Ōkami is not only a visually beautiful game, but one that also takes some of the best action-adventure gameplay elements and presents it in one whimsical package. The original release of Ōkami from Capcom was on the PlayStation 2 back in 2006. Eventually the game was ported to both the Nintendo Wii in 2008, with additional motion controls to the gameplay, and the PlayStation 3 with polished HD visuals in 2012. Since its first run, Ōkami has been praised by critics and consumers as being a beautifully colorful jump into Japanese folklore with solid action-adventure gameplay. So it only seemed natural that such a visually stunning game would receive another rerelease, only this time with the ability to play in 4k high definition.
Ōkami HD is essentially the exact same game as before. So if you own any of the previous releases, then everything included will be familiar territory to you. You have the solid controls and movement from the wolf heroine Amaterasu, as well as the charming, yet vicious powers of the Celestial brush at your disposal. Some have compared much of the gameplay to other action-adventure classics like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which is an accurate and flattering comparison.
The game can take roughly around 30 hours to complete, and even longer if you spend time completing most of the extra side quests scattered throughout the game’s many environments. Nothing is radically different from before in Ōkami HD, which may be a great thing for fans of the series.
The story follows Amaterasu and her quest to defeat the evil entity known as Orochi, all of which is heavily inspired by Japanese folklore and Ukiyo-e style paintings. The plot is the exact same as before, so don’t expect anything new or different. However, the visuals are given more polish and attention for Ōkami HD. In the options, you have the ability to change the intensity of the filters for the camera, which can give more blur or sharpness to everything in game.
Having a heavy filter really adds to the Ukiyo-e inspired art direction, but can at times make it somewhat difficult to see certain objects in the background. On the other end of the spectrum, you can lose the whimsical touch of the art style by having a minimal filter and sticking to very sharp visuals.
Outside of the touches to the visuals, Ōkami HD also a few supplemental features that some may appreciate. You can use the PlayStation Move controllers to control Amaterasu and execute the Celestial Brush motions to solve puzzles and engage in battles. This emulates a lot of what was done with the Wii and PlayStation 3 versions of the game, but most people will opt instead to play with a standard DualShock controller on PlayStation 4.
If you completed the game before on PlayStation 3 and got all of the trophies, you can do so once again on PlayStation 4 with a new trophy list, which includes a platinum trophy. Though not entirely important to the overall experience, these additions will be appreciated by some fans, others however will not find any significance to them.
If you never played Ōkami before, then this is the best way to do so and see what you’ve missed out on. It may not be an ideal definitive edition of the game, as there is no bonus content or behind the scenes extras you can look at, but it’s the most the easiest way to play Ōkami. PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X consoles can run the game at 4K high definition, which looks gorgeous, but most people will end up playing only in 1080p depending on their own television and gaming setup. Ōkami is still a great game to play through, but it would have been nice to have something more interesting to come back to and hang out with Amaterasu once again.
These impressions are based on a digital review code for Ōkami HD for the PlayStation 4, provided by Capcom.