If you’re enjoying Nioh like Dark Souls, you’re doing it improper

Let’s depend all of the methods Nioh is best than Dark Souls.


“The combat system is surprisingly intricate; Nioh is an exceptionally deep RPG, and seasoned Souls players are in for a surprise if they go in with any preconceptions. It’s an entirely new beast altogether.”

At first look it’s simple to mistake Team Ninja’s Nioh for a Dark Souls clone, with its oppressive ambiance and an issue degree that’s so unforgiving it’d refuse to present you a reprieve even should you had been in your deathbed. Of course there are some similarities, however should you pussyfoot your means by way of the sport like an anguished anonymous undead, you’ll be lacking out.

Nioh started life as a JRPG, and after a brief stint as an action-oriented Warriors-style title,Team Ninja was introduced on board to have a crack at salvaging the challenge. The studio has beforehand labored on Ninja Gaiden and Hyrule Warriors, so motion video games are its bread and butter, and with it, they made a tasty sandwich of compromise with a satisfying RPG filling.

The prologue units up the story properly, giving the protagonist William a kick up the butt that can propel him to the shores of Feudal Japan, however it is going to throw gamers who’ve had hands-on time with the alpha and betas for a loop.

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William bumbles across the chilly, stony inside of the Tower of London, with the flash of a Ki Pulse and flourish of a stance change nowhere to be seen; he fends off Beefeaters and the occasional silent, insurmountable knight. It seems and feels very very like a Souls sport.

But not for lengthy. The parallels between the titles are borne from sure aesthetics and ideas, just like the Shrines, ‘souls’, and participant gravesites. But wanting previous the floor, they couldn’t be extra totally different.

Shortly after going through the primary boss, you’ll be whisked away to the comfortingly acquainted bosom of Japan and discover that the fight system has had an overhaul, with stances, Ki, Ninjustu and Onmyo Magic now all threads in the rich tapestry of ass whooping.

William’s stamina bar not refills at a crawl. Having metamorphosed into Ki, it surges with the beat of every profitable Ki Pulse, encouraging you to bounce out and in of the enemies’ vary, providing you with carte blanche to go to city on them. Think of it because the equal of the Gears of War Active Reload on your stamina bar.


For me, it’s this mechanic that pulls a line within the sand between the dogged, prolonged stand-offs in Dark Souls and the fast-paced motion of Nioh. If you’ve watched movies of the more skillful players in action, it has extra in frequent with the quickfire combos and frantic momentum of Ninja Gaiden. And that’s very welcome.

The Dark Souls sequence is notoriously tough, and the gameplay can generally really feel a bit of cumbersome and restrictive, much more so when you select a category and construct. It is usually a royal ache within the butt to veer off-piste and experiment with a brand new weapon or talents.

Nioh neatly circumvents that downside by presenting you with a considerably preset class; William is a samurai. That’s his jam, and now it’s yours.

What Nioh lacks at school varieties, it makes up for in nuanced layers that construct on the fundamentals. The selection stems from the weapon varieties and skills. Each one has its personal ability tree and you may just about wield something you come throughout initially of the sport with out having to sink a bunch of factors into a selected stat first. What’s extra, you may equip two ranged and two melee
weapons at a time, so you may experiment with wildly totally different playstyles from the outset till you discover your groove.

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“The way of your samurai is going to be drastically different to someone else’s, but unlike Dark Souls, you don’t have to lock yourself into a specific path as early on.”

The means of your samurai goes to be drastically totally different to another person’s, however in contrast to Dark Souls, you don’t should lock your self into a selected path as early on, so profit from it and do some dabbling.

Stance is one other element that you could be assume you will get by with out utilising, however oftentimes you’ll want to modify it up based mostly on the enemy you’re tackling. If one thing’s gnashing at your ankles, a excessive stance simply isn’t going to chop it – fairly actually. Each one gives execs and cons based mostly in your prefered methodology of assault and there are stance particular actions for each weapon to unlock.

The fight system is surprisingly intricate; Nioh is an exceptionally deep RPG, and seasoned Souls gamers are in for a shock in the event that they go in with any preconceptions. It’s a completely new beast altogether.

One side of the gameplay that sparks nearly all of comparisons is that between souls and Amrita. The forex of souls kinds the premise of just about every little thing within the Dark Souls sequence, however Nioh switches it up a number of gears after which some. Levelling up base stats makes use of Amrita, the Nioh equal of souls. Simple sufficient. But there are Samurai, Ninjutsu, and Onmyo Magic ability timber with their very own factors to spend on their respective weapons and skills.


On prime of that there’s a complete different bunch of factors to unload on buffs tucked away within the Titles record menu, referred to as Prestige, that you simply’ll accumulate by a artistic method to beatdowns. With such a large number of how to earn and spend an array of ability factors, it feels splendidly releasing after the stuffy confines of Dark Souls. Nioh subverts any expectations Souls’ veterans might need, from lessons, to levelling, and farming.

While Dark Souls would have you ever scurry between bonfires till the massive ticket enemies disappear, Nioh’s maps provide Sub missions and Twilight missions, affording you the chance to play by way of what’s successfully a horde mode in some situations, or tackle extremely powerful challenges the place you may reap some epic rewards.

You gained’t want fear about hoarding gadgets or ammo both. Your stock goes to be overflowing earlier than it, and with regards to uncommon loot, rewards for every mission are listed on the map earlier than you head in, so that you at all times have an concept of what you’ll be getting and what has an opportunity to drop. It’s like Destiny in that regard; you may even re-roll stats on weapons.

Once you progress far sufficient by way of the story and unlock the Hidden Teahouse, you may be part of a clan and spend yet one more forex – Glory – earned by killing Revenants, to purchase uncommon crafting supplies, gestures, and unidentified gear that work just like Destiny’s engrams. You can blow your Glory on a bit of armour that would transform a godsend. Or it might be a bit of tripe.


Meanwhile, the clans bear some similarities to covenants in Dark Souls, however with out the pesky invasions. Pick a aspect, purple or white, and select a home. You’ll be granted passive advantages and get the satisfaction of seeing your aspect win the metagame from time to time. Taking on Revenants and incomes Glory will bolster your aspect and there’s an opportunity that they’ll drop some selection loot.

When you lastly get slowed down with the sheer quantity of kit stuffed into your pockets, you may promote undesirable weapons and armour for gold, provide them at Shrines for Amrita, or break them down for components on the blacksmith.

Nioh’s a number of forex system permits for lots extra choices with regards to forging, shopping for, and promoting gear than Dark Souls, and also you’ll be incomes a gentle earnings because of the piles of loot ready be snuffled up, and Revenants to kill.

Although the plethora of currencies will be complicated at first, it makes rather more sense than having one all-encompassing forex to be cut up over every little thing that can have you ever agonising over each determination and worse, lamenting over each demise.

Just like within the Souls sequence, you’ll be dying quite a bit, and popping your clogs in Nioh will spawn a Dark Souls-esque gravesite the place you’ll drop your whole Amrita. But it’s not as cut-and-dry as getting down to choose it up and persevering with in your means.


“If Bloodborne was an evolution of Dark Souls, then Nioh is its final form. A deeply intricate RPG stat system is offset with combat that feels immensely satisfying and wonderfully fun – almost frivolously so – by comparison.”

Depending on the lay of the land, you may need to forgo the journey altogether, as a substitute praying on the Shrine to summon your Guardian Spirit again from its vigil on the level the place you fell with the intention to regain your super-powered Living Weapon assault, and lose the ready Amrita ceaselessly. There’s a strategic component at play that provides one other dimension to what would in any other case be an arbitrary trek to seize misplaced ‘souls’.

There’s no denying that Nioh is one powerful nut to crack, however as you progress, you’re gently guided away from the Dark Souls mentality and cajoled right into a Neo-Dark Souls mindset, if you’ll.

“We have no problems with the comparisons to Dark Souls because we have a lot of Souls fans on our development teams. So it’s kind of a badge of honor,” said game director Fumihiko Yasuda at E3 2016.

“We don’t want to be seen as an imitation of them. They’ve been an influence but other games we’ve taken influence from are, obviously, the Ninja Gaiden series. Also Onimusha and hack-and-slash games like Diablo.”

If Bloodborne was an evolution of Dark Souls, then Nioh is its ultimate kind. A deeply intricate RPG stat system is offset with fight that feels immensely satisfying and splendidly enjoyable – virtually frivolously so – by comparability.

The world is harsh and unforgiving, however the expertise you unlock will seamlessly rework battles into quick, fluid, encounters, with downed enemies spewing out extra loot than you may carry. You could discover the Souls similarities however earlier than lengthy you’ll be embracing the variations and questioning the way you ever bought alongside with out them.