Around three years after the first part, Nioh 2 sends you back into the world of feudal Japan in the 16th century. Here you not only soak your katana with samurai blood, but also fight around with Japanese mythical creatures, the yokai. After about 80 hours of play, tester Christopher is completely finished and happy at the same time. How Nioh 2 performs in the test, you can read here on GIGA.
Nioh 2 is a prequel to the Nioh released in early 2017. As in the previous one, you move through Japan during the Sengoku period (1467-1603). This was a belligerent period in Japanese history when many clans fought for domination in the country. in the Action role-playing game you create a character and fight against numerous famous historical figures, such as Oda Nobunaga. But also the so-called Yokai are your opponents, mythical creatures that are deeply rooted in Japanese mythology.
In terms of level design and combat system, the game itself is based on games like Dark Souls. Combine this with the mission-based and loot-oriented progress system as you know it from games like Diablo 3. Complex talent trees, many weapon types and a sophisticated forging system allow you to customize your character in detail.
Nioh 2 does not take any major risks and further extends the strengths of the first part. Those who played the first part will find their way around in the successor, because many elements have been adopted almost 1: 1. Thanks to the new Yokai abilities of your character and the soul core system, the possibilities in combat become even more complex. The hunt for the next level rise and the perfect equipment works even better in Nioh 2 and lasts a long time.
In contrast, the somewhat dismembered story stands without a real common thread and a lack of balancing in the boss fights. All in all, Nioh 2 is a more than worthy successor. Everything is a little bigger, more complex and better than in the first part. Nioh 2 is also the best example of how the Souls game principle can be meaningfully adapted to create something of your own.
These are the strengths of Nioh 2:
- Complex character creation with talent trees, forging system and many different protective spirits as well as soul cores.
- Long season, comparable to the first part (approx. 35 hours of main story + 60 hours of secondary activities).
- Combat system with nine different weapon types provides variety.
- Addiction spiral loot and level works perfect.
- Co-op mode for up to three players.
- Numerous new guardian spirits, yokai and enemy types.
- Even more Details in the game world and hidden secrets for exploration.
- Endgame missions motivate beyond the story.
These are the weaknesses from Nioh 2:
- Repetitive mission build-up without big surprises (no open world).
- Graphically hasn't changed much since the first part.
- Balancing problems with the bosses (Yokai are often too strong, while people rarely pose problems).
- story appears incoherent in the cutscenes.
If you were still stuck in the skin of the western samurai William in the first part, you can completely redesign your very own character in Nioh 2, Gender choice included. The new section is already exemplary here and lets you really set everything from posture, beard growth to trifles such as the width of the nose.
Individualization of the character is always capitalized in the further course of the game. So your character is accurately represented in all cutscenes and this also includes all weapons and armor that are tailor-made for you. As so often with self-made characters, however, your character remains silent. Should contribute to the identification, you know that …
From the start, Nioh 2 plays just like its predecessor. For the most part, that's a good thing, since the first part almost only got high 80s ratings the most successful game by publisher Koei Tecmo in the west to date represents. As before, you select various main and side missions on an overview map and thus make your way through six regions of Japan, where you fight Samurai or let Yokai monsters taste your weapons.
The mission structure always remains the same. You fight your way through semi-open levels, unlock shortcuts and in the end there is always a boss waiting for you. So far, so Dark Souls. What sets Nioh 2 apart from the usual Souls clones is that Mix of motivational combat system, exploration and the hunt for better equipment. This recipe is also fully in the sequel and is further improved by the innovations in character development.
The innovations of Nioh 2 at a glance:
- Your character is in Nioh 2 half human, half yokai. If you fill up your Amrita ad in battle, you may for a short time transform into the yokai form, of which there are three types (blank, wildling, phantom) and which let you do more damage comparatively. Which form you take is determined by the chosen protective spirit.
- Furthermore you are allowed to use yours Now equip protective spirits with soul cores. All yokai, of which there are many new species in the second part, sometimes drop them as prey and you can use your individual skills in combat. The use of the soul cores consumes anima, which is represented by a new bar below the AI display.
- With the Glefe (a kind of retractable scythe) and the Hatchets (two small hand axes) two more weapons are added and increase the selection to a total of nine.
- You can also now Find weapons that are better from Yokai and who speak to you if you have fought with them often enough.
- There are now tainted areas in the levelsthat are completely covered by the dark Yokai Empire. Your AI regeneration is severely impaired here, which further increases the level of difficulty in such areas. To clean them, you have to defeat a strong yokai in the area.
At the end of a total of 20 missions in the story campaign, a powerful boss opponent is waiting for you. Here the game alternates between agile samurai warriors and big yokai monsters. The level of difficulty varies greatly in the boss fights. While some yokai bite their teeth and pepper one or the other controller in the corner, human bosses are sometimes put right in the first attempt. This certainly differs depending on the player experience, but the balancing is not always quite as mature here.
If the fights are too difficult, you can now too Summon NPC images of other players at blue graves to assist you in the battles. They serve as a distraction for the boss, but that also helps. Alternatively, you can plunge into the numerous side missions to raise your level above the recommended levels for the main missions, which also makes it easier to progress. There is sometimes a reunion with maps from the first part.
There is also a lot to discover again. So you can again Search Kodamas in hidden level areasto permanently increase your stock of elixirs. But there are also new friendly Yokai. The cute cat Yokai Sunekosuri about, let yourself be petted and accompany you on your way for a short time. It gives you a buff and also helps in the fight. In tainted areas, it puffs up like an angry puffer fish – cute!
When it comes to multiplayer, Nioh 2 offers a co-op mode for up to three players. In the modes "Expeditions" and "Random Encounters" you can join up with players at random or selectively for selectable missions. However, only missions that have already been activated or completed can be played. At the shrines you can use the ochoko cups again Call visitors. You earn this when you summon and defeat returnees over the red graves.
But what about PvP mode? Already in Nioh, this was only later delivered via update. Unfortunately, the developers fail to make this available from the start, and it remains to be hoped that it will be delivered later. Nioh 2 will be released on March 13, 2020 exclusively for PlayStation 4. According to reports from Gamespot a release for the PC is to follow in November 2020.