In Honor Of Bowie, The Nomad Soul Is Now Free

The god of pop passed away at the weekend, and it’s hit many of us harder than we would have expected. I’ve been listening to nothing but Bowie all week – Station To Station remains his best LP, since you ask – but another, stranger way to play tribute would be to play 1999’s Omikron: The Nomad Soul, the David Cage (I know, I know) game in which Bowie’s face and music play something of a starring role. Sweetly, its current publisher Square Enix is giving away free Steam keys for it (note – a separate link for US folk is below), in honor of the great man’s passing.

Update: if you are in the US rather than Europe, you need to use this link instead and must enter the code ‘omikron’ at checkout in order to make it free.

The Nomad Soul was what Cage’s Quantic Dream studio did before Farenheit: The Indigo Prophecy, and thus long before Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls. His games grew less weird and more grating over time as far as I’m concerned; Omikron: The Nomad Soul is difficult to describe, let alone play, so wild is its ambition and… complicated its execution. But it is the closest we ever got to A David Bowie game, and it also features music from his last 90s album Hours… (Which, appropriately, was also the first-ever album to be sold as a digital download. Always a prophet, Bowie).

I really can’t promise you a good time from Omikron, but it’s a fascinating historical document both of PC games and of Bowie at that stage of his career.

Keys are free until Friday, January 22nd, but you need to obtain them by signing up to the Square Enix site here if you’re in Europe, or here and entering the code ‘omikron’ at checkout if you’re in the US.

I miss him.

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  1. gbrading says:

    Hell yes Station to Station. Awesome album. The title track is mesmerising.

    This is a nice gesture by Square Enix, good for them. Omikron is a very, very mixed game, but it did some really interesting things, not just immortalize Bowie in perpetuity.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Lakshmi says:

    I actually had Station to Station on when I saw this article pop up. Very nice of Square Enix. I missed this game at the time.

  3. Haplo says:

    Bowie, Bowie… I never took the time to pay attention to him and it’s only in the last few days that I started to realise the impact he’d had, not only musically, but culturally, on a personal level to a lot of people.

    It’s funny how you describe him as a ‘prophet’; I actually did the same thing the other day. A friend of mine linked me to Bowie’s participation in the Freddie Mercury memorial concert, during which Bowie asked the crowd to take a moment to think about all the ones they’d lost or were losing to AIDs and other scourges. During this, he mentioned one particular person by name and, knowing they were watching, knelt down, placed his hands together and recited the Lord’s Prayer in his honour.

    At that moment I said to my friend quietly “… What a moment. This man could’ve been a prophet.” And then I realised, considering the way he’d touched so many people, the way- as I’m hearing- that he made it OKAY for a lot of people who felt sidelined and alone, that he very much was that for so many.

    See you, Starman. I’ll take the time to know you now.

  4. Xzi says:

    Maybe I’m in too early for the free copy. Still showing up as $9.99.

    • MeatMan says:

      Same for me. Also, it would be courteous if the article would link to the actual store page for the game, instead of simply linking to the store’s home page.

      • Alec Meer says:

        It does, but appears to redirect from some territories.

      • ANeM says:

        It does link to the store page for the game. The problem is that it links to the EU store page, which automatically redirects non-eu IPs to the front page for their regional store.

        The deal is only available on the EU store.

    • phrysen says:

      Apparently if you are in the US, you have to use the coupon code “omikron”.

  5. RickyButler says:

    Y’all might want to note that in order to get the promo, one must enter the code ‘omikron’ at checkout.

  6. Dances to Podcasts says:


    • theapeofnaples says:

      is the second greatest Bowie album, after Station to Station.

    • Coming Second says:

      Great band. Not a lot in common with David Bowie, though.

    • laggerific says:

      I’ll have to check out Station to Station…as it wasn’t one of my main listens. Low was one of my faves for awhile, but absolutely love Scary Monsters, Hunky Dory, Aladdin Sane, and others from that era. Someone did put Golden Years on a mix for me years ago…right before or after Madonna’s Express Yourself…a great one two punch of pop awesomeness.

  7. gruia says:

    I cant get it, and im in Europe. hurray

  8. nullward says:

    “Sorry, your order cannot be completed. There is no stock anymore for this product.”

    NA Square Enix store. Funny, it’s a digital download…

    • Xzi says:

      I suppose they can run out of key combinations, though I’d be surprised if that’s the case already. Maybe try again later.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      Steam controls the keys, I believe, and stores usually only keep a certain number in reserve. This often happens with freebies, with Steam keys running out then being replenished when the storeowners go back for more. No idea if they’ll refill on these, mind.

    • welverin says:

      Work for me at about 6 pm EST, so give it another go.

  9. TWChristine says:

    This game is bonkers. I never got very far in it, but you could tell the devs were trying to do something beyond what had come before, so even if it didn’t fully work out, you gotta respect them for that (honestly, I feel like the late 90s/early 2000s had some amazing attempts at original ideas that could probably work better with today’s tech).

    Funny enough, the past few weeks I’ve been setting up a Win2000/XP machine to play my older games on; while digging through my box of old games, this was one of the ones I set aside to install!

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    Oakreef says:

    I’m guessing it’s a little overloaded because I’m getting Service Unavailable

  11. JBantha says:

    The buy button is disabled and instead it shows the option to “…enter your email so we may contact you as soon as OMIKRON: THE NOMAD SOUL [PC DOWNLOAD] becomes available.”

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    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    On a related note, here is a gallery of video game characters who bear a striking resemblance to Bowie:–257772/

    • JuergenDurden says:

      most of these are either reaching or suffer from “generic japanese manga face” syndrome.

      • Unruly says:

        Not to mention that at least one of those characters, Squall from FFVIII, is some kind of River Phoenix/Gackt hybrid. His character designer specifically said that much of his appearance was based on River Phoenix, while Gackt was dressing in a style reminiscent of Squall’s for about 6 months before the first images of the character were released.

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      yhancik says:

      Most of those listicles of incredible lookalikes usually find more resemblance in pose, colours, and maybe some hair than anything else :p I’m sure there’s a ClickHole parody of that, somewhere.

      • JuergenDurden says:

        that goshdarn clickhole! i was unaware of that site for the longest time, but ever since it got mentioned on the “that dragon, cancer” review i became addicted. they just nail that clickbait tone while subverting it at the same time. a real piece of onion.

  13. kwyjibo says:

    Omikron is a great game and by far David Cage’s best work. It tries a few too many things to get everything right, but the world, its story and the adventure elements are fantastic.

  14. C0llic says:

    Why do they all keep dying?

    Rik Mayall (that was an unexpected gut punch), Lemmy, Robin Williams, Leonard Nimoy, Christopher Lee, Wes Craven.. and sadly lots more.

    This is what you get for living past your mid thirties.

    • Moogie says:

      Our childhood heroes become part of the fabric of our reality. They existed since before we were born, and we couldn’t imagine a world without them. They just ‘are’. And when they grow old and start dying, one after another, it’s like watching pieces of the world we always knew break away and disappear into the void. A cruel voice whispers “There is no such thing as magic.”

  15. Michael Fogg says:

    >>>An internal system error has occurred. The customer support has already been informed about this situation and will get in touch with you if necessary. (Error ID: 5001)

    Guess I’m not the only one who likes free stuff. I remember a school friend once hyping this game to me, something about an open city where you can inhabit many characters. Never tried it, but I’d like to now.

  16. geldonyetich says:

    It’s been quite awhile since I bought a box copy of Omikron: Nomad Soul…

    …did they patch out what a kludgy pile of unrealized ambition it was yet?

  17. JuergenDurden says:

    the european thingie doesn’t do anything, the checkout isn’t clickable, HOWEVER registering on the US site with a fake address (1600 Pennsylvania avenue, Washington DC, LOL) worked flawlessly even though i’m currently residing in Sweden.

    • JuergenDurden says:

      also, while i never say no to a free game, this seems like a rather cynical attempt of getting ppl to sign up/ give away their info.

      • Premium User Badge

        yhancik says:

        Also be sure to use a password you surely aren’t using anywhere else to register, since sooner or later you’ll get that mail informing you that they “recently discovered that an unauthorized person may have accessed (their) customer accounts database”, that they are “are still investigating the full scope of the incident”, telling you to not worry because they “do not store credit card or other payment information”, and although they “have no indication that the encrypted passwords have been decoded”, they recommend you to “reset your password”.

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        yhancik says:

        (but to be honest that feels more nice than cynical to me)

        • Darth Gangrel says:

          What’s cynical or rather cunning/scheming is getting people like me to sign up, who only did it to get a free game and then not let us know how to delete that account. Deleting an account should be as easy or even easier than creating it, but I’ve encountered lots of times where they hide the “delete account” info as if it’s the nuclear launch codes. I guess I can send them a message (a snarky one, because they deserve it with such behavior) and ask for that info.

  18. Rao Dao Zao says:

    The problem is that Omikron is a legit awful game. Bad controls, bad mechanics, buggy in all the wrong places, so many plot hooks just not exploited — the blurb promised so much but it just did not deliver. The idea is amazing, but the reality just plain sucks. And this is from somebody that _likes_ dodgy mid/late-90s shooters.

    I was never a particular fan of Bowie but he’s the only remarkable thing about this wasted opportunity of a train wreck. It has some nice scenery and some nice underlying ideas but it just doesn’t _work_ as a whole. Grumble. I wrote words when I played it at the time.

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    alison says:

    God, i wanted to like this game so bad. I bought it last year because i love sci-fi and the idea of an open world cyberpunk whodunit sounds awesome. Plus, Bowie!!! It’s hugely ambitious, blending the 3rd-person exploration of Alone In The Dark, first-person shooting of Doom, fighting game mechanics of Tekken and dialog stylings of Beneath a Steel Sky… But it’s so fucking janky. It’s a console game, so there is no mouselook and no savegames. It is pretty much impossible to play with mouse and keyboard. I gave up after being sent back to a distant checkpoint over and over due to my inability to get through a fight scene due to the godawful controls and immobile camera. I’d recommend just reading the wacky plot synopsis on Wikipedia while blasting Starman, then fire up an unblocker and watch Velvet Goldmine on Netflix USA again, while you still can.

  20. Raoul Duke says:

    Several things. First, Bowie is not ‘pop’. Second, Station to Station is good but it’s no Diamond Dogs or Scary Monsters (but does probably appeal more to those into ‘pop’).

    • Phasma Felis says:

      Of course Bowie is pop. He’s other things too–a lot of things–but pop is one of those things.

      • Raoul Duke says:

        The article refers to him as the ‘god of pop’, implying that was his main genre. This despite him effectively inventing an entire genre (glam rock) and the cited Station to Station being as un-pop as it gets. He released the odd poppy track but was never in that category compared to what was happening at the time of his releases.