When Nioh first launched, many could write it off as a Dark Souls-like and move on. However, after a few hours, the game was packed with unique systems and story elements that made it stand out. With the release of Nioh 2, the series differentiates itself even further with tweaks made to the battle system, additional combat strategies, and plenty of new ways to survive or die in the field.
We had the opportunity to interview Nioh 2 director and producer Fumihiko Yasuda about the upcoming PlayStation 5 and PC release and insight into what comes next for Team NINJA.
Azario Lopez: I didn’t feel like anyone thought Nioh 2 on PS4 performed poorly. So, how did you approach the idea of making a good game “better” using more powerful hardware? I imagine it’s like filling a room with as much as possible and then opening the door to a warehouse.
Fumihiko Yasuda: By taking full advantage of the PS5’s high-speed SSD, we greatly improved the load times overall.
AL: What are your thoughts on the new consoles from Microsoft and Sony? With this being your first game released on PS5, did you encounter any setbacks during the porting process?
FY: This will be the first title the Nioh 2 development team has put out on PS5. The PS5 has a high-speed SSD which allows for not only an increase in the overall quality of the gameplay, but it makes it even easier for our team to develop games for the system. The hardware is really wonderful for both players and developers. We put in a lot of effort to include the new features of the DualSense controller such as the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, which have never been implemented into a console before.
AL: Was there a specific aspect of the game that you personally wanted to improve in this updated release?
FY: All of the game balance updates that have gone live up until this point are included in Nioh 2 CE. We also segmented the controls tutorial missions so that new players could get accustomed to the game more easily. An instruction feature has also been added to the Shrine which allows players to transition to the tutorial missions.
AL: Post-launch of The Complete Edition, are there plans to continue to push updates for the game?
FY: Currently there are no specific plans that have been decided on yet, but after Nioh 2 CE releases and we see the response, we are considering implementing future updates as needed.
AL: Looking back, what are your thoughts on using a silent customizable protagonist for Nioh 2? Is this something you see yourself returning to in future games, or do you prefer a protagonist like in Nioh?
FY: As a character creation system was implemented, we wanted to create an experience for the player where their own original character became the protagonist. While there are positive elements to both options, Nioh 2 allows the player to really put themselves more fully into the game emotionally by controlling a character that they created themselves.
AL: I read that you completed Nioh 2 in around 55 hours. I have to ask when given the option, do you create female or male characters? Is there any reason why?
FY: When I have the option I always choose a male character. The reason for that is probably become I can get really immersed in the experience. However, they are usually very handsome characters that don’t really look like me.
AL: Now, I know you probably get asked this a lot, but I have to ask, what’s going on with Ninja Gaiden and when do you think is the right time to bring that series back?
FY: NINJA GAIDEN is an incredibly important franchise to both myself and Team NINJA. I am always looking for any opportunity to revive the series. While we worked on the Nioh series on PS4, the fact that we were unable to release a new NINJA GAIDEN title is something that I think about often. With the new consoles now released, I think that this is the perfect time to release a new entry in the series.
AL: Player feedback is something that all games will receive in one way or another, was there any feedback provided to your team that you ended up adding to the game? How do you generally approach input from the community?
FY: We received a lot of feedback and we considered them among the development team as much as possible, and utilized some of the ideas in Nioh 2. We are considering looking through each of the requests from fans and work on implementing them if possible through future updates.
AL: Over the holidays, is there any games that you plan to play, or do you try to forget about video games if only for a few days?
FY: I’m planning to play Nioh 2 online, as well as put in a ton of time into Cyberpunk 2077.
AL: Is there anything you’d like to say to players waiting for the PC and PS5 version of Nioh 2?
FY: I would really like players to experience how much the gameplay was improved due to the faster load times. There is also support for 120 FPS and 4K resolution, and you can choose these as different game modes. There is also support for the DualSense features such as haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. This allows you to feel the sensation of drawing back bowstrings and petting Scampuss. Please try these features out for yourself!
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