What do the years 1582 and 2004 have in common? Give up? They are both the dates in which Onimusha 3, Capcom's highly anticipated sequel to Onimusha 2, will take place. Given the setting of the last two Onimusha titles, 1582 Feudal Japan isn't out of the ordinary, but 2004 Paris is certainly capable of raising some eyebrows.
But as usual, I am getting ahead of myself. One feature that Capcom is boasting about Onimusha 3 is the fact that a few celebrities are helping out with the project. For starters, Takeshi Kaneshiro is reprising his role as Samanosuke Akechi from the original Onimusha. Co-starring with Kaneshiro is Jean Reno (The Professional), who will play a French Army Officer named Jacques Blanc. To top it off, Donnie Yen (Shanghai Nights, Iron Monkey, Hero), a popular Hong Kong action star and director, will be directing Onimusha 3's opening CG movie.
The full details on the storyline is not yet available, but we do know that players start out as Samanosuke Akechi at Honnoji Temple while it is almost completely engulfed in flames. There are Genma demons in front of Samanosuke, but he continues to fight in order to reach his main enemy, Nobunaga Oda, so he can defeat him once in for all.
In 2004, the people of Paris are going about their lives as usual, until Genma demons suddenly appear in the city. As expected, the demons are killing everyone in sight. Fortunately, Samanosuke also makes it to modern-day Paris with the demons. Samanosuke and Jacques eventually meet face-to-face, so we assume both of them must rid Paris of all the creatures and kill Nobunaga Oda.
According to Capcom, Onimusha 3 offers a "dual hero system", which definitely suggests that players will take control of Jacques as well. Interestingly, Jacques uses handguns (and hopefully bigger weapons too), so the game will most likely play similar to Resident Evil when controlling the Frenchman. Of course, Samanosuke is more accustomed to swords, so he will get more up close and personal when fighting foes. Not much else was said about the dual hero system, except that it will provide "very different styles of excitement."
On the visual side, the third installment of Onimusha will have realtime 3D backgrounds instead of pre-rendered ones. Pre-rendered backdrops tend to look a lot more detailed, but true 3D environments allow for better camera movement. That's not to say that Onimusha 3 will look inferior to its predecessors though.
As Capcom drops more tidbits of information, we'll post it here. Stay tuned.