Nioh released this very month one year ago, and its Team Ninja’s shot at creating their most difficult game yet – this is saying a lot considering they created Ninja Gaiden! Similar to the likes of Dark Souls and Bloodborne, Nioh tests your reflexes, skills and patience in grueling boss fights.
It isn’t only bosses that’ll give you a hard time though, because even the most bog-standard enemy can take your life within a couple of hits. You know what they say, patience is a virtue and you need to be a virtuous person if you want to reach the end of Nioh. You might’ve passed on Nioh for various reasons, but a big one might’ve been that you were still contending with Dark Souls III and its bountiful DLCs. Whilst the difficulty and approach to gameplay is similar, Nioh does a lot to differentiate itself from its competition.
Nioh does a lot to differentiate itself from its competition.
Stances, guardian spirits and side-quests and just a few of the things that Nioh has on top of its engaging narrative, but never does it feel as if there are too many gameplay mechanics to deal with. Stances see you switch between fast-footed and light attacks, medium attacks, and slow and heavy heavy attacks. You can switch between these on the go, and these unique stances might be the difference between life and death for William. Not mastering stances doesn’t mean you won’t be able to finish the game, but you might find yourself struggling against certain bosses and, in particular, the bosses in the DLC packs.
People love the lore and rich worlds of Demon Souls, Dark Souls and Bloodborne, and Nioh has a more straightforward, easy to understand story that doesn’t require digging into the deepest depths of its Wikipedia page and various YouTube theory videos. There’s nothing wrong with that – in fact, I think it’s great that the FromSoftware games encourage you to unravel for its various secrets and mysteries, and it brings the community together. Nioh doesn’t quite share its siblings’ love for the unknown, but sometimes you just want to get to slaying whilst enjoying a good story. Nioh delivers in spades, and it’s arguably more difficult than those it’s similar to.
Nioh delivers in spades, and it’s arguably more difficult than those it’s similar to.
Talking about things that Nioh has in spades, I’d be amiss to not talk about its abundance of content. An incredible amount of main missions and side-missions await William, and each of them makes for a thrilling adventure. Unique bosses, enemies, loot and changes in environment mean that no two missions feel the same. Sure, environments might be re-tread along every now and then, but there’s always a slight change that keeps them fresh. There are always a pair of more difficult missions to tackle for the extra brave, and these are constantly switched out with new and returning missions.
Nioh is gorgeous game steeped in Japanese myth and folklore, and its variety of Japanese-inspired enemies really excites me. William, being British, speaks in English, whilst many of the Japanese characters speak in Japanese. This makes William feel like the stranger in a foreign land that he is, but he’ll travel through any danger to save his spirit guardian and friend, Saoirse, from the evil Edward Kelley. William is a great character, and he and those around him are brimming with personality.
Challenge, excitement and outstanding enemy and world design awaits you in Nioh, and it’s waiting to tear you apart.
Nioh is a year old this month, and its DLC plans are complete. You can play everything that Nioh has to offer right now, solo or with other players online, and its palm-sweating-inducing combat makes for a memorable experience. Nioh is one of 2017’s best titles, and those looking for something to fill the Souls-like void can’t go wrong with this deeply Japanese journey. Challenge, excitement and outstanding enemy and world design awaits you in Nioh, and it’s waiting to tear you apart.
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