Rumor Control: Could Onimusha be on its way back?

It was recently announced that Capcom is renewing its trademarks for it’s action adventure franchise Onimusha. Now, this could mean nothing as publishers generally want to maintain the naming rights to their franchises, but it’s always fun to speculate.

For the unaware, Onimusha is an action-adventure series set primarily in feudal Japan that had more in common with Resident Evil than it did with Devil May Cry. Gameplay centered around eliminating demons using melee or ranged attacks and absorbing their souls to upgrade the protagonist’s various abilities. Protagonist’s would have access to magical weapons which would perform varying attacks depending on their elemental affinity. While it would seem far too simplistic by today’s standards, it would be great if Capcom would reboot the series in the same vein as Dark Souls or Nioh.

While I believe Nioh is the closing thing Onimusha has to a successor, I feel that the gameplay should be closer to Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. Methodical, precise combat would feel more aligned with the combat from the original series and it would be great if Capcom placed an emphasis on survival-horror elements. I can only imagine how great the game would look with today’s visuals. One can only hope that the game would look similar to the opening cutscene from Onimusha 3. It featured an amazing opening sequence in which protagonist Samanosuke dispatches demons with little to no effort in an attempt to bring down what looks to be a monstrous airship. Put that in a rebooted game and that’s a day one buy. Throw in French legendary actor Jean Reno and I may purchase the collector’s edition. That’s how much I want a reboot of the series.

Realistically, Capcom is registering Onimusha to update its trademark. There is the off chance that they could revive the series as an HD re-master with updated graphics and controls for the current generation of consoles and PC. While this would be a bit of a disappointment, it is nice to look back on a franchise that I remember fondly from my teens. Onimusha first released in 2001 when I was living in Japan and was one of the first franchises where I anticipated subsequent releases. The last few years have seen a number of reboots and re-masters for underappreciated videogames, so this would be the perfect time to revive the Onimusha franchise.

Capcom might just strike while the iron’s hot.

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