When Omnimusha: Warlords came out for PlayStation 2 back in 2001, it was often described as a feudal-Japan version of Resident Evil. The survival horror genre of the late 90s and early 2000s was dominated by games with fixed cameras, tank controls and lots of pixelate blood-splatter, and yet it was right in line with its contemporaries. Why am I talking about a game from 2001? Capcom is remastering the game for new consoles. Much like the old version, the port features widescreen display options, fixed camera angles, countless sword fights and remastered visuals throughout.
In addition to PlayStation 4, the samurai tale will be released for Nintendo Switch, PC, and Xbox One as well, not too far from Capcom’s other retro project, Resident Evil 2. Both games are scheduled to be released in January of next year.
This new version includes a raft of new features, such as high-definition graphics, widescreen support and new display options (you can switch between 4:3 and 16:9 at any time in-game). There’s a screen scroll feature for widescreen display, where the background scrolls up and down according to your movements. This shows areas that can’t be fully displayed from certain positions, Capcom said. Also of note is analog stick support, easy mode available from the start (this wasn’t the case in the original game) and a new soundtrack, with Japanese voices recorded for the new release. On the PlayStation Blog, Capcom community manager Andy Wong said that Onimusha fans who like it old school will have the option to control the game as it was originally designed.
Additionally, Easy Mode will be unlocked from the start which wasn’t available in the original game, and there’s also a screen scroll feature being added. This will allow the background to scroll up and down based on players’ movements, displaying areas which can’t be fully seen in some positions.
Originally released in 2001, Onimusha: Warlords stars the samurai Samanosuke Akechi and ninja Kaede on a mission to save Princess Yuki from demons who serve the evil lord Nobunaga Oda. The first Onimusha was originally developed as a spinoff of Capcom’s Resident Evil series but eventually grew into its own franchise, spawning a trio of direct sequels and spinoffs, like fighting game Onimusha Blades and strategy RPG Onimusha Tactics.
Can “what is old” be made new again? To start, when it comes to games and movies, they sure can. I mean, you literally just have to upgrade the graphics etc. But can the story stay intact? Is it possible to make a game that was relevant in 2001, still be relevant 17 years later? I hope the answer to that is yes. For a couple of reasons. If it can’t be relevant, then it’s not going to be a success for Capcom. I doubt they would consider re-releasing it if they didn’t think that it would be successful. The other reason is that it was a great game then, so it should be a great game now. Or at least that’s the hope. The trailer makes the game look great, but we will have to wait until January to find out the truth about the once popular game.