Onimusha: Warlords - PS2

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Viewed: 3D Third-person, over the shoulder Genre:
Combat Game
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Capcom Soft. Co.: Capcom
Publishers: Capcom (GB/JP/US/GB)
Released: 7 Jun 2002 (GB)
6 Jul 2001 (GB)
Unknown (JP/US)
Ratings: 15+, ESRB Mature 17+ (M)
Accessories: Memory Card, Dual Shock Joypad
Features: Vibration Function Compatible


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Onimusha is like a 16th century action-based version of Resident Evil, intrigued? It is one of the first truly jaw-dropping titles for Sony’s new console and also one of Capcom’s first self-published titles. Consequently, they have spared no expense in developing it. Onimusha cost more than ten million dollars to produce and it shows in the quality of the game and it’s presentation. Capcom hired the Japanese philharmonic orchestra to record the background music and used real actors for the motion capture technique. The result is a beautiful game that demonstrates the advanced graphical prowess of the 128-bit PS2.

The 16th Century was a very bloody period in Japanese history, a time of civil war where warlords fought each other for land and power. In Onimusha you assume the role of Samanosuke, a Japanese warrior who is recruited to save a young princess from Yoshimoto’s un-dead army. The evil Nobunaga has intentions of controlling Japan and it is up to you to put an end to his plans. The majority of the story in Onimusha is based on actual Japanese history but occasionally takes a slight fantasy detour to make things more interesting.

The gameplay in Onimusha is easy to get grips with and the control method makes playing the game a joy. Samanosuke runs whenever he moves forward, but you can leap backwards to avoid attacks and perform a quick 180-degree spin should you get attacked from behind. The enemies in the game do not take it in turns to pounce on you, instead they can come from all directions at once. Learning the balance of blocking and attacking is essential in order to be successful. As you make progress through the game your attacks become more powerful and impressive as you learn new moves and techniques. You can also master magic to destroy multiple foes at once. It’s the little touches that make this game very satisfying, like finishing off an enemy while they are still on the ground. An inventory of useful items is on hand to help you solve the puzzles or replenish your health.

The backgrounds are pre-rendered with 3D polygons seamlessly overlaid on top. This approach allows the in-game characters to be highly detailed, over 10,000 polys each while still being smoothly animated. At times you wonder if you are playing a game or watching a film, it’s that good. Capcom has utilised state of the art computer graphic techniques like dynamic shadowing with true light sourcing to bring the world of Onimusha to life. When you notice the wind blowing through the trees or how realistic a stream looks you’ll be stunned.

The pace of the game is fast and the short loading times of the PS2 complement that. Animations of creaky doors disguising sneaky loading times are a thing of the past and being able to run from one area to the next helps you forget you are playing a game.

Onimusha is a gaming accomplishment; it balances adventure, with action and throws a little strategy in for good measure. Hardcore gamers might find the game a little easy to complete, but if you are looking for a game that shows off what your new PlayStation 2 can do, Onimusha is it!


Onimusha: Warlords - PS2 Artwork

Onimusha: Warlords - PS2 Artwork

Onimusha: Warlords - PS2 Artwork