Title: Nioh 2
Developer: Team NINJA
Release Date: February 4, 2021
Reviewed On: PC
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
I played Nioh 2 on PlayStation 4 for over 100 hours, and I still get the urge to return to its nightmarish world. It’s a testament to the game’s action-focused and addicting gameloop. Since launch, we’ve seen three significant DLC updates released, which build on the timeline system and attempts to build out the game’s narrative, which is still a little confusing.
The adventure is coming to PC and PS5 bundled with all the updates and balances before, along with improved quality. After playing the PC version for many hours, I can say that this punishing experience holds up enough for another round of torture.
If you haven’t read my review of the PlayStation 4 release, I encourage you to do so as I’ll mostly focus on the PC version’s updated performance.
Nioh 2’s narrative takes players across a decently lengthy timeline of a half-human half-yokai warrior. Your first objective is to create the character, and, thankfully, there are a ton of options for creating the perfect character for you. The customization continues as you choose your two preferred weapons, but you aren’t tied to these specific weapons and can change at any point in the game.
Actions that you take during gameplay reflect your character’s growth. The more you used weapons and abilities, the more experience you gain with that weapon, which allows you to add skill points to learn new attacks, combos, and passive skills. This creates an interesting gameloop for some who wish to master everything, but it’s possible to get through the game only using the few weapons of your preference.
The mission structure takes place on an overworld map that changes locations as you complete story quests. These quests will have various starting points within the same map, but additional side quests allow you to return to a map to fight a powerful demon or clear out a few waves of enemies. In the later parts of the game, these sidequests can be an absolute nightmare of waves of the most powerful demon foes coming for your throat.
Nioh 2 is a challenging game, but the development team offers players a few different options to make fights easier. I think the most important to master is the Ki Pulse, which regains stamina. It’s essential in most situations and can really leave you in a bind if you aren’t utilizing it. Changing your stance and understanding each stance’s benefits is crucial to cause more damage to enemies.
The Yokai Ability is a nice system and allows you to equip Yokai Souls to your character and summon them to attack your enemy. There’s a significant variety of Yokai Souls to collect that each varies in level and performance. Your character can Yokai Shift and go completely ham on a boss for a limited time, granting a breather to players to wipe their sweaty hands.
The PC version has it all, and most importantly, you have access to the newest weapons added to the game, Splitstaff and Claws, from the very beginning. This was nice to get more acquitted with these weapons early on instead of taking on high-level enemies with them. They also urge returning players to attempt different fighting techniques, which might not be the only reason you’d want to replay the game, but it’s one of them.
There’s also the added balances that have been addressed since the PlayStation 4 launch. If you haven’t played the game in a while, you’ll find many of the pain points in controls have been addressed through player feedback. For PC players, there’s support for ultrawide monitors along with keyboard and mouse customization options, which was nice. Still, I found myself back on the controller soon after attempting the control scheme.
The best part about this PC release is that I didn’t seem to encounter any noticeable low points in the performance or graphics. I attempted to push the game and my machine to the limits and was still able to smoothly navigate the battlefield without any visual downgrade. The framerate stayed consistent with 120 fps options and 4k support, which might be reason enough for some to jump back in a play. The result is just a very satisfying experience overal.
Nioh 2 on PC is the same great and challenging experience. It’s packed with content that spans a lengthy timeline of nightmares making this release a must for anyone who held out on the PS4 version or who can’t get enough. The graphical options only make a great game better, but even after 120 hours, I still don’t understand anything about this plot.
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