Nioh finally released on PC and after playing it for about 40 hours I’m glad I didn’t cave in and buy a PS4 for this game. It’s not worth it. Here’s my review for Nioh.
One thing Team Ninja got right in this game is the gameplay. It’s amazing. The highlight is the ability to change stances on the fly. I can from a normal stance to a high stance that increases my damage but doing so lowers my speed. If I want to attack faster I can switch to a low stance that increases my attack speed but also lowers my attack.
Here’s another area that Team Ninja excelled at when making this game. I’m a loot whore. I love collecting loot in every game that I play that gives me the option to do so. Nioh is a mix of Dark Souls and Diablo. It’s not fair to call this game a Dark Souls clone because they’re very different games. The armor sets in this game are great. There’s even named armor sets that offer passive bonuses if you manage to find the whole set.
Nioh has one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard all year long. I love it. The ambient sounds have to be acknowledged here. Sometimes there is no music at all. It’s replaced by the best ambient sounds I’ve heard all year long. The only thing that brings the sounds down is the voice acting. Some of the voices are great while others are average. I also don’t like that 90% of the game is Japanese. Dialogue plays while I’m in boss fights sometimes and I miss what they’re saying because if I stop to read it I’ll die from the boss. It’s not a good mix in my opinion and that’s what made me drop this a section.
Nioh is a very pretty game. Some of the areas look fantastic and some of them don’t. When I’m in a cave or exploring a forest there’s nothing interesting to look at. The character models are good, the armor sets are fucking sexy, and this game can be eye candy at times.
I mentioned above that I love me some loot. The loot in this game drops like it does in Diablo. It’s everywhere, but I’m not sure that’s a good thing for this genre. Part of the charm in Dark Souls is finding loot and it’s always rewarding when you do. What’s the point of me avoiding all of these traps, killing all of these enemies, and finally making it to the loot down the corridor when I know it’s going to be some randomly generated crap that I don’t need. Of course, the loot whore in me is going to get it anyway, but some unique loot in unique locations would have been great in this game.
I was very surprised by my reaction to the boss fights in this game. They’re cheap, have a ton of health, and aren’t very fun to fight against. The only exceptions are the spider and electric demon dog thing. Every other boss in the game was mediocre to me. Most of the boss fights are against normal samurai. Boss fights are longer than they should be and not very interesting. They simply have too much health and do a ton of damage too. This isn’t the type of difficulty that I enjoy. It feels artificial and took a lot of the enjoyment out of the game for me.
What’s worse than the boss fights? The story! Nioh’s lore is fucking fantastic, but the story itself leads much to be desired. The story is about a man named Geralt I meant William and his quest to rescue his spirit friend. Along the way, he allies himself with Ieyasu Tokugawa and fights his way to the alchemist that has his spirit. Nothing that happened is memorable and it barely makes any sense.
Do you know what made Dark Souls such a great game? The level design. It wasn’t the gameplay because the first Dark Souls game had average gameplay. It was finding out how the world was connected. The world was the highlight of the games, not the gameplay. Nioh’s highlight is the gameplay, but everything else takes a backseat. I don’t like starting a mission and finishing it 5 minutes later after I win a single fight or fight my way to the end of a bridge.
Leave it to Koei Tecmo to completely fuck the PC port of Nioh up. I usually play games like this with mouse and keyboard. That’s possible here because Nioh has no mouse support. It barely has graphics support. Yes, we can adjust certain graphics options, but if you were hoping for more in-depth control you’re going to be extremely disappointed in this game. We have the PS4 version of the game. The big difference is we can play in “quality” mode at 60 fps instead of 30 like the PS4 does. If you don’t own a controller buy one before you buy this game.
Nioh is a good game. It’s a good new IP that has a lot of potential to be a huge new series for both Team Ninja and Koei Tecmo. The gameplay and customization are great, but everywhere else is lacking in my opinion. I’m not going to play this game as much as I’ve played Dark Souls, but this is a good first step and I hope a sequel does happen that improves this game in every area. Making your game “hard” by giving every boss an insane amount of health isn’t fun. It’s tedious and the fact that they’re not very interesting bosses had me questioning why I wanted to keep playing at times. I’m glad I did though because I had one hell of an experience with this game and I hope it’s not the last we see of Nioh.