Are you ready to strap on your jetpack and leave the world behind? Omega Agent puts you in the first-person perspective of a jetpack-steering, gun-and-missile-shooting, high-flying adventure over a secret British spy training facility. Brought to you by the same developers as Android and iOS’s critically acclaimed “The Room” series, Fireproof Games describes their first VR environment as “an aerial open world” and invites you to “soar high above its mountainous peaks for an eagle eye view, or power dive into the underground base”. Much to the chagrin of my stomach, I soared above and now it’s time to dive into my in-depth review.
You’ll begin Omega Agent in Omega Control, designed and decorated in a 1960s Britain spy theme that never takes itself too seriously. You start at your desk, which will eventually be adorned with trinkets like a royal bobblehead and a “World’s Best Spy” mug. The wall in front of your desk has three large screens which show the controller layout for the (required) gamepad, your progress for collectibles, stars and unlockable areas, and on the middle screen you’ll find the main menu with which you interact. I love the mod-style posters on the wall beside the screens with slogans like “Spying for Great Britain” and others with drone images titled “Know Your Enemy”, I’d genuinely consider getting prints of these for my office.
It’s time to take to the skies over Omega Island, let’s quickly discuss how virtual reality is applied here. You’ll find yourself in a seemingly futuristic world of polygon structures and vibrant colours. You get a first-person perspective of being strapped in a jetpack and you’ll see parts of it around you, including vertical bars with gauges. Depending on the game mode you’re in, these gauges will either show you a tally of your collectibles (free-flight) or your time and score (missions), and they work as another point of reference in your environment. Anything you see in Omega Agent is accessible, including the tops of the towers and that mountain looming over the city.The tutorial is a great place to learn the basics of your thruster, boost, steering and weapons (machine gun, shotgun and missiles).
There are two game modes; the first game mode is “Free-Flight Exploration”, which let’s you explore the areas of Omega Island unlocked in missions. You begin in Omega City, and will unlock two underground areas called Omega Sewers and Omega HQ. This mode is a fun place to start and get a feel for the controls. I won’t lie, the first thing I tried was to fly as high as possible, then stare down as I dropped like a rock. That’s the obvious first move, right? The general objective of free-flight exploration is to find all of the briefcases and blueprint collectibles. The briefcases are easier to find as they’re simply scattered around the environment. The blueprints are more difficult and require some problem solving. I’ll avoid spoilers, but these puzzles can consist of things like creating explosions in specific locations, or using the “holo-switches” to trigger objects in your surroundings. If you manage to collect all of the briefcases, you’ll unlock night mode, and finding all of the blueprints will unlock the MKII, an intensely upgraded jetpack.
The second game mode in Omega Agent is “Mission Directory”, a series of missions scattered across five mission classes. Each class has eight missions, and each mission has three stars that can be achieved. Collecting these stars is your ticket to unlocking Omega Sewers and Omega HQ in free-flight exploration. Although some of the early missions may not be the most challenging, they get increasingly difficult as you progress. By the later missions, I actually found myself taking several attempts to achieve three stars. There are eight different types of missions, some types that are timed and others that require high scores. The timed missions mostly involve moving through waypoints, some requiring that you collect coins or shoot targets along the way. As for the high score missions, they typically consist of shooting drones and turrets in the city or through indoor corridors. There’s a multiplier that rises if you move quickly and eliminate your enemies, and you’ll often rely on that multiplier to achieve the high scores needed for three stars. My favourite mission type is called “Combat Arena”. You must fly through a holo-switch to commence waves of enemies in a large room. Once you clear a wave, quickly get back to the holo-switch to unlock the next wave. You’ll want to be fast and keep that multiplier up!
Due to the possibility of motion sickness (and yes, I’ll get into my personal experience with this shortly), it’s important to discuss the options menu. The most important option is called “Turn Control” and it can be the difference between an enjoyable experience or a queasy mess. As someone susceptible to motion sickness, I preferred the “Swivel Chair” option, which allows you to turn in the game based on your direction in the the real world. I should add that I personally preferred this mode while standing, rather than actually sitting in my swivel chair. The one other option that could affect your comfort is the “Background Dome” option, which adds a grid around the environment. The dome is intended to help by giving you a reference to your location in 3D space, however, I didn’t find a notable difference with this option on or off. I recommend trying these different options when you start playing in order to find out what works best for you.
Now that you have a solid understanding of the game, let me tell you about my personal experience playing Omega Agent. I had an absolute blast, but not without some discomfort at first. Some players have no issue with this, but I definitely experienced some undesirable motion sickness. Despite finding the best settings in the options to suit my comfort, my first session of play was cut short. Let’s be clear, I still love this game, but I wish I listened to my body and took a break when symptoms started, rather than trying to power through. The good news is that it improved with each gaming session. I started back with short bursts of 10-20 minutes at a time, and eventually, I was basically unbothered by motion sickness. Perhaps it was just a matter of getting my “VR legs”, as some say.
Motion sickness aside, I spent a decent chunk of my initial time by exploring free-flight mode and really enjoyed finding the collectibles. Once I collected the more obvious ones and wanted to unlock the remaining areas, I decided to test out the missions. I initially didn’t know what to expect, but I found myself obsessed with getting three stars for each one and felt challenged by the increasing difficulty.
Omega Agent is unlike anything else currently available on the store. The freedom you feel when flying first-person around Omega Island with your jetpack is something that needs to be experienced, just listen to your body if you’re prone to motion sickness. Whether you’re searching for collectibles in free-flight or racing and shooting drones in missions, Omega Agent has enough varied content to keep most anyone happily occupied for hours.