Title: Opus: Echo of Starsong
Developer: Sigono Inc.
Release Date: September 1, 2021
Reviewed On: PC
Genre: Puzzle, Adventure, Indie
The Opus series of games has been widely acclaimed as pioneers in the storytelling and indie adventure scene. Today, we will look at Opus: Echo of Starsong, the third game in the Opus series developed and published by the Taiwanese studio Sigono.
Opus: Echo of Starsong begins by telling us a tale of a noble named Jun , who reminisces of his younger days as he traveled across space with his guardian Kay and a young woman named Eda. Jun’s objective at the time was to travel to and conquer lumen caves, asteroids that hold a very precious mineral, fittingly called lumen. But, unfortunately, on a particular adventure, Jun had exploded caves that belonged to the East Ocean and was therefore exiled.
Unlike the two past entries of the series, this game is much more fleshed out. The first title only had you scan planets. The second only had you explore and search for items. But Opus: Echo of Starsong combines these elements while also adding other systems. It should be mentioned that this is a standalone narrative. While each storyline takes place in the same “universe,” they’re thousands of years apart, allowing you to play them in and chronological order.
The exploration mechanics are pretty straightforward. You select places on the galaxy chart to travel there. First, however, you need to keep a close eye on your ship’s fuel, which can be replenished by using Exploration Kits in abandoned locations across space or purchasing refuel kits from the shops. This mechanic demands your full attention due to the number of resources it requires. If your fuel usage is not carefully planned out, you might end up stranded in some random corner in space, with no fuel or any other resource to explore with.
As you move across the universe, you’ll encounter random events. These will prompt you with a choice to either run away or face the problem. For example, one event has you disguise your ship as a civilian ship, but to add to the randomness, the game will roll a random number from 1 to 10, and your number must be higher than the one stated in the difficulty level. If you roll a number lower, your ship will be damaged, and you’ll lose some Armor. But, if you roll a number higher, you might earn a reward with ship upgrades allowing your chances of success to increase.
Various puzzles are spread throughout the story. The first has you align Jun’s scepter with the markings on gates to proceed. Some gates might require more than one sound, while others require just the correct tune to open. Secondly, you’ll have a puzzle every time you attempt to find the next location to explore. By steering Eda’s focus towards the right signal, she’ll then record the starsong required. This leads to exploration, which is crucial if you hope to have enough fuel or Armor Plates to continue.
Incidentally, if your ship reaches 0 Armor Plates, that’s it. Players should carefully consider each action, as an auto-save will occur following a choice. This means thought would need to be placed in each decision, but I can see some players becoming frustrated after misclicking on an option.
Opus: Echo of Starsong’s main charm is its story, featuring a rich cast of characters. Jun and Eda are both fixated on their own objectives. While Jun tries to regain the glory of his clan, Eda is on a quest to locate her Master, who had gone missing following an expedition. However, these are just some of the characters you’ll meet; the entire story encompasses a well-rounded cast that adds to the game’s immersion and enjoyment.
With an expansive story and unique presentation bringing everything beloved from the prior Opus entries, Opus: Echo of Starsong is by far the franchise’s best outing. We get some standout narrative and interactive segments by taking what worked before and improving the design and presentation. The random elements and item management require more hands-on from the player, but the result is a gorgeous and low barrier of entry adventure through space.
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