The videogame market welcomes so many projects that it is impossible to keep up with all of them. Even if we commit ourselves, rivers of video games go unnoticed in our eyes, risking to make us lose experiences that, instead, had to be tried and made known to as many people as possible. This is the case with Opus: Echo of Starsong, a narrative adventure distinguished by puzzles and RPG elements that, above all, stages an unforgettable story, one of those that have no borders. Indeed, they go beyond their own to speak to anyone at any time.
In its mix of genres, which also alternate simple phases of exploration in 2.5D, Opus: Echo of Starsong slowly unveils a plot that transcends time and space, whose most precious teachings are the difficulty in 'learn to love and accept yourself while living your life, without depending on the judgment of others. A bittersweet tale, because it starts from the future to go back and recall a past that is now too distant, with the regret of those who have done everything but not, perhaps, the only thing that matters.
Our Customers reviewed Opus: Echo of Starsong on PC and we can't wait to tell you about it.
A story that transcends time and space
The game opens with a man, now old, who is about to explore a cave that has remained untouched for decades: he is a respectable leader of the Lee clan, a figure too important to allow himself a similar risk, as he is repeated many times. He sends all these protests back to the sender, declaring that he is no longer anyone but himself, and continues. Use a strange object to unlock the heavy stone entrance, a staff from which a chant comes. Among his words, filled with regret, we read that he returned to keep a promise made to a woman many, too many years ago, something he was unable to do then and wants to keep at least now.
It is among his memories of sixty-six years before the history of Opus: Echo of Starsong takes shape, telling us and reminding himself that close ties during a journey like his know how to transcend the boundaries of time and space. There is always a bittersweet trace when we find ourselves living someone's memories, the knowledge that something has gone wrong but we have no idea what and, piece by piece, we fear the moment we discover the truth. The story staged by the Taiwanese studio SIGONO is as beautiful as it is moving and grows in intensity to a bittersweet conclusion.
It tells of a young Jun, exiled with his guardian Kay for dishonoring the clan and looking for a way to restore the lost honor; of his fortuitous meeting with Edalune (Eda) and Remi, two girls bound by something deeper than blood, one witch and the other skilled pilot. Against the science fiction background of a universe that is dealing with the aftermath of a terrible war, fought for the possession of a mysterious and powerful source of energy called lumens, people who could not be more different from each other will find themselves collaborating later. an accident with a group of pirates.
Opus: Echo of Starsong puts a lot of care in the lore, both through the numerous exchanges with the as many characters that populate the game world and through the numerous collectibles (two hundred and forty-six) that we will be able to collect during the adventure.
The commitment of developers to create a universe so vibrant, despite its misery, it deserves every single word read, but basically it is commendable for the construction of the characters. Their depth and characterization is built step by step, also relying on flashbacks that shed light on their past and contribute to making certain situations even more tragic and heartfelt. The quarrels between Remi and Jun, the latter's suffering at being responsible for the collapse of his entire clan, Eda's obsession with someone she can't forget, Kay's devotion to her young master: they all have something that defines them, making them unique in their own way, multifaceted in their being no longer simple characters but virtual people: with an experience, a goal, strengths and weaknesses, in a constant series of situations that helps to paint a clear picture of what it means to endure the difficult consequences of the Lumen War.
The game is not localized in Spanish but, if you chew even a little English, don't miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the story of Opus: Echo of Starsong. There is no rush to follow it, you are left with all the time in the world to read and explore, even in the face of a rather simple but varied gameplay enough not to let such a touching tale slip adrift.
A simple but captivating gameplay
Despite being a game that makes storytelling its cornerstone, Opus: Echo of Starsong also offers a fair variety in gameplay: none of its elements, the puzzles in particular, can be said to be difficult, but the presence of RPG elements combined with the exploration makes it interesting, especially if we consider the randomness with which different events can occur.
Starting from puzzles, are all structured around the use of so-called "starsong", songs that only witches like Eda can produce after listening to the voice of the lumens. Recorded in special scepters called Echo Synthescepter, they allow you to interact with ancient technologies that exploit the lumen as an energy source: sometimes it is a question of channeling the aforementioned energy simply by using the scepter while others, specifically when you are in front of entrances from to open, you have to find the right rhythm by aligning the sounds with the symbols on the door. It can happen in some cases that two different starsong samples are needed, prompting us to look around us to look for the missing one, but beyond this it is a very simple interaction, to be seen almost more like a small pause within the narrative flow.
On the other hand, however, we have its RPG structure to make it captivating. We are in a solar system and we are runners in search of lumens, exploring anomalies or unknown areas is the first thing to do as soon as we wake up: here the management of resources and the development of the ship come into play both to make them travel greater distances, both to resist the dangers or pass unscathed some tests that require the tampering of external signals. Each point of interest on the map requires specific units of fuel to reach, which in turn is obtained by buying it in settlements or by superficially exploring the ruins (that is, without having to get off the ship and switch to a 2.5D exploration).
To do this, however, specific kits are required, which in turn can be purchased in the settlements: going unprepared means wasting only time and fuel. What we will find is random, it could serve both to upgrade the ship and as a bargaining chip: trade is one of the main activities that we will carry out in the game, because resources cost, are consumed faster than you think and we must always be ready to refuel. in order not to find ourselves in unpleasant or disadvantaged situations, This means planning trips, deciding whether it is worth immediately draining an area of all its resources or keeping something aside in case of future need (resources do not regenerate, there are a number of attempts available and that's it) but, more importantly, be ready for anything.
We have no idea what to expect on arrival or during the journey, as random events can occur both on the spot and on the way: generally these are threats to be overcome by hacking into other people's systems or distorting the signal, a choice that is left in the hand to us and above all to the game, if we choose to take the risk. Each action has a specific difficulty and, based on the power of our means, the result oscillates between one possible extreme and the other: it is like throwing a dice, which during the game can be modified to have a higher starting result. of 1. The impossibility of accurately predicting the result, as well as the possible reward obtained, is what makes each event unique in its own way and this applies to any type. From dangers to luck tests (as regards Jun), coercion (in the case of Remi) or diplomacy (Eda), everything is left to chance which, however, can be slightly bent by obtaining or buying objects that increase the starting base value. under which we cannot go down.
These events, combined with occasional side missions and especially multiple choice dialogues that determine most of the exchanges, make up the RPG component of the game, which is joined by the slightly more managerial one when it comes to the ship, its upgrades and the careful consumption of resources to move from one fixed point to another. There is so much to explore in Opus: Echo of Starsong, and contrary to what one might think it can last at least ten hours if you are curious enough explorers not to miss any corner of the galaxy. In its simplicity, the gameplay is engaging and diversified enough to keep the attention threshold always high, but the core of the game still lies in the story, in the messages it tries to convey.
We have already written it and we repeat it, the care taken in the construction of thesetting and of the characters shows all the heart of the developers: from each png we are able to obtain valuable information on the game world, on the life of those who survived the war or was born after its consequences, managing to grasp all the hope and resilience that lies hidden under the desolation that reigns. Jun, Jay, Eda and Remi's journey is fascinating, especially in the way it is shaped against the backdrop of far greater political machinations than their own; their characterization is taken care of, as well as the concept of family that is created by being members of the same crew. A dip in memory and in the past that is linked to a present, a bittersweet ending in which, however, you can feel the same warmth and hope of the past.
L'aesthetics of Opus: Echo of Starsong is very well done, with visual novel phases that alternate with 2.5D animated sequences and artwork of the curated characters, but the audio sector is the real strong point of the game. The sound design is absolutely memorable, even outside of the puzzles where it does a great job of channeling the emotions. The tracks you will hear during the adventure are variations of the starsong used to proceed, more elaborate versions able to create a perfect atmosphere.
Difficult to find real defects in Opus: Echo of Starsong, but one thing actually made us turn up our noses: the lack of manual saves and the need, for the automatic ones, to complete sequences that may even be quite long. If we want to exit the game and go to the main menu we are not asked to save the progress and, although the autosave is frequent, it is always advisable to make sure to see it appear on the screen: otherwise, you risk having to redo a portion of the game already addressed. Beyond this, the work done by SINOGO is absolutely worthy and is one of the many indies that you shouldn't miss.
CommentTested version PC Windows Digital Delivery Steam Price 14,99 € Resources4Gaming.com
Simple, but impactful, Opus: Echo of Starsong is a finely crafted indie, with a story that knows no boundaries and very well characterized characters within a rich and well-kept narrative universe. Although the narrative is the heart of the experience, the gameplay side has nothing to complain about: it is simple, yes, but as varied as it is enough to not slip into boredom, thanks to the sense of discovery and the randomness that accompanies our numerous travel across the galaxy. Following the flow of memories of a now elderly Jun, we retrace his bittersweet history to learn about characters and events that will remain engraved in the memory. Aside from a perfectible progress saving system, Opus: Echo of Starsong is among the best indies played this year, a game that you shouldn't miss if you have even a fair knowledge of English.
- Aesthetically and musically excellent
- Simple gameplay but never boring or frustrating
- Impactful story with deep character development
- The enigmas, in their uniqueness, blend very well with the narrative
- The rescue system could be perfected