In Nioh, players will traverse war-torn Japan as William, a blonde-haired swordsman whose background as a fierce warrior and seasoned knowledge of the blade allows him to survive in the demon-plagued land of the samurai. Known as Yokai, these demons inhabit a number of dangerous locations and lie in wait in the shadows to ambush unsuspecting victims. Players will also face off with other samurai in supernatural sword battles and intense, multi-target engagements offering a level of difficulty that will truly test even the most hardened samurai’s skills, patience, and strategy.
Offering a deep and original storyline that takes place during the Warring States Period of Japanese history alongside strategic sword-fighting action, Nioh will challenge players in a way that makes every mission and accomplishment feel earned and worthwhile.
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Long form review. tl;dr will be at the bottom.
2016 was a weird year for me, I spent a lot of it hanging out at my homies place and playing my own copy of Bloodborne on HIS PS4, because I didn't have one. And it was about the only thing I used his PS4 for. Memes about the PS4 being a ' Bloodborne Machine ' and all that.
Floating around April, I'm checking my social media, to see whisperings and tidings of a new Koei Tecmo game. PS4 Exclusive. Okay. Team Ninja? Alright, we're getting somewhere. Dark Souls-- Hold on, wait a second-- ONIMUSHA. You bet I was leaping out of my goddamn chair. April 26th. Alpha demo. I was counting, and counting, and counting the days.
Until it arrived. And it was the most brutal, unforgiving, relentless thing I had ever played. Left-and-right instakills. Durability systems. Non-descript shortcuts. Huge levelling thresholds. It took me five hours to get through the first section of the first level.
Now, if you're familiar with Nioh, something might have caught your eye-- ' Durability system '. Yes, Nioh 1 initially had a weapon degradation system on armor. The details allude me now, but it was a mess. Everything was a mess. It may have been an alpha, but Nioh felt like it was held together with silly string--
And I LOVED it. I was obsessed. Completely enamored. The niche and personality Nioh had carved was completely unique. I played the alpha's mere two levels time and time again, putting at least fourty hours into it alone until its allotted end time of May 5th. This limited demo event would return in the form of a Beta from August 23rd to September 6th, and then finally as quick trial in its final stages from January 21-22 of 2017. I GORGED myself on every vertical slice of this game I was given. Until it finally released, February 7th...
The game was a critical hit. Despite all naysaying and shoulder shrugging, Nioh got good press. Very few outlets were negative, IGN themselves even giving it a big 'ol shining 9.6. And, 'uh... That was it. No mainstream following. It could barely be called a cult following, as its presence on social media was miniscule at best. No one talked about it. So, I'm going to.
Nioh tells the tale of William Adams, a real life historical figure who arrives in Japan to become the first western samurai. Along the way, he meets other various real life historical figures of Edo era Japan. In this alternate reality, the world has come across a mysterious lifeforce/substance in the form of a golden stone known as Amrita... Conveniently, found in Japan. British nations hunger for it in order to secure victory over Spain ( Anglo-Spanish War 1585-1604 ).
Due to his knowledge of Amrita, William, who harbors a guardian spirit, is detained within the Tower of London, soon breaking out to encounter Edward Kelley... A, 'uh, evildoer? Sure. An evildoer who steals William's guardian spirit and flees to Japan, prompting William's travels... Of course, there's more to it than all of this, but even spoilers and details taken into account, the plot isn't fantastic.
But the plot's not important.
Nioh is a double-edged sword of mechanic-driven combat and exploration. There are LIMITLESS options to how a player can handle even the most simple of yokai, yet the flashiest and most effective are layered beneath countless mechanics and skills that you as a player need to investigate.
Stances, onymo magic, ninjutsu, weapon skills, weapon stats, agility, armor stats, guardian spirit and more-- All of these things roll tightly yet horrifyingly into one of the most complex, rewarding combat systems ever created.
What can be gotten out of this game is dependent on what it is given. It is obtuse, secretive, overly-complex, non-sensical and difficult in all the right and wrong ways... And it's bold as all hell. Team Ninja came out swinging with Nioh and it's subsequent DLC content, garnering critical praise and not much else.
If you wanna put in the time, give the Nioh series a shot, as both its initial game and sequel have absurd amounts of content. You'll either deflect real quick, or find yourself in my oddly obsessed position.
tl;dr extremely mechanic heavy and goofy hack-and-slash with Genuinely Absurd amounts of content and playstyles that can create for limitless playtime and also it has a really good sequel that somewhat invalidates it
This is my favorite Soulsbourne game. The combat is incredibly rewarding, the story is solid, and the loot aspect is more like Diablo, which I am all for. I also enjoyed the MP aspect, especially as it helped me complete many of the more difficult encounters!
More arcade-y soulslike, very enjoyable combat, although way too many consumable items. It was cool that some of them could replenish by themselves. The game was really long and I wish I could end it sooner. Overall one of the greatest bang for your buck on PS4. Fantastic world that made me love yokai.