I know I’ve been AFK for a little while here. That wasn’t my intention. I’ve been playing through multiple games that I plan on writing reviews for this weekend.
Persona 5 Strikers, Nioh 2 Complete Edition (PC), and Stranger of Sword City. Nioh 2 is better than I ever thought it would be and it’s quickly moving up the ladder as one of my favorite Soulsborne games of all time. And I feel bad calling this a Soulsborne game because it’s not really a Soulsborne game. It’s a full-fledged action RPG with Ninja Gaidanesque combat.
This is to be expected since this game is made by Team Ninja. Nioh 2 is like Ninja Gaiden and Diablo’s love child and it’s fantastic. Nioh is a completely different beast than Dark Souls. Both games excel at different things but calling Nioh a Dark Souls clone is a disservice to both the developers and the game. Nioh 2 can be more easily compared to a game like Diablo because of its loot progression and the way difficulties work. Unlocking harder difficulties rewards you with better and better loot. Some loot can only be unlocked by reaching the next difficulty.
Combat is where things get really interesting. This game is much more skill-based than any of the Soulsborne games out there. That’s not to say you don’t need to skill to play Dark Souls or Bloodborne. You really, really do. It’s just that Nioh’s combat is deeper and has actual combos that require certain button presses to activate. Every weapon in the game has its own skill tree that you can master simply by using the weapon. As I used my switchglaive I unlocked skill points to allocate into learning new passive and active skills with it.
That’s just scratching the surface of the combat in this game. There are different stances and each stance comes with a different set of moves that you can perform in battle. High stance is for power attacks that can easily break an enemy’s guard at the cost of using more stamina, low stance is for super-fast attacks that don’t hit very hard, and mid-stance is a balance of both. You never want to just stick to one stance. As I played the game I learned which stances worked well for certain enemies and which ones I felt more comfortable using in tough situations.
My character in Nioh 2 is primarily a magic-user. I LOVE the customization in this game and I love the fact that this game has a transmog system. So many other loot games out there forget to include such a simple feature. I can refashion my character to look however I want them to and that really helped out when I was mismatching with 4 different armor sets at one point. I like to match and grinding for hours to find a matching set of armor can be tedious. The refashion system is a godsend and lets me look like a badass while I’m out slaying yokai.
The character creator is really good too. I can easily spend hours creating the perfect protagonist to go through the game with. I really appreciated that I could change my character’s appearance at any time from my hut. There are some really crazy character creations out there including Kanye West. You can create almost anyone with the character creator here and it’s something I plan on experimenting with a lot.
Usually, when I finish a game I move on to the next one unless it has high replay value. Nioh 2’s replay value is insane. I immediately jumped into new game plus and it’s incredibly forgiving. You can switch back to the previous new game (with all your progress still there) at any time from the world map. This is awesome because it lets me go back and help my wife complete stages that she was struggling with. New game plus also added in an entirely new gear tier called Divine and it’s a major step up from what my character had equipped before.
Nioh 2 is absolutely incredible and this is coming from a guy that only sort of liked the first game. This sequel improved on the first one in every way possible. It let me create my own character, introduced the ability to turn into a yokai that comes with its own special abilities, and even improved with the storytelling. I’m addicted to this game and I don’t see myself putting it down anytime soon. I’ve been looking for a new ARPG to play for a long time and this game scratches that itch for me. It gives me the loot I love from games like Diablo, but with awesome skill-based gameplay and co-op. Since I’m on the topic of co-op I have to tell you how much better the co-op here is over Dark Souls and Bloodborne.
Teaming up in this game is incredibly simple. There are no stupid summon signs that I have to find or anything like that. All I have to do is either start an expedition (which allows me to make it friends only) or join my wife’s game when she opens it up to summons. All I have to do is search for a friend’s only game and bam… I’m in. It’s that simple.
The PC port is actually really good. Yes, the last patch kind of fucked up multiplayer. Our expeditions have booted us from the stage a few times and we were forced to start over. We also randomly get kicked from online to offline, but that’s really the extent of our problems. I’m running this game with a 2060 Super with DLSS activated and I never dip in frames. My wife is running it with a GTX 1080 and she averages 60 fps on almost every situation. The lowest I clocked her framerate was at about 55 during intense moments and it only lasted for a few seconds.
So… Nioh 2 is awesome. It’s a game that I’m glad I waited for to hit PC and it’s a game I can see myself playing for hundreds of hours. It’s not really a Soulsborne game and that’s okay. It’s good enough to stand on its two feet and I honestly think I like it as much as Dark Souls and that’s saying something since I have well over 1,000 hours in that series. Once you get past the learning curve and stop trying to play Nioh like Dark Souls you’ll experience an awesome game with deep combat, interesting lore, and some sweet, sweet loot.
I’m Omar. I’m the founder of drakulus.com and the new founder of Petescorner.net. I cover every type of game genre there is and I’m using all of the skills I learned over the last 7 years working on Drakulus to make Pete’s Corner the best it can be. My favorite types of games are strategy, RPGs, and Shooters. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy other types of genres. Those are just my top 3. You can expect my brutally honest opinion on what I think of games in long reviews, editorial pieces, and game news coverage.