Parents' Guide to

Onimusha: Warlords

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Classic samurai action with blood, gore, clunky gameplay.

Onimusha: Warlords Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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Is It Any Good?

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This is a fine example of what action gaming was like at the turn of the millennium, but whether it'll be interesting to anyone other than older players and game historians is up for debate. Many of Onimusha: Warlords' hallmarks -- the fixed camera, the simplistic weapon upgrading, the manual save points -- have evolved significantly over succeeding generations of hardware and software. People who've never played an Onimusha game before will probably become frustrated by suffering attacks from offscreen enemies they weren't aware were even there, or from realizing upon death that they haven't been saving as often as they should. And while there's a semblance of role-playing, the story's too shallow to be really compelling, and the character growth system too simple to satisfy.

All of this said, Onimusha: Warlords is likely to prove powerfully nostalgic for the right players. Its classic design -- which was inspired by Capcom's original Resident Evil games, landmarks in their own right -- will feel like slipping on a pair of comfy old shoes you've forgotten. And the small environments and linear path make for a surprisingly refreshing alternative to the enormous open-world action games currently popular. You definitely won't need to commit dozens upon dozens of hours to complete a playthrough. Plus, the action-oriented combat -- which involves a mix of strikes, well-timed blocks, and calculated risk-taking as you decide whether to take time to harvest some quickly evaporating souls or sacrifice them in order to eliminate remaining threats lurking nearby -- actually doesn't feel very dated at all. The controls are tight and the sense of power is apparent with each swipe, slash, and thrust. It can be a lot of fun. Playing Onimusha: Warlords is, in the end, a lot like watching a classic movie: Those who were around when it was originally released are much more likely to enjoy it than those who came along after.

Game Details

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