One of the best narrative driven stories I have encountered in an indie title. The music and sound effects are beyond immersive, elevating the story whilst providing a captivating and enchanting experience.
Genre: Adventure, Puzzle,
Developer: SIGONO INC
Publisher: SIGONO INC
Release date: 1 Sep, 2021
OPUS: Echo of Starsong is an atmospheric narrative driven adventure with sound at the heart of the story. It resembles a visual novel in style and has elements of exploration and puzzles.
It is the third game set in the OPUS universe but each game can be played independently and each has their own story.
In a distant solar system known as Thousand Peaks, a discovery was made that turned the region into a veritable war zone.
Uncovering the ruins of an ancient Lumen civilization attracted many different factions desperate to control the supply of Lumen. The conflict lasted twenty years, known as The Lumen War.
The galactic mega corporation, United Mining claimed victory and declared peace in the region.
However, the lure of Lumen was too strong and smaller conflicts raged on resulting in the resource being made a public asset under United Mining rule. A race ensued to harvest the Lumen.
People specializing in finding Lumen were dubbed “Cave Runners” and being successful in finding Lumen brought prestige and honor upon your clan.
After a disastrous tenor as a cave runner, Jun is in exile with his trusty guardian Kay, desperate to restore his name.
Meanwhile a witch called Eda is looking for her master, mentor and guardian. She has searched everywhere to no avail.
Their paths entwine one day whilst searching for Lumen and the game follows their plights to discover what they are looking for.
Gameplay consists of Exploration, Ship management, light puzzle elements and dialogue choices.
You can explore the area of Thousand Peaks in your space ship, landing at various ports or asteroids.
A map of the area is displayed and you can visit any destination visible if you have enough fuel and the scanner is within range.
During the journey you can sometimes explore debris using your exploratory packs. These might unearth some goodies for you to use or sell.
Each destination will have characters to interact with depending on the type of place you visit. You may have decisions to make which can affect story plots, future relationships or just determine whether you get out of a certain situation without harm.
These places can provide a welcome trading post for you to sell or buy much needed items to replenish or upgrade your ship.
Meeting different factions is very interesting and will be particularly exciting for lovers of lore. The game is filled with mythological references and paints a rich tapestry of knowledge explaining each faction and The Lumen War.
In some sectors there are starsongs which Eda can detect and sing. Once recorded she can ask Jun to visit its origin and explore the caves it is harbored in.
Managing the ship you will need fuel, protective panels, exploratory kits and money.
Each time you travel to a destination you use fuel; If you encounter enemies or asteroid fields your ship might get damaged and use up panels; Exploratory kits are needed to detect items and cash is needed to buy certain items including replenishing the above items.
There are numerous occasions where you need to decide on an answer.
Sometimes these are straight choices affecting plots and relationships whilst others are more luck orientated. Throwing dice will determine the outcome but your chances can be increased by finding certain items with luck enhancers.
Eda must complete a small puzzle to resonate her starsong correctly by listening to the song and centering parts of the song until it sounds correct.
Jun needs to complete an alignment puzzle to open star gates, explore the caves to find the starsongs in a pool of lumium, and activate lumium pipes. The puzzle elements can be seen in the gameplay video.
📺 Graphics 📺
Visuals are excellent. I didn’t particularly like the over-the-top expressions the characters made during conversations though. I know it is a staple of visual novels but it just seemed out of place.
I took far too many screenshots. That just about says it all.
Absolutely amazing. Whilst editing my gameplay video I noticed all the wonderful sound effects and background noises you don’t necessarily notice when playing. Headphones are a must to fully appreciate the sounds on offer.
The story revolves around sound and it is a central element in everything OPUS does well.
What an incredible game. This is the reason I love indie gaming so much. Every now and again you discover a true masterpiece, and this is one.
Everything about the game personifies quality; The story is memorable, touching and emotional; the characters are well developed and cleverly woven into story plots; the visuals are impressive and the sound design is absolutely amazing. It really does have the whole package.
This game will appeal to a wide audience although it will mostly attract visual novel and adventure fans. Personally, I don’t tend to like visual novels but you will find heavy influences embedded in the game.
Character interactions evolve through dialogue text yet you never feel overwhelmed by content. Conversations bounce between cast members like a game of tennis, rarely stopping long enough to bore or annoy. Discussions are punchy and short yet manage to retain meaningfulness and cleverly build layers on character’s personalities and relationships.
The story is incredibly emotional, thanks in part to the wonderful script and character development, but elevated and augmented by the stunning soundtrack and special effects.
It is amazing in places and creates such tension and drama that it has you engrossed in events. The story of Eda is based around sound but it gathers new meanings as you progress through the adventure.
I thought the story dipped a little in the middle due to the amount of space travel you have to perform. The places you visit can feel a little aimless sometimes yet fans of lore will absolutely love it. The background of the war, the different factions and how Lumen affected the solar system is all explained in detail and provides a thick blanket of knowledge.
I absolutely loved the presentation of the story. It is obvious that a lot of time went into developing and executing the story. It goes in so many different directions and is constantly being built up. Events are depicted in a variety of different ways to keep things fresh including flashbacks and dialogue exchanges to exploration and discovery.
There are numerous opportunities to stretch your legs and search different locales including Lumen caves and space stations. The caves are relatively linear, but there is scope to explore and collect items to sell for profit, in exchange for maintaining and upgrading your ship; There are light puzzle elements involving opening star gates and Lumen related tasks; There are a few action sequences about and some emotional cut scenes; There are dialogue choices which affect story, relationships, ship and crew. The game is full of variety.
Travelling around the solar system can be a little daunting to begin with. You need to manage your fuel levels, shields, exploratory packs and money, and sometimes it is difficult to know which places you have visited before. The story tends to push you in a certain direction, so if you want to explore do it whilst you can, as you won’t have the opportunity to return after the game has finished. I found this a little annoying as I wanted to mop up some achievements but was unable to.
Overall, it is one of the best indie titles I have played and I am sure it will earn many accolades.
OPUS: Echo of Starsong is a superior narrative adventure and one of the best in the genre.
There is much variety in the game but generally it is quite slow and dialogue heavy so it will appeal to narrative adventure fans and visual novel enthusiasts.
If you like a good story full of drama, twists and excellent character development then I sincerely recommend you give this a go. It is excellent value at full price.
This is the first time I have given an auto rating and it is well deserved.