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Preview By: Louis Yakobson
Developer:   Capcom
Publisher:   Capcom
Genre:   Survival Horror
# of Players:   1
ESRB:    Mature
Release Date:   March 2001
Posted:   12-28-00

When Capcom set out to develop Onimusha: Warlords, they had one thing in mind; produce the top game of the year. Many gamers (including myself) believe that honor will eventually go to Konami’s killer app…Metal Gear Solid 2. Besides MGS2, it seems that Onimusha will emerge as the biggest game of 2001. There still remain many unknown details about the game, but I have some juicy information that will boggle your mind.

Onimusha: Warlords plays a lot like another Capcom series, Resident Evil, but with different elements. Unlike the Resident Evil games, Onimusha will focus much more on action. There is still exploration and strategy present in Onimusha, but nothing compared to the Resident Evil series. Another difference is the cinematic feel of the game. The game will consist of many of cut-scenes that weren’t shown in Resident Evil. In Onimusha, you play as a character named Ekechi Samanosuke who explores and fights. After killing an enemy, the main character will steal the enemies’ soul and store it in a magical gauntlet. By storing many souls, you will be able to use them and performs special attacks. You will also be able to block some attacks from enemies for a certain amount of time. After your "block meter" runs out, you have to rely on your dodging and fighting skills.

The graphics and overall presentation of Onimusha: Warlords is revolutionary. Capcom has actually used pre-rendered backgrounds instead of polygonal backgrounds in the game. You would think that a game using pre-rendered backgrounds wouldn’t look as nice as a game with polygonal backgrounds, but this game proves otherwise. Not only do the backgrounds look better than many polygonal backgrounds, but also it allows Capcom to improve the detail found in other graphics and character design. To give you an idea of what the advantages of using pre-rendered backgrounds are: the main character alone in Onimusha is constructed of over 10,000 polygons (that’s crazy)!

Onimusha (with an exception of MGS2) is looking like it will be the top game of 2001. With amazing gameplay and graphics you can’t go wrong with this killer app. Onimusha should hit store shelves by March (possibly mid-February). Keep an eye out for this game because it will make a whole lot of noise in the video game industry.
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