Last year, we reviewed Nioh 2 for PS4 and although I’ve already obtained the Platinum trophy, I needed an excuse to revisit and thanks to the PC release, I can do just that. The Nioh franchise first started out as a musou title in 2004 when it was being developed for the PS3 by Koei. Once Koei and Tecmo merged, Nioh was shelved for many years until one day, Sony Interactive Entertainment and Koei Tecmo partnered and decided to revive the game. Team Ninja were put to the task and from that moment, Nioh was no longer a musou game. After the success of Dark Souls and Bloodborne, Team Ninja decided to switch Nioh from a musou to a samurai themed Soulsborne game. The results were nothing less than perfect.
It didn’t take long for Team Ninja to cook up a sequel and since we reviewed the game on PS4, I’ll try and keep it short and straight to the point with the PC version.
Nioh 2 takes place in a fictional dark fantasy version of the Sengoku era. You’ll cross paths with many of the historical figures from that era for the better or worse. Nioh 2 allows you to create your own protagonist which is a welcome addition. The character you create will be known as hide, a part human and part Yokai who’s hired to assassinate the evil yokai. You’ll meet many allies during your journey and the first character you’ll meet is Tokichiro. A merchant who provides the special spirit stones. Tokichiro is more of a mission guide than an actual sidekick. You’ll also cross path with many characters and some who’ll actually fight alongside you. This is where I stop going further with the game’s plot and just say that you’ll embark on an epic journey and witness many unforgettable moments. The story was well written as it built a bridge in the Nioh timeline.
One of the biggest changes from the original game is creating a character. You’ll have many presets but I choose to create mine from scratch. You’ll get many option from gender to facial features to build. All these changes can be made in detail. I appreciate the freedom that was given as it allowed me to create a character to matched my preference.
One of Nioh 2’s biggest strengths is the gameplay. Although combat isn’t that different to the first game, there were many new moves added. If you never played Nioh 1 or know the basics then there’s no need to worry. The game has a tutorial that allows you to master the basics. You’ll get to fight in three stances: high, medium, and low. You can earn skill points and unlock many new moves as you build your Proficiency on each weapon. There’s so much to learn and discover. You’ll inherit many guardian spirits when you meet bosses and side characters. These guardian spirits come in many forms with their own unique abilities. It adds an extra layer to the combat. You can also inherit Soul Cores after defeating a certain type of yokai. These soul cores allow you to summon a Yokai for a brief period. You can use it whenever you wanna counter an enemy with a burst attack. As you build up your Anima gauge meter with Amrita, your Yakai powers come in to full effect and you’ll fully transform. Think of it as goku going super saiyan.
The online co-op in Nioh 2 allows you to add another two players during your mission. The servers on PC were great as I didn’t experience any issues connecting with other players through the shrine or the tori gate. You can also summon AI to help you with the cost of otoku cups. The only downside to that is they’re not that reliable during boss fights as they die within minutes.
Nioh 2 is packed with content. The main game has 20 main missions, 53 sub missions, and 8 twilight mini missions. That’s 81 mission’s in total and that doesn’t even include everything you do at the dojo. Since this is the complete edition, you’ll have additional DLC expansions. That includes The Tengu’s Disciple, Darkness in the Capital and The First Samurai. There’s so much content to keep you invested.
Visually, Nioh 2 is an absolute eye candy on PC. There’s plenty you can do with the graphical options. You have toggle switch options that crank up the shadows, ambient occlusion, texture quality and effects quality to the highest settings depending on your GPU. I was playing Nioh 2 with my RTX 3080 FE along with a Ryzen 3900x and I had everything maxed out at 4K. At 1440p, I was getting up to 120fps. In addition, Nioh 2 also has DLSS support with the latest Nvidia game ready drivers.
Team Ninja done an excellent job with the details, character models and the animation. The beautiful landscapes, vast mountains and the overall art design literally feels like it was ripped out of a Yoshitaka Amano sketchbook. The cinematic direction felt like something you see from Frank Miller’s work. You end up with a cross between Seven Samurai and Sin City.
Overall, the PC version of Nioh 2 was worth the wait. You get the full package with all the extra graphical features. DLSS gave a huge boost in performance. The difficulty wasn’t the same as the first game but you can still expect Nioh 2 to test you skills. You can enjoy Nioh 2 solo or with a few of your buddies. I didn’t encounter any bugs or glitches during my playthrough and more importantly, the game never crashed once for me. Nioh 2 is a well optimized port that’s worthy.
A Review code was provided by Koei Tecmo Europe
Developer: Team Ninja / Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release date: 05/02/2021
Platforms: PC, PS5 and PS4
Version Reviewed: PC via Steam