Nioh 2 is an Action RPG and is a sequel that lands around the area of being more of the original but enough to make it a worthwhile follow up of the highly successful Nioh which was originally released in 2017 and is available for PS NOW. Nioh 2 is a prequel to Nioh where you take on hordes of fearsome Yokai in a battle to the death where you create your own original protagonist. You will embark on an adventure across several locations in Japan during the Sengoku period.
Nioh 2 follows a large majority of functionality, structure and mechanics from its predecessor. This is not a bad thing though as Nioh had an extraordinary fighting system alongside the loot system reminiscent of Diablo to form an experience that continues to hold a unique place between the 2 franchises and it’s the fighting mechanics or combat that establishes a connection between them. High, medium and low stances make a return in order to use different methods of involvement which helps you to personalize how the old and new Yokai demons are dealt with.
Stamina management is an essential aspect in combat and you have to pick your fights carefully to ensure that you win. Rewards are divided between Amrita which is their version of experience and new gear or equipment to enhance your character. Building on the success of the first game, Team Ninja’s second samurai action RPG brings back the original penchant for punishing and highly complex battles.
Nioh 2 hones the originals distinctive approach to the souls like games without entirely reinventing itself and the result is a long difficult slog that will drive even the most demanding and hungry players to their breaking points as they fight for every inch of the ground and become a master samurai. Nioh 2 is a prequel, exposing the hidden history of a decade long time of war in medieval Japan.
You battle to uncover the hidden existence of spirit stones which grant supernatural strength and overcome hordes of Yokai across the country as the silent customizable hero. There is a fascinating historical bench to the plot which you mainly get through cut scenes and exposures between missions but it’s really just glued to keep the levels together. In the saga historically important names are there and the second you take control it kind of fades as it’s time to start killing demons.
Each of the 9 weapon types offers a unique balance between speed, strength and range that can be fine-tuned on the fly by moving between 3 positions. Each type of weapon has its own tree of abilities for which you receive points. Apart from the new abilities and two new kinds of weapons, the core remains relatively unchanged from the original. Having said that the battle system is quite accurate and Nioh 2 requires you to have a deep understanding of all your weapons attacks and there is a wide variety of attacks, each of which puts its own twist on the way you battle.
There are also several general skill trees plus levels that increase your stats. Furthermore Nioh 2 is a loot game so you can constantly look at new weapons that tweak your stats. It is a lot to handle however when you find your specialty then you truly see what this game is all about. The sequel has a few tricks and all the new abilities of the Yokai are the greatest showcase. You will now transform into one of these demonic beasts that stalk you for a select number of seconds to cope with the catastrophic damages and at any one time with 2 distinct talents.
They can easily turn the tide of battle and will change the way you view fighting profoundly. Learning your own skills is a part of your background and to truly excel you will need to grasp the world of Nioh 2. There’s an incredible amount of variety in an incredibly long campaign and it’s winding multi area missions cover all sorts of settings from burning castles, temples, military camps, forests and mountains.
Many of them change drastically as you discover them giving you a great feel of travel and achievement to cover what seems like a long distance. Even if the levels seem similar you single handedly siege 4 to 5 castles through the 20 campaign missions. The varied degree of design both in direction and detail makes each one feel unique and worth overcoming. It allows the maps to be more than twisty turning dungeon creeps and most have a single trap or environment conundrum in at least one region.
At one forest floor for example a giant owl Yokai patrols those areas alerting enemies to find you. During the siege of the fortress, you must avoid the fire of cannons while you duel the enemy troops. Also, there are Dark Realm zones which are black and white areas haunted by Yokai which presents an even greater challenge by slowing down the regeneration of your Ki. It is only by beating a particular enemy in the dark world that can dispel it and injects further opportunities for you to make progress that does not reset when you use the shrine.
You see this most plainly when you’re up against one of the incredibly challenging game boss encounters and like the stages, the bosses vary greatly and they are all sights to behold. From a giant snake with mini snake weapons to a 3-story bull headed spider as each enemy concept has a lot of character and is unlike anything you’ve seen in the game before. They all have one thing in common though, they’re incredibly difficult and perhaps more than normal fights the bosses basically demand flawless play for an extended period of time.
You need to be able to identify any move they make and know how to react instantly. Nioh 2 is about 50 – 80 hours long and is one hell of an experience and is an incredible game. If you’ve played the first game or like any souls like games you should definitely jump into this world. The game runs incredibly smooth and for a game that acts as a prequel this is the perfect place to jump in as the visuals are absolutely stunning. Smooth performance, exhilarating combat and satisfying rewards, Nioh 2 definitely deserves your attention but just make sure to be patient as it will surely be worth your time.
Nioh 2 has been permanently added to the PS NOW service.
Nioh 2 build on the original games combat system and offers a wide range of weapon-specific skills. It has great level and enemy variety that makes you think on your feet and a few mistakes can end you and the boss battles pushes that idea even further where one mistake will kill you. A great follow up to Nioh and a must play for any souls like fans.