Nioh it boasted an atmosphere similar to it, characterized by a brutal difficulty, similar movements and a mechanical loot. What the games didn’t have in common, however, was their appearance. The Souls series is more geared to a dark European medieval fantasy, while the setting chosen for Nioh is the Sengoku period of Japan. Until FromSoftware created Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice , which was announced at E3 2019 with a release shortly thereafter. The game was set in a similar setting, but with innovative gameplay for the genre. Nioh suddenly found a greater load to bear.
Fortunately, from what we saw at the Tokyo Game Show 2019, both during our hands-on and during the closed door presentation, Nioh 2 seems to add enough new ingredients to stand out from the FromSoftware franchise.
When making the sequel to a successful game, a very common trope is to make the next chapter a prequel. This allows new players to have the opportunity to confront the experience despite not having played the original title, but it also attracts old players as it allows them to explore previous events compared to those narrated in their first adventure. As you may have guessed, Nioh 2 follows the same direction. Without making too many spoilers, the story centers on two historical figures from the Sengoku period in Japan, which paved the way for how society became the first Nioh. This time Team Ninja allows you once again to create the protagonist thanks to a multitude of options, from the adaptation of the jaw to the individual age. For those who hated playing with a Western character posing as a Japanese samurai in the first game, Team Ninja finally gives many chances to remedy this.
Nioh 2 improves on the previous one by adding the cooperative mode to three players instead of two as in the original. Let’s just say it’s necessary because the sequel spares no expense in making the game one of the most difficult experiences you’ve ever experienced. After putting the controller down, we couldn’t help but think of games like Devil May Cry 3, Bloodborne or even the original Nioh as “easy” in comparison. Even the Team Ninja guy present there had difficulty in finishing the demo during the next section behind closed doors. In other words, Nioh 2 is the definition of a “merciless” experience.
To survive in this complex Japanese environment, Team Ninja decided to add Yokai powers. Every time the player defeats the Yokai enemies, he gets a core of their soul, inside which we find the crystallized power. These souls will allow your hero to use the power of the fallen enemy in battle. In our playthrough, we tried the Yokai powers and they were what really made the difference between victory and defeat. Moreover, in this regard, many new weapons are available. In particular, we fell in love with the new double handle accept, which inflicts a lot of damage against every enemy we encountered. Of course also samurai fans will find many options available to them, thanks to different swords, plus four sockets that make their big comeback in this title. When it comes to surviving in this harsh environment full of demons, Team Ninja does not disappoint, as it equips players with many instruments to become a real force to be reckoned with, until you make a wrong slave and get brutally killed.
From a graphic point of view, Nioh 2 is positioned between the acceptable and the good. The lighting is discreet, the animations are acceptable and the rooms are detailed. Nioh 2 , rather, excels in the artistic style and design of enemies. From small “easy” to great terrifying giants, Nioh 2 knows how to make the grotesque beautiful. The same can be said of the setting of the game, which really recreates that atmosphere of being in the Sengoku period in a Japan full of demons. We loved to wander around and explore the various environments, although their representation leaves room for improvement.
In conclusion, Nioh 2 seems to improve every aspect of the original, remaining faithful to what made it exceptional. It’s hard, addictive and damn fun, and that’s why we can’t wait to try it in its entirety.