OMINOUS HORIZONS: A Paladin's CallingReviewed By: Tim Emmerich
For Christians, this game is astounding! Similar to God's call for you to walk in the light, “Ominous Horizons” calls a young man to a great quest. To right a wrong dealt by evil. Someone has broken into Gutenberg's shop and stolen the Bible master for the printing press!
Of course, they damaged the press as well. It turns out this little thief (Nemesis) is working for the prince of thieves, Satan. To make matters worse, they've literally scattered the Bible across the world. Further, they've set up defenses for each part of the Bible, utilizing local animals and people as well as other evil forces. And so tells the opening cinematic.
While the quest sounds bleak, put your faith in God. By recovering the Bible, Gutenberg's faith will be restored and he will repair the printing press. The priest will provide you with the sword of the spirit. Along the way, you can find angels that will enhance the capability of the sword. There are two other weapons that can be obtained: the crossbow and staff. These are also unique as they can be equipped with different ammunition.
Specifically, the crossbow has four different kinds of bolts and the staff has three varieties. Be frugal with this ammo as it is limited but your sword isn't, it recharges quickly.
There is a training area that will acquaint you with control of your character. It will cover running, jumping, climbing, swimming, shooting at stationary and moving targets, and avoiding obstacles. Upon completion of the training, you are awarded the Cross of Hope. It is a necklace with a cross that protects your faith from evil. It also serves as your “faith meter” in the lower left part of the screen during the game. If you get hit by evil, it is depleted some while picking up the scriptures will increase it. This is similar to other game's life meters.
You could start the quest now, but instead look around town. One piece of the armor is hidden somewhere in Mainz. Plus, if you find the basement key for the tavern owner, he rewards you with a spirit cross. There are four varieties of crosses that can be used to give you special abilities when you need them the most.
Once you are ready to begin, go into the church's basement. The priest has opened a portal that will transport you to the first location, Mesa Verde in North America. Here you will navigate the old buildings and find your way to the caverns underneath. There you will be taunted by the Nemesis, that little thief that stole the Bible. Then your faith and strength will be tested as you battle bats, sand golems and the legendary Thunderbird to try and recover the segment of the Bible that is hidden here. Once you accomplish that, you can return via another portal that opens up.
There are six more parts of the Bible to recover, so don't celebrate yet. There are lots more places to explore and some locations have portals to other areas. During your quest, you will visit: Egypt, Scottish Highlands, Japan, Mayan Temple, Haunted House, and the "Underworld". Plus, look for side-quests that can net you some goodies. For instance, within Mesa Verde, help the Indian locate his tribe's artifact and he will reward you.
Other design details that are knitted together nicely is the Nemesis being in town at the tavern prior to the start of your travels. He is apparently distraught with his deeds. However, once you travel, he is there along the way to taunt you.
Perhaps the best contribution that helps immerse you into the game is the excellent music! It really helps to convey the mood. The various sound effects contribute their part to the experience. The immersion is so real at times, you may get goose bumps!
Where can players and parents object?
If your child will be playing “shooting” games anyway, I recommend they play the games from N-Lightning. They will get some exposure to scriptures and the warm feeling of triumphing over evil. Or even praying as they try to defeat a particularly tough foe.
The beginning town has a tavern, but you don't do any drinking. N'Lightning would not have been true to history without a tavern in the 1400s in Germany! You, as the player, are not required to drink. There are very few patrons and none are boisterous drunks.
Go and buy it
Year of Release—2001
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Positive—I know that you can't always judge a game by it's demo but here is my take on it. Visually the game is quite attractive. The characters look good and I especially like the Star Gate affect of the arrival and departure of the enemy's. The design was well thought out and it looked good overall. Game play is a bit odd as you don't know when you have “defeated” an enemy that you are facing. They do the Star Gate affect and then a purple sparkling happens and they disappear. The one thing that made me stop playing is the fact that the player seems as though he is 8 feet tall in a 9 foot room. When you jump the feeling is not as “real” as a quake, half-life, or unreal type FPS. I do love the fact that there are Christian game creators out there working hard to put out high quality work such as this game. If the jumping issue weren't such a bother to me this would definitely be a title for my shelf. One other thing is the lack of multiplayer. Most games survive because of longevity. Without multiplayer option [I just don't know how much longevity this title has]… My Ratings: [4/3]
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.
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