Opus: Rocket of Whispers by Sigono is an adventure game set in the post-apocalyptic remnants of a civilization close to our own. The story is the focal point, capturing society’s collapse through the discovery artifacts, communication with ghosts, and scavenging for materials.
I really like the story for this indie experience. It was very heartfelt. The major themes include faith, isolation, and accepting the burden of personal responsibility. Our main characters are John and Fei, presumably the last of humanity after a devastating plague and relentless winter. John is the son of a rocket engineer and is the main scavenger in the present timeline. Fei is a witch of the 46th generation, whose destiny is to help guide the wandering souls toward the stars. Together they attempt to build rockets that will launch tragic souls off the planet. We get that sense of faith from Fei, who is always optimistic saying that the next rocket they build will be the one to succeed, but they have failed over a dozen times. Rocket after rocket, failure after failure – it takes faith in each other to get the job done. The ghosts are eager to move on from the world, and they cling to John, begging for him to build the rocket.
The gameplay is not hard to master, but navigating can be a challenge. Even then, you can radio Fei, and she can ask the ghosts to guide you to your current objective. You use the W, A, S, D keys to move around the map. You are limited to certain areas until you craft gear to help give you an extra push, like a metal cutter to get through fences, a flashlight for dark areas, snowshoes, and the list goes on. You can also acquire maps that will help you fast travel to areas that take a lot of time to reach. While there doesn’t seem to be any urgency regarding how many days you take scavenging, you are limited by a time limit during the day and must retreat back to HQ before nightfall. While exploring, you will meet various ghosts that have lost something and will ask you to fix them. There isn’t much to be gained by fixing these artifacts, but they are the only side quests out there. The main story takes precedence, in which you are looking for key components to build a rocket.
The art style is pretty cool. The cutscenes are not fully animated, but the style of their still frames convey what is happening fairly well. Flashbacks are black and white, while the modern day is represented in color. The map is somewhat 3 dimensional, while the character sprite is 2D. The layout has a unique feel to it, making you feel the melancholy while exploring abandoned streets and hiking along snow-covered trails. The art looks its best when you are back home, and you can see the details in the rocket, the personal details in both John and Fei’s rooms, and in the characters themselves.
The music is great! Bone chillingly great. The developers even recommend wearing headphones while playing. Throughout most of the game, the music is subtle and it can get eerily silent. I don’t think the music loops in cutscenes, but the composition really captures the world. It’s melancholic, it’s tragic, it’s borderline hopeful. The ending theme caught me by surprise, because it’s so good – and you sort of get an uplifted feeling, especially after being a part of the struggle alongside these characters.
I don’t have much to hate for this title. There are some typos in the text, but nothing game breaking (Sorry grammar nazis). I wish that the artists could have animated more of the cutscenes, because the still frames are well done. It looks limited to me, as though more could be done, and I don’t doubt that they could do it. This could be something to keep in mind for future installments. I also wish that there could have been more things to do regarding gameplay. It is essentially a fetch quest throughout the game. I wouldn’t mind a puzzle or a riddle along the way. The dangers in the wilderness also feel insignificant, like falling boulders, hungry wolves, and collapsing ceilings. You don’t get injured, and there are no consequences for making poor decisions. I think that could be expanded upon for future installments.
Overall, Opus: Rocket of Whispers is a fairly good game with an engaging story. I felt invested in the characters and loved watching their journey unfold until the end. I was able to complete the game within an afternoon, so if you are looking for an adventure game with easy game mechanics and a good story, then this may be for you. I think a fair rating for this game should be an 8.7 out of 10.
Watch the OPUS: Rocket of Whispers Video:
You can wishlist OPUS: Rocket of Whispers on Steam.