Nioh 2: Complete Edition
Back in 2017, Nioh: Complete Edition was released on the PC and was fawned upon by many gamers who claimed that it was the best Soulslike game on the market. I played it when it first came out and actually wouldn’t disagree with all the praise. It did the war-torn feudal Japan thing like nobody’s business—before even Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice did. And unlike that game, it featured even more outlandish enemies and an incredible combat system, as well as a loot system reminiscent of old-school RPGs.
Unfortunately, it also had its share of performance issues, which usually happened on mid-level (and lower) gaming PCs, which can sometimes be typical of super-fast action games with gorgeous (for the time) graphics. Nioh: Complete Edition was still lauded by critics.
Following up on that success, Koei Tecmo recently released Nioh 2: Complete Edition. This sequel (which is actually a prequel) takes place in the aforementioned feudal Japan era, roughly 50 years before the events that brought the first game’s protagonist, William Adams, to Japan.
This time, you play the role of a warrior (that you create) who is of human and yokai union. Your character’s parents have been dead for some time, but you’ve managed to eke out a living as a mercenary thanks to your yokai killing powers. As you progress, you’ll eventually befriend a merchant named Tokichiro and also fall under the service of the great Oda Nobunaga on your journey to becoming a samurai.
In Nioh 2, pretty much anything that moves can kill you. Though some enemies have more limited capabilities, even some of the more basic mobs can kill you with just a few hits. I’ve never played any of the Soulslike games besides Sekiro, but I can tell you that it is not for the impatient—you will die a lot.
After playing through the game’s tutorials, I jumped right in. The very first enemies I encountered with these goblin-looking yokai that are quite common throughout the game. Even these lowly creatures whooped my behind quite a few times before I realized that I had to really engage my patience and strategic mind.
This is not your typical “easy to learn, tough to master” type of game, but more of a “tough to learn, insane to master” kind of a deal. But for those who learn the game’s amazing combat systems, there’s a great sense of accomplishment awaiting you.
There are an almost overwhelming amount of options available to you in Nioh 2: Complete Edition and half the fun is figuring out what matches your playstyle. You’ve got two basic melee weapons, each with multiple attacks and combos. Then there are also the stances—three in all (high, low, and medium), and each one completely changes the attack animations (and angles) of each weapon.
Therefore, sometimes you’ll need to change stances mid-fight, while other times, even within a combo itself. Some attacks can also deal some pretty hefty status effects. You’ve also got a lot of attacks and abilities that are tied to each weapon’s skill tree, plus a ranged weapon that you can carry. You’ll have to know how to block, parry, dodge, and interrupt, each enemy’s attack. Not only that, but you’ll also have to use magical spells and ninjutsu. Needless to say, there’s a lot going on here.
Fortunately, with all of the action exploding across your screen, Nioh 2: Complete Edition runs pretty smoothly and looks gorgeous. It’s certainly one of the best looking games out there right now (look at the images for yourself). Both the environments and enemies vary widely. All of the maps are also pretty large and you’ll sometimes get lost in all of the dense pathways and little quasi-hidden shortcuts. And unlike similar games of this type, it has a lot of replay value.
With its vast array of weapons, skills, and armor types, no two playthroughs will ever be the same. Not only that but Nioh 2: Complete Edition includes all three of the DLC that were released subsequent to the main game’s debut. As a fast-action Soulslike game, you simply cannot lose with Nioh 2: Complete Edition.
Nioh 2: Complete Edition has some pretty amazing graphics so you’ll need a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. Therefore, you may just want to invest in a superior gaming rig:
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