Head to head comparison between the PS2, PS4 Pro, Xbox One X and PC versions of Onimusha Warlords.
Onimusha Warlords was originally released almost 18 years ago on the PlayStation 2. Originally planned for release on the PlayStation One, the developers thought it would be best if they developed the title for the more powerful PlayStation 2. According to reports, the PlayStation One version was 50% complete before it was completely scrapped. The IP was planned as a trilogy and players take on the role of Samanosuke Akechi in Onimusha Warlords with the game set in the Sengoku period.
The game turned out to be a fantastic hack and slash experience with addictive combat and a story that was surprisingly interesting (well, besides the cringe worthy voice acting). The original Onimusha turned out to be a commercial and critical success. This was followed Genma Onimusha, a port of the game for the original Xbox. This version featured better graphics, new areas, 5.1 Dolby Digital audio and a host of other changes and new inclusions.
So, after several years of absence, the series is finally back, albeit in the form a remaster. The remastered version of the game is now available on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch, and it seems like the developers are testing the waters for a potential sequel and more remasters if this performs well for them. What the future holds for the franchise remains to be seen but what kind of improvements does this remaster bring over the original PlayStation 2 version? Let’s get into it.
We tested the game on the PS4 Pro, Xbox One X and PC versions and the game largely seems to showcase minor improvements along with a solid boost to resolution. Character models have seen the biggest improvements with character armor and facial textures now possessing clearly defined details. This improvement in detail is also visible on the various enemies which now showcase better polygonal detail than their original counterparts. Furthermore, environmental detail like doors, architectures and individual objects have also given a boost in texture filtering. Other improvements include better particle and post processing effects along with sharper looking cutscenes and FMVs.
On the performance front, all versions run at a rock solid 60 frames per second. We noticed next to no frame rate drops on any of the three versions we analyzed. This immediately gives the remastered version a noticeable advantage over its PlayStation 2 counterpart. Unfortunately, not everything here has been optimized for current generation of hardware. Besides the shoddy voice acting and lip syncing issues, the pre rendered backgrounds haven’t given a boost in quality. This results into shoddy background textures which doesn’t gel well with the rest of the improvements found in the game.
So, overall, the remastered version of Onimusha Warlords presents some decent improvements over the PlayStation 2 version. However, across all the three versions that we tested, there isn’t anything special about this package. On the PC front, the game requires an Intel Core i7 3770 3.4GHz or AMD equivalent or better, 8GB of memory (which by the way is surprising!) and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960. We tested this game on our test PC which includes a GTX 1080Ti, 16GB of GDDR4 memory and Ryzen 1700 CPU. Unfortunately, the PC version doesn’t include any graphical setting whatsoever. Besides the resolution, there is no way to improve various graphical parameters like level of detail, texture quality or anti aliasing. The PC version feels like a barebones remaster and seems like a missed opportunity for the developers. The PS4 Pro and Xbox One X versions don’t have any graphical modes, and neither there are any noticeable differences between them to speak of. We are not even sure if the game has PS4 Pro and Xbox One X support at the time of writing this analysis. So, across all the three versions there are hardly any differences but these shortcomings are understandable given the age of the game.
As I mentioned before, this remastered version feels like a testing ground for the developers to potentially fund the next big Onimusha game. There is a renewed interest in samurai games with the success of 2017’s Nioh and upcoming games like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Ghost of Tsushima and Nioh 2. We are fully expecting remasters of Onimusha 2, 3 and Dawn of Dreams in the future so that the developers can push for the next big entry in this long forgotten series.