Editors’ Choice: Nioh 2 is a tense, uncompromising sequel

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Editors’ Choice: Nioh 2 is a tense, uncompromising sequel

Challenging but incredibly rewarding, Team Ninja’s samurai epic is a stunning example of the masocore genre

I don’t think I’ve ever gotten so much pleasure from beating a boss as when I landed the final blow on Nioh 2’s fire-breathing, faceless monstrosity Enenra. Jumping from my seat in victory, it dawned on me that I had spent a solid two hours, used up all of my life-giving elixirs and came this close to rage quitting more times than I like to admit. But the excitement, the jubilation, the… relief of taking him down. Oh boy.
It’s worth noting that Enenra isn’t a latter act clash. Oh no. You’ll encounter Enenra early on in Team Ninja’s retooled sequel. The beast is the first major test for players braving one of the toughest games of the year. He goes in hard and will stomp you into the dust quicker than you can say ‘mortal coil’. But the rush of dodging a boss’ whirlwind attacks, swinging one last slash and seeing that glorious Mission Complete screen is what kept me coming back for more of Nioh 2’s masochistic action.
Luckily, the opportunity for that rush is never far away.
Nioh 2 on PS4
Other games in this genre are all about the bosses, a massive battle to really test your skills. But what I love about Nioh 2 is that it’s as much about the journey to get there as it is about triumphing over a level-end challenger.
Every gorgeous stage, from stunning mountain ranges dotted with towering castles, to dank caverns filled with spine-shivering spiders and snake-like Nure-Onna, offer the chance to show that you can survive an onslaught of tricksy new enemy types. They flung blades, summoned spirits, blew themselves up and even tossed their own dung to stop me in my tracks, often successfully. Each yokai and samurai I faced was as dangerous as a boss, making for an experience of never-ending tension and genuine fear. But every time I came out victorious, even from a fight with a lower tier grunt, that rush was there, ready to envelop me and coax me onto the next battle.
I wasn’t always the victor, though. We’ve all seen the movies where a trainee warrior disappears to the mountains to hone their skills, carrying buckets of water up enormous staircases to prepare for the inevitable battle with the Big Bad. Each death I suffered in Nioh 2 – and trust me, there were a lot – added a drop to my very own water buckets, helping me steel myself for what lay ahead, teaching me the skills I needed to take down my next assailant. And I loved every second of it.
Nioh 2 on PS4
One of the best things about Nioh 2 is that it isn’t afraid to play with what made the original so great. Sure, the stance system remains, but new yokai abilities – an excellent (and super flashy) burst counter, as well as impressive customisable demonic attacks – mean that despite having claimed the original Nioh’s Platinum Trophy, the follow up put me back in the boots of a fresh-faced warrior. But that climb back to level 100 and beyond, seeing my skills click into place and participating in plenty of jolly cooperation with other players along the way, is some of the best fun I’ve had this generation, making Nioh 2 more than worthy of an Editors’ Choice accolade.
I spent hundreds of hours with the original Nioh, and with a sequel this good, I can see it happening again. The credits may have rolled on Nioh 2 for me, but there are still plenty of brilliantly challenging Twilight missions to face and new yokai slayers in need of a guiding hand.
So drop an Ochoko cup at the Shrine and we might just see each other on the battlefield.

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9 Comments

  • True that. My biggest enemy was water and falls into ravine.

  • Does the fun surpass the frustration though? Having played Ninja Garden 1&2, Demon Souls and Dark Souls 1&2 I gave up on this type of gameplay after Bloodborne.

    I have no issue with losing to an enemy/boss multiple times and learning from the fights but there are too many of these games now for my liking. Maybe I’ll return to them in the future but, for now, my time with multiple losses for the sake of elation is on hold.

    • it took me like 3 hours to kill the tutorial boss (which according to my trophy 67% of people have done (it was lower) – i think your suppose to run past him and come back to him…anyhow so after i finally killed him went to the next section got my ass handed to me from a mist demon that jumped on me giving me no chance what so ever and thought you know what… fook it… took the game disc out and put call of duty back on…

    • @ Gotrek_74

      I think it much more fun than it’s frustrating. I just checked my PS Cloud save and it said I played Nioh 2 for 286 hours and 26 minutes so far, and hell, I still have fun. Well, maxing out all weapons proficiency was not that fun as I love my axe build that I complete the game in (both Dream of the Samurai and Dream of the Strong) but I have a blast going for 100% of the Agyo / Ungyuo titles.

      A few more days and I will have maxed out most of my gear at 170(+10) and all the Patronage levels, and at that point I’m fully prepared for the first DLC. I hope that comes may/june or so because I’m really looking forward to play those stories leading up to the Nioh 2 events.

      “I have no issue with losing to an enemy/boss multiple times and learning from the fights but there are too many of these games now for my liking. Maybe I’ll return to them in the future but, for now, my time with multiple losses for the sake of elation is on hold.”

      Nioh 2 is much easier than Nioh 1. With the Burst Counter (R2+circle) you can give yourself that little extra precious time to Attack/Dodge/Heal or whatever you need to do to keep yourself alive for a little longer. That don’t replace the fact that you still need good reactions, but that’s a given with a game like this. ;)

      It’s also REALLY important that you have a pretty fast responsive TV. When I play Nioh 2 on my Samsung 4K tv I have about 23 ms lag from console to tv, but if I play on my old 3D Plasma tv in our bedroom, the response time is about 380ms making games like Nioh unplayable. So your TV affects your game more than most people understand I think.

    • Agree on all your points, the game was far easier than Nioh 1 and yes maxing out weapon proficiency on all the weapons was a chore. Nonetheless had a blast getting the platinum and its kept me busy whilst we’re stuck at home

  • yeh if you like punishing yourself.. after the doing plat on the first one i thought i’d give it a chance but gave up as i couldn’t take the stress of it all again..

  • Słuchajcie mam problem z PS3 slim grałem w gry z płyt połączyłem konsole z moim telefonem przez ruter ściągnęła mi się jakaś aktualizacja i od tamtej pory dupa płyt nie kreci ani nie widzi co mam z tym zrobić proszę kontakt

  • With the exception of regular enemies this game is Def easier than the 1st one. Going into this, I was happily dreading facing bosses, who were on the scale of nobunaga and his wife, at the same time (nioh 1). but I end up beating most bosses on the second try. ?… Including the final boss.

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