Death, loot and demon blood in Nioh 2
4.7Overall Score
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)

Nioh 2, Team Ninjas’ second adventure set in feudal Japan, takes everything that made original Nioh great and cranks up the volume. So what kept pulling me back into this world of stats and challenging combat?

Sequel Prequel

Although the title Nioh 2 may suggest, that the player will be diving into a sequel and potentially see what happened after Nioh ends, this game is a prequel. Set in a specific time, spanning decades of war, you will uncover secrets and meanings behind ancient Japanese myths and legends. Hide, pronounced Hee-day, is a lone half-demon warrior, trying to rid the lands of his demonic relatives. The story itself is told in cutscenes and written text, but overall, if you ignore it, it does not make much of a difference.

Gaming the game

The start of this action RPG already differs greatly from its predecessor. with a character editor. This feature alone is so extensive, that it could be a game itself. The creations some players have come up with are mind-blowing. I even found a player that recreated Solid Snake. This already, in a way, provides a hint at what the game is like. There are so many items with varying statics, that you may need masters from MIT to properly calculate each impact. You can dismantle, build and have stats transferred between items in the blacksmith hut. Also, you can find little green creatures in each level. Each of these creates is part of a set and once you have the full set, you can choose a specific effect.

Structure in the madness

Similar to the original Nioh the world is split up into levels. This does take one out of the atmosphere and just keeps reminding the player, that this is a video game. Furthermore, this is highlighted by being able to play the levels again in a dark/hard mode. Each level gets more and more intricate with shortcuts to unlock. The effectiveness of this feature is diminished because you rarely actually need to use them. The “normal” enemies in the levels pose very little threat, which is a counterpoint to the single demonic enemies or full demon realm areas due to the difficulty ramping up quite a bit. You must be prepared to slog through the easy ones, again and again, just to get another crack at the harder enemies.

I summon thee

A big part of souls-like games is the ability to summon help, but also foes. Nioh 2 is no different in that regard. By making offerings the player can buy rice. This rice can then be used to summon other players. Currently online players, via the shrine. Their A.I. controlled “copies” via blue symbols found in the world. You can also engage in PVP fights. This is done by summoning players via red symbols in the world. Depending on the level of the other player, you will require more rice. In general, summoning help is frowned upon. I found it helpful and the system has always found the players within a few seconds.

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It’s good, but…

Ever since Dark Souls perfected the souls-like formula, I have become a huge fan of games like this. If you are like me and don’t mind a neglectable story and are into statistics and finding your potential next favourite weapon every 30 seconds, then Nioh 2 will bring you hours upon hours of entertainment. In the end, I feel it is a good souls-like game, which goes its own way but falls short in comparison to the Soulsborne series.

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