Hideki Kamiya

20 July 2006

Hideki Kamiya / Clover Studio / 2006 / Japan For Sony PlayStation 2 Console Systems

Okami’s Japanese myth-inspired narrative follows Amaterasu, a female sun god in the form of a white wolf, as she works to revive a dilapidated landscape. Drawing from The Legend of Zelda, this adventure game engages both combat and puzzle-solving tasks, creating a compelling narrative.

Okami’s most striking feature is its visual style, inspired by Japanese watercolor sumi-e brush painting and Hokusai-style woodblock printing. The game utilizes cel-shaded animation, a nonphotorealistic rendering technique designed to make computer graphics look like hand-drawn comics or cartoons, or in this case, Japanese brush painting.

The unique painterly style is not only part of the visuals but also integral to the action. Amaterasu’s tasks often involve a device called the “Celestial Brush”. The puzzles throughout the game involve drawing skills, and the uses for the brush expand as the game progresses.

Okami is the winner of the 2006 Game Developers Choice Award for Character Design and Innovation.