Title: Onimusha: Warlords
Genre: Action, Adventure
Platform: Xbox, PS4, PC and Switch
Release Date: 15/01/2019
Price: £15.99 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
What the Developers say
Capcom’s riveting samurai adventure returns! This version includes the original game’s intense swordplay and dramatic revenge story, plus a host of enhancements. Improved controls allow players to move and fight with analog-stick precision. The crisp, high-definition visuals support 16:9 widescreen as well as the original 4:3 resolution display. A new soundtrack brings the feudal Japan setting to life with an air of authenticity and intrigue. Experience this enhanced version of the best-selling action-adventure classic!
Growing up in a time where fixed camera angles and clunky controls were the norm, I was looking forward to returning to the nostalgia of that era by diving into the remastered PS2 game Onimusha from the developers of Resident Evil/Dino Crisis. This is more of the action/adventure side of Capcom as opposed to their popular survival horror series but has gone on to sell more than 2 million copies since its original launch in 2001.
Looks and Sounds
Audio in this title seems to be a controversial subject. With the original composer being found to have used someone else’s work on the original OST, Capcom was forced to create a whole new OST for their remaster. I think the soundtrack holds up well to create a good sometimes tense atmosphere the use of traditional Japanese instruments make the game feel authentic
Visually the game uses pre-rendered backgrounds which were typical back when the game was released initially, all have been upscaled along with character models. However, the character models look so out of place against the prerendered background. The fixed camera angle is something you either love or hate. Back when I originally played this game, I loved it.
However given how far games have progressed, it’s now more of an annoyance, trying to fight enemies with the camera switching views is incredibly frustrating especially when it impacts your controls if you’re holding the thumbstick in one direction and the camera switches, sometimes you end up briefly going back the way you came.
Gameplay and Replayability
Gameplay is fairly simple. You traverse different parts of the map, fighting through enemies and gathering their souls until you get to a boss. You are then rewarded with a new weapon for killing the boss, which you power up by using the souls of fallen enemies (Sound familiar?) You use this as a means to progress further into the game, as some doors are locked behind elemental keys that use your weapon’s specific element to open.
Throughout the levels, there are various puzzle elements to solve, and these aren’t too complicated, bar one particular puzzle that must be solved while a room is filling with water. Combat feels relatively basic; you have two types of attack which come from your sword and some magic. This doesn’t do much to make the combat exciting and can get repetitive very quickly.
In terms of replayability, you have two difficulties to play, easy and normal. I played the game on normal and probably won’t touch the game on easy. So the replayability relies on getting a higher rank for finishing the game, or in doing speed runs. If you’re a hardcore fan of the game then you might find yourself going back in to beat your times, however, for me, it seems like you can experience all the game has to offer in a single 5-hour playthrough.
If you’re an existing fan of Onimusha, you will find something to enjoy here. However, I think Capcom will struggle to draw in many newcomers to the series with this remaster which is a shame considering the success of Resident Evil remake. I would hope to see them one day do a full remake of the game or even a new entry which fans seem to be crying out for.
If this was Capcom’s way of testing the water, I can’t see it working – it’s like fishing without bait. There isn’t anything to draw people back into the game and nothing to entice newcomers other than they missed out playing it back on the PS2. But then, games have progressed so far in this day and age that a game like this may just put potential new fans off of the series altogether.
Rapid Reviews UK Rating
You can purchase Onimusha: Warlords on the following links.