Some games’ releases tend to pass under the table, regardless of the hot early buzz that they get. Okami is destined to be one of those games. It’s extraordinarily Japanese in its art style and its storytelling, which can be a bit of an artistic culture shock to some people. Yet this is one of the main reasons why it has been so well received by industry experts, reviewers, and the like. Okami’s story is that the Demon God, the Eight-Headed Dragon, Yamato-no-orochi has been released from his prison, and is laying waste to feudal Japan. You play the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu, who descends to our mortal plane in the form of a white wolf, and is tasked with protecting our world, and defeating Yamato-no-Orochi.
I’ve played the demo of the game; the controls are pretty simple, and it really does feel like you’re playing a Zelda game, making it something of an old school platformer. Another great thing is that the game literally looks like a Japanese style watercolor painting. Simply put, it is visually one of the most stunning games I’ve ever seen. As an added bonus to it’s gorgeous artwork, you can interact with it, by drawing things into the game, using a “Celestial Brush” in order to recreate the environment. For instance, if you need a bridge to cross a body of water- you can “draw” the bridge. It’s a really innovative way to interact with a video game, as though it’s interactive art rather than just a video game.
I’m hoping that word of mouth and strong reviews give this game the fan support that it so richly deserves, in part due to my run through with the demo and also the industry’s buzz about it. If any game deserves to rekindle the age-old question “Are video games art?”, this game should do so. Check out the game play trailer for a look-see at this game below:
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