How do you talk to stars? This is a question that no one has ever really considered and, if they did, singing would certainly not be the first choice. However, Opus: Echo of a Starsong has opened the world of singing witches and space travel to game pass. Is this the game for you? Well, we here at Robot Republic have the answer.
If you haven’t heard of the Opus series then I don’t blame you, I know I hadn’t. The series was developed by the Taiwanese studio SIGONO and was primarily focused on the mobile gaming market. However, most of them have slowly been added to mainline consoles as well. Opus: Echo of a Starsong has taken the logical next step and has been released on Game Pass.
One of the biggest issues with releasing a long-running series onto a different console is that new players will have no idea what is going on. However, Opus: Echo of a Starsong is pretty disconnected from the other games. The plot follows Jun Lee, the leader of an ancient clan as he recounts his adventures with Eda, a witch. The plot starts quite slow, and there are a whole lot of questions for the player to answer.
Thankfully the universe that the characters inhabit is explained through characters' interactions and findable memories. There was no point that I didn’t have at least a vague idea of what was happening. The plot and the lore were all well crafted and combined with the designs of the characters and the world all made it feel like a living world that was exciting to explore.
Opus: Echo of a Starsong is a sidescrolling adventure game, at least in basic concept. However, there is more here than simply pushing left on various maps. The main aim of the game is to explore asteroids for the mysterious Lumen but you need to reach the asteroids first. The game is split between navigating space and upgrading your ship to exploring the Lumen caves. Each aspect connects to the other in such a way that makes every action feel like it has importance.
There are puzzles as well, but the quality of these ‘puzzles’ vary more than you would expect. For instance, while exploring a section of space you will need to resonate to find the Lumen caves. Resonating is essentially moving a ball into a circle. Then the puzzles in the cave are either moving lumen into the right place to open doors or finding the right resonance to open a door. These puzzles are fine at first, but they show the weakness of being a mobile game-based system. They aren’t particularly difficult, and often feel placed to extend the game's length.
The actual exploration is based around visiting unexplored zones, scanning new sectors to find either wrecks or caves and exploring them to find sellable goods. The actual mechanics work fine, but there isn’t anything particularly exciting to do. The scavenging and selling are occasionally broken up by random encounters that require a virtual dice roll to complete. It is possible to limit the bad ending to these by either using the right characters or upgrading the ship, but it all feels slightly cheap when you do fail. This is especially evident as the player will never see the roll, they will only be told what the roll resulted in.
Visually Opus: Echo of a Starsong has a simple design for the characters as they explore the universe. This design is combined with an anime-style character portrait during dialogue and in movies. It all works, but it isn’t anything we haven’t seen before. The visuals are all secondary really when the most important thing is the music and…well…the singing. The music is amazing, with a combination of scenic melodic music intertwined with more exciting tones to punctuate the action.
Opus: Echo of a Starsong is a strange game to play and an even stranger one to recommend. Honestly, as a mobile game, it is a great example of what can be done with the medium. However, it has more of an issue working on a more powerful console or PC. It could be worth a try, but there is a clear indication of what the best method to play is. Other than that it’s an interesting game in a fascinating world that’s worth exploring.
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