dead on no matter what mode you're in.

So whether you love adventure games, fighting games, or first-person shooters, Omikron will take you by surprise, as it did me. And, hell, you're getting original David Bowie songs right out of the box!

Omikron will take away your soul.