Sonic Omens is a Sonic fan game developed by Ouroboros Studio and published by BOLT. The first 2 episodes were released on March 14, 2020, initially titled Sonic 2020 and the development was fully completed in August 10th, 2022.
Why It’s a Bad Omen
- The game had a very shady development, with the most notable example being the fact that the developers were exposed of profiting from their game with several websites like Patreon. We should remind you that profiting from a fan game is illegal and risks you to get a lawsuit from the original developers.
- Inconsistent story filled with plot-holes and bizarre contradictions that make zero sense to the context of the Sonic series and feel like they came from a Final Fantasy game, as many have compared Omens to Sonic '06 in terms of how messy the story is and how bad the writing is overall.
- There are also moments in the story where build-ups to the half-way point is completely absent and results in some parts of the story being unfinished and incredibly rushed at best.
- The game was released in an unfinished state with zero polish and numerous bugs & glitches that come out of nowhere in certain parts of the campaign, and considering that it uses an early version of a fan-created game engine that was abandoned with no patches to it, and also the developers having zero experience when it comes to quality control, it makes the game feel passionless with no effort put into it.
- The cutscenes are incredibly laughable and cheesy with bad voice acting, mediocre animation that looks like it was done in Source Filmmaker in only a week, several grammatical errors combined with severely poor dialogue and the character models being rather jerky and stiff overall.
- Poor level design, with a lot of the hallway-like levels being unnecessarily huge and be filled with rather badly designed platforming sections that tend to feel glitchy and broken at times due to the unfinished game engine, and since the game uses the Boost formula from Colors, Generations, Unleashed and Forces, it makes the levels feel like poor-man's versions of the levels in Unleashed but without the charm of what made Unleashed a good game.
- Awful character physics and momentum, as both the main playable characters, Sonic and Shadow, have very wonky movement and control very poorly, as they tend to feel either too fast or too slow in certain parts of the game, and in some points of the game, they can easily glitch in some levels and can easily collide into enemies or death spikes due to their poor running acceleration and bad controls overall, and both of them are unplayable during certain parts of the game.
- Overabundance of unnecessary vehicle levels with Tails that are tedious to play through and complete at the end of the level, as the vehicles control very poorly and the shooting mechanics are very finicky when shooting at either objects or enemies, and all of them are fat worse than the vehicle levels in Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic' 06 combined.
- Bland characters with zero development or growth in the story, and come off as plot devices that move the game along to its length, such as Chris Thorndyke (who is utterly despised by the Sonic community), who isn't in the story that often and is only used as a minor plot point in the game's story where he is told to be dead but is actually alive and has been aging far too quickly. Not to mention that older Chris looks like a poor man's version of Sora from Kingdom Hearts.
- The main villain, Exiled, is a generic over-the-top villain who acts way too similar to Infinite from Sonic Forces, and isn't very threatening in the slightest despite having a badass design just like Infinite before him.
- The music was heavily plagrised from other games and were remixed to sound like Sonic-style music, such as a track from the Cars 2 video game adaption where it was used in one level that had a remixed rendition of it without crediting the composers of that track in the first place, which BOLT should've just got original music instead.
- Shadow was given an incredibly racist and extremely stereotypical Russian accent that doesn't fit his voice and character at all, as an excuse to replace his old voice actor with a completely new one that tries to sound like him with his serious persona but fails due to poorly clashing with his character and makes him sound like his comedic parody from Balena Productions's webseries, Sonic Zombies on YouTube.
- Awful boss battles, as most of them are very poorly designed and have incredibly unpredictable attack patterns that can either be easy or hard to avoid and could obscure the player to their weak point, and some of them require tactics that are annoying to pull off to hit them at their weak point, which can make them rather painful to deal with in general.
- The boss with Maria also caused some controversy for utilising a dead child as an opponent to fight since Maria is very young and is the granddaughter of Gerald Robotnik and Eggman's cousin, who was killed by GUN soldiers when Shadow was created. What's worse is that she has an underwear texture with "bad girl" printed on, which comes across as creepy and disturbing.
- Shadow's Chaos abilities are incredibly nerfed to the point where it makes him the worst character in the game, since they have low power and are hard to aim at certain enemies, and some of them are even fully required to get to certain parts of the levels which can be infuriating to many since Shadow has an awfully bad playstyle and controls very badly, so trying to use Shadow and his powers to be able to progress through the game can get very frustrating at times.
- Wall Running has been completely ruined in this game thanks to the awful physics and bad controls, which can be annoying in some parts of the levels that have parts of them that require Wall Running since either Sonic or Shadow can fall off the walls very easily and fall towards their death or not make it to the Boost pads on time to progress to the next part of the level, making a lot of parts that have Wall Running unfair and overall cause Fake Difficulty.
- Bad and uncontrollable camera that is locked-in and moves automatically, but it doesn't respond properly with some areas of the game and can accidentally close in onto either Sonic or Shadow, which can cause some cheap deaths to happen at times.
- None of the original voice actors of the characters were paid at all and were scammed by the developers out of spite, only for Ouroboros Studio to replace them with new voice actors that sounded worse than the original voices that were provided by the original actors playing the characters, especially Shadow already mentioned above on WIS#10, who again sounds like a racist Russian stereotype and absolutely sounds nothing like he does in the games.
- The game disrespects the source material. A large majority of the time and many core aspects of Omens feels out-of-place for a Sonic game, such as the more serious and plot-heavy story of the game, and the locations barely feel like they fit with the tone of the Sonic series at all and feel more like they came straight out of the Halo franchise or DOOM for that matter.
- It is way more inferior to the early 2020 demo that came out two years before it, as despite the demo being problematic, it still performed and played way better than the final version overall and had the true potential to be a good game, which sadly wasn't the case with the final version itself.
- The graphics are pretty good despite being made on an unfinished engine (which was imported on the Unreal Engine 5).
- Despite most of it being plagiarized, the music is still one of the best parts about the game, and most of the remixes are amazing and fun to listen to overall.
Back at its 2020 release, the game was highly praised mostly because of its graphics. However, Splash Dash said that the reason why the game received praise at first was because people didn't even play the game and said he did and said that the game sucked. He criticized for being buggy, the awful level design, and poor controls.
Hype from people later died quickly when Ouroboros Studio, the developers of the game, revealed that they made a Patreon account for the game, which lead to a lot of criticism because profiting from fan games is illegal.
When the final episodes were released and everyone started to play, the game was heavily panned for the bizarre plot, multiple bugs and glitches, extremely hard boss battles, bad camera, and the laughable dialogue.
The game was so infamous that it not only became the "Hunt Down the Freeman" of the franchise and overshadowed by the 16-bit fan remake of Sonic Triple Trouble, but it also made the fanbase apologize to Sonic Frontiers.
- The game's infamy spawned the #OMENSSWEEP meme in reference to the Morbius Sweep memes.