With the many Soulslike games out there in the wild and many stick with the same formula that makes DarkSouls so great. One game took a different direction and meshed three games together to make an endless looting grind, fast paced over the top combat with the difficulty that Souls brings.
Enter Nioh 2 a blend of Diablo 2 looting, ninja Gaiden fluid combat and the raging that you would expect from the souls like genre. Nioh 2 is one of if not the best Souls Like gaming experience you will ever have. From the deep complexity of builds, to the fun story set in the Sengoku Era of Japan in the early 1500s that sets you asa half-yokai named hide who befriends many different characters along the way during the upheaval and warlodism in Japan. Nioh 2 takes real dates of the Sengoku Era and characters based on the real life historical figures like; Kinoshita Toukichirou who later became Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
The mixing of fiction and non-fiction is very neat to see and going through the civil war era of Japan and incorporating with Japanese folklore of Yokai (demons) is very fun and interesting spin on a real-life era.
With nearing 300 hours in a little over month we got some good topics. I broke this review in many areas as this game is very complex, in depth very detailed and to just talk about random components in this game does not give it justice so lets start why we all play Nioh, the combat.
I am making this review with out playing the DLC and on NG + but will put out another video covering DLC!
If you have played any Team Ninja (Ninja Gaiden, Nioh 1, Hyrule Warriors) then you know you are already in for a treat when it comes to combat. Like most dark souls the combat is unforgiving to those who don’t make time to learn the mechanics of the game. But very rewarding to those who put the time into learn the mechanics, the combos the ins outs of how the game functions during its combat and that’s about 90% of the game.
If you played Ninja Gaiden then you already know about the combos, the jutsu/magic and the over top slicing and dicig of your enemies. The combat is probbaly the best feature in Nioh and makes some of the other Soul like games look like a snore fest.
To say the combat is slow is like saying an airplane doesn’t break the sound barrier. It is extremely fast combat, the combos are brutal and coupling it with magic and ninjustu it can get pretty insane and once you get into New Game + collecting divine gear and start making you build it will get even faster. If done right you can drop big boys in a only a few hits. The combat is a huge step up from the normal souls play and tons of fun if you are into fast paced over the top in your face and melt bodies combos. (I wanted more descirptions but lost em)
With the Nioh Combat you have multiple weapons you can choose from all with their own animations, combos, look feel and play style
- Dual Swords
- Split Staff
- Axe & Hammer
- Hatchets (My Fav)
- Ranged (yes with the right build you can play fully ranged)
- Hand Cannon
Nioh 2 is a prequel to Nioh 1 and no you don’t need to play Nioh 1 to play Nioh 2. It all ties together and fills you in. While I payed somewhat attention to the story, it is actually decent. As you are a half human, half yokai AKA as a shiftling and as you go through you meet and befriend Kinoshita Toukichirou who wants to make his mark in the world by selling sprit stones(Amrita).
You meet many other interesting characters along the way while fighting back Yokai and evil warlords to gain control of the different regions. The story actually has some really good twists and leaves you with your jaw dropped as you don’t expect certain things to happen. For an Souls like ARPG with a story it’s a decent 7/10 and worth learning about and delving into the lore of the Japan era and the folk lore around the Yokai as it makes it pretty fun to slice Yokai in half knowing what the story around the Yokai are.
Over World Map:
Unlike Darksouls where the game is open and you can traverse the world in any direction (I do prefer this) Nioh 2 kind of does a “lobby” style. The lobby is the over map and you move from mission area to mission area from the over world map. While its cool and there are hidden items you can find on the map, I do prefer free roaming the world and exploring. The mission concept is cool and keeps the game moving and but at times can feel disconnected. An example of this is Warfame, your lobby is your ship, the mission ares are the planets you can select and you can too. But Team Ninja’s mission are blast and moving from mission to mission is painless and easy and really keeps the game flowing. Some missions are great for items while others are great for farming.
This is where Nioh and other Souls games differ and I kind of like it. In Nioh series you get Amrita (Souls) and gold for buying items, crafting, respeccing etc… Where Amrita is ONLY for leveling your character up. Like souls games, if you die you have chance to get your Amrita and if you die along the way you lose it for good. They do make it so you can find Summoner Candles and Summon your spirit Guardian back to you and all your Amirta.
Like most soul games, each stat ties to armor and weapons’ as well as your magic and ninjutsu. Scaling and leveling up is a whole separate video, but I really like the way Team Ninja took the approach of separating Gold and XP to ensure you can have one resource for leveling up and another resource for crafting, buying items and components.
After you beat the mission The Beast Born of Smoke and Flames you then unlock the black smith. From here you can buy, sell, forget equipment, soul forge (make your equipment stronger), you can use soul forging to over write inheritance or add new ones, you can also temper, change move specials effects from gear and armor to compliment your build as well as remodel which lets you change your equipment to scale off of familiarity, your main weapon stat or if you are using a sword which scales vial heart build dumping into dexterity for a ninjutsu build you can have your sword scale of a DEX instead.
The crafting system is fun unique, and you will spend a lot of your time here praying to RNGesus as you role for certain tempers or forging new weapons etc. As you use the blacksmith services more you will get patronage points which can be used to reduce costs, increase rare finds, and use patronage points to soul forge instead of gold. Careful soul forging, its expensive and the way you need to upgrade divine gear, you’ll go broke fast! (more on crafting and upgrading divine gear at a later time)
To craft new weapons & armor you will be farming for smithing texts. These will come from missions rewards, boss drops and some enemies so you can craft that weapon you want and then role for the stats you want it to perfect your build.
So I keep throwing the word “Builds” around so lets jump into these. Builds are the bread and butter of Nioh 2 and well usually the bread and butter of any ARPG that has stats, loots and an endless grind to obtain the ULTIMATE POWER OF THE GODS!
But to be real, builds are everything and almost anything is workable, ill be putting out my own build videos soon as I am working on a hatchet build I am in love with. But also build videos in a game like this are subjective and there are so many ways to make a sword or hatchet or fist build that one way is not better than the other.
So don’t let a video that says OMG THE BEST 1MIL DMG SWORD BUILD EVERRRRRR! Sway you into playing that way, as some builds are cheesy and while its cool to fart (Tesso) and kill a boss, you lose a lot of what makes Nioh 2 great. That’s the combat and fun, maybe farting on a boss and killing them is your thing, who am I tell you how to play. All I am saying is look at different ways to play, and Nioh 2 when it comes to builds is all about experimenting, there are so any resources (I will leave them down below) to star your own build and play and see what you like instead of finding the OMG THE BEST 1MIL DMG SWORD BUILD EVERRRRRR!
Enjoy the game and experiments builds can be the best part of the game if you take time to understand the complex systems, and look for the synergy between the different stats, weapons, armors and items. You may find yourself building a Ice/Fire build where you saturate an enemy and load up fire dmg and fire dots to burn their health way. Either way just experiment, the game gives you many ways to respec. (Book of recantations from the BS tea house (didn’t cover here), missions and drops) do note that buying them from the tea house or BS does make the price go up A LOT! But you can get them from missions so don’t fret. Again all I can say is play with all the weapons on your first play through, keep a balanced stat sheet as you go to wear different armor, play different weapons, use magic and ninjutsu and see what matches to you.. Not – OMG THE BEST 1MIL DMG SWORD BUILD EVERRRRRR!
In my opinion Nioh 2 is the best souls like game even surpassing Nioh 1. Team Ninja came in swung and hit a grand slam. That’s not to say the game doesn’t have its issues, cause it does. Farming revenants for builds, RNG is a nightmare, but from the ground up Nioh 2 is something that the other clones can’t catch up with and while they are all great games, having played many of them. From Dark Souls to Code Vein (Dark Souls Light) it’s in a leauge of its own, so if you need to satisfy that Ninja Gaiden combat while waiting on the remaster of Ninja Gaiden Nioh is your game. Or maybe you need an endless loot grind or maybe you need a new game to make you rage and snap some controllers and punch some monitors. Then Nioh 2 is for you, go check it you, won’t be disappointed its really the best souls like game out there and the builds are so much fun. If you grab it or have on PC add me on steam Ryven Brodragon and I will gladly run missions, help you out and answer as a many questions as I can. Make sure to comment down below with your thoughts on Nioh 2 and your favorite weapon and boss fight.
I appreciate you all thanks for reading and I will catch you next time, peace out Brodragons!