OUR RATING: 9/10
With the success of the Dark Souls formula, many games were inspired by the same format, but few stood out like Nioh. This and its sequel have their own identity and are essential titles for lovers of the genre.
After the release of the sequel on PS4, it was time to receive it on another platform with the launch of Nioh 2 : The Complete Edition for PC. This edition, in addition to containing new graphics options and superior performance, also includes all additional content released so far.
Nioh 2 takes place at a time in Feudal Japan where many samurai have the (unfortunate) hobby of hunting Yokai. The latter are demons that inhabit the world and destroy several villages, consuming many human lives. Being the protagonist of this story, it is up to you to take your sword and defeat these monsters on a long and difficult journey.
The premise seems simple, but in fact we have an initial clue that not everything is as simple as it seems and, slowly, the story develops in interesting ways. The main character is molded to our image, that is, each of us will create the appearance of our protagonist through a fantastic customization system. Despite this, it already had a name and was called Hide. The reason is in the impact that the character has in relation to the narrative and, possibly, to facilitate the interaction between characters.
In addition to the PC version itself, Nioh 2 – The Complete Edition brings with it the expansions that have arrived throughout the year.
In The Tengu’s Disciple, for example, you will travel 400 years into the past, where you will be told part of the story that precedes certain events – which we are obviously not going to reveal – related to a key weapon in the main game’s plot. With a new region and a new enemy, without being anything from the other world, it will help you to find some of the most difficult enemies in the game. All in all, the sum of all these expansion additions in a single product results in more than 100 hours of content to lose yourself in.
Nioh’s formula is certainly inspired by Dark Souls, but at the same time, it moves completely away from it and delivers a fresh and unique journey. In comparison, the gameplay is similar to a hack n ‘slash and has a sadistic difficulty (yes, it is really difficult) that, for a moment, might end your sanity.
However, after realizing its mechanics, the adventure will eventually become quite fun, where the adrenaline was constant and the satisfaction for each victory guaranteed. Nioh 2 has several components in its gameplay, from a system of upgrades, skills, Yokai Shift, Burst Counter, Guardians Spirits, not to mention the various playstyles of each weapon.
For those who may never have heard of Nioh 2, we’ll explain some of its original mechanics. Something already usual since the first game, are our fellow Guardian Spirits. These are represented in the form of animals with certain elemental powers. The elements can be combined through two Guardian Spirits to obtain buffs . One of the novelties introduced in the sequel, is the possibility of performing Yokai Shift , a mechanic that allows us to transform, as its name implies, into a Yokai (demon), obtaining enormous attack power for a few moments.
In addition, we have the Burst Counter that allows us to counter at the right time, the powerful attacks of enemies. This skill is a real blessing in boss fights, but not only. This is all possible because the protagonist is a Shiftling (half Human and half Yokai ), which ends up making sense in a narrative context.
The base game changes, as the new weapons, equipment items, and consumables for these extras are included in the items dropped by enemies early on. But especially relevant is the presence of two new selectable weapons at the beginning of the game. If you have played Nioh or Nioh 2, you will know that the choice of arsenal at the beginning of the adventure, the affinity system for use and the rise in levels and abilities largely determine how your path will be.
The way to face the combats, the combos or the tactics before each one of the opponents on screen are completely oriented by the chosen weapons. This means that the experience can be very different taking a hatchet and spear, or opting for the noble katana or the uchigatana. In this way, those who have already been through Nioh 2 have an incentive here, since the Double Rod and Claws are accessible from the beginning.
The Good, the Bad and The Overall Experience
Visually, it is a fabulous title with several different scenarios where the Japanese architecture of the time excels. These types of places always interest players to explore and Nioh 2’s are no exception. The enemies’ creativity is fantastic, but the main highlight is the relentless bosses.
Thanks to the power of a (good) PC, it is possible to elevate the visuals to a higher level than the original platform, as well as its performance. After some configurations, playing at 2K between 80 to 95 FPS (frames per second) is fantastic. However, the graphics options are quite limited and it would have been better to see more options to stabilize the FPS in addition to the existing ones, which only allow you to keep the FPS up to 30, 60 or 120.
Something that was surprising was seeing the cutscenes being presented at 30FPS. This may be related to the game engine, or how the title is programmed, but it is curious to omit a greater fluidity in these sequences.
In addition, let’s highlight some bugs with the game. After several graphic configurations, it’s noticeable that when selecting the “Fullscreen” mode in “Display Mode”, the FPS is limited to 60 even if the “Frame Rate Cap” is above that number (120). We recommend using the “Borderless” mode to get an SPF over 60 if you have problems with the “Fullscreen” option.
Additionally, it is worth mentioning two more bugs, although they are minimal. For an action game like Nioh 2, it is ideal to use a controller. However, there are moments where it started to vibrate out of nowhere (about every 10 seconds) and you would need to reconnect the controller to get back to normal. Another small detail is the fact that the operating system cursor is constantly in the middle of the screen throughout the game. Eventually, these problems will be solved and, according to Team Ninja (game producer), more graphic options will be made available, such as DLSS. Despite highlighting these bugs, the gaming experience is not significantly decreased.
The game has immense possibilities to develop your character, resulting in a unique and excellent combat. Despite the challenges (ie. underestimating the enemies). It is a game that you will certainly continue to play for several hours, taking into account the amount of main and secondary content (including all DLC’s) in this version. If you’ve already played the original game, Nioh 2: The Complete Edition may not be enough and it will depend on how much you value the visual and performance improvements. Also whether you enjoyed the three available expansions or not, which add many hours of interesting content that is worth it if you enjoyed the base game.
It’s a shame that the performance and control settings on the PC version of Nioh 2: The Complete Edition have (currently) some work to get to perfect, but we’re confident this will be fixed soon; being equally superior to that seen in the version of PS4 and PS4 Pro. PS5 also puts on the table its full potential in an edition much higher than that seen in the previous console, where the images per second, the visual effects and, above all, the near absence of loading times completely changes the way you play.
Nioh 2: The Complete Edition is the best way to enjoy an imperfect game, with an imperfect PC version that needs improvement, but absorbs and haunts. Its visual and performance improvements are palpable from the first moment, only overshadowed by the small flaws in PC that we hope will find a solution very soon. The three expansions, the multiple possibilities that the game provides in every way … in its perfect imperfection we find a complex work, which punishes without mercy so that each step forward is celebrated as a victory.