Ben changes throughout the game. Unfortunately, the gameplay does not.
I’ve watched bits and pieces of the Ben 10 television show over the last couple years, and while I found it mildly enjoyable, it never drew me in enough to buy one of its video game properties. If Ben 10: Omniverse is an example of what the series has done in the past, I am glad I never took the plunge. While there are plenty of characters to play as, there just are not enough unique things to do with them.
Ben Tennyson, the main character, is a normal boy who just so happens to possess a device that allows him to transform into different aliens. These creatures are very different from one another in both style and ability, and Omniverse allows you to transform into them at any time (given they are unlocked at that point in the story). The story flip-flops between Ben in the past and Ben in the future. This ideally, would have given the developers a chance to manipulate play style in each of these times. However, nothing changes except for a few aliens, ultimately making the game feel the same no matter where or what you are.
Different obstacles arise that require the use of particular aliens, and switching between them is no hassle. These puzzles are never challenging, and if you do run into trouble, the game pushes you toward what you need to do. While I found the way the game made use of the wide variety of aliens great, I was disappointed that these interesting uses of skills took a backseat to the repetitive and boring combat system.
Multiple groups of bad guys occupy the space between nearly every puzzle. These enemies come out of nowhere and keep you occupied for a good chunk of time. At first, this combat felt rewarding. I was able to try different alien forms and learn what combinations would take down enemies the fastest. However, after the first level, I found the combat more of a hassle than anything. All the aliens fight similarly, and encounters last far too long. Hampering the combat even more is an energy meter that depletes as you fight. Once empty, you change back into Ben, who has little to no strength. It doesn’t take the meter long to refill (5-10 seconds), which makes me question the inclusion of an energy meter in the first place. When you revert back to Ben every minute, the already dull combat slows to a near halt.
Visually, Omniverse doesn’t stand up to other titles on the system. The game’s characters are colorful, but most of the time the environment is nothing more than a bunch of generic, linearly designed paths. While I could play the game on my television set, Off-TV Play was also a viable option. Unfortunately, the game forces you to turn on the TV and be on the main menu to activate the feature, a problem that restricted me from playing the game while others were using the TV.
Ben 10: Omniverse has the elements of a great game. The problem lies in how it balances these aspects. The repetitive and numerous combat sequences left me bored and uninterested, while the puzzles leveraging the large cast of aliens were not that prevalent. Fans of the series may still find something due to the source material, but the common consumer should probably steer clear.