Nioh 2 – DigiReview
A few years have passed since the release of Nioh, the role-playing game developed by Team Ninja and published by Koei Tecmo, which told the story of William, a western samurai in troubled Japan. Nioh 2 maintains the same structure as the original game and is set as a prequel, exploring the events that preceded the adventures of the fair-haired samurai.
Nioh 2 is inspired by real history, using the adventures of the famous warlord Hideyoshi as reported in historical chronicles as a starting point. The game takes place during a complex historical period, made even more chaotic by the presence of evil creatures called Yokai. As the warlords fight for control of the territory, a dark entity continues to advance relentlessly.
In the game, we will play a hybrid character between human and demon with a mysterious past, who will try to prevent a catastrophe. The character will have the ability to unleash his brutal power and temporarily transform into a Yokai to face enemies.
A bit of History
In this war, many destinies intersect. The story is told through the lives of those involved, including brave heroes, friends and enemies, traitors ready to change factions and families dragged into a conflict where they pay for the choices of their loved ones. The silent protagonist, as well as the player, is a spectator of this chaos, seeing faces change and deform due to the cruelty of the conflict or forgotten on an unknown battlefield.
The theme of balance and its loss is present throughout the game: the breaking of balances is what fuels a never-ending war, it is the suspension between the material world and the realm of spirits that seems to have lost its center, allowing the spread of evil creatures in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Similarly, those who are able to maintain a strong bond with their spirit are able to play an important role in the midst of this chaos. The protagonist, thanks to his hybrid nature, is able to perceive and come into contact with these spirits, drawn from Japanese folklore and represented on the screen both in a benevolent and malicious form, often faithfully reproduced from traditional representations.
The game’s plot is presented in a discontinuous manner, limited to the initial and final cutscenes of the main missions and absent in the secondary ones. It can sometimes be difficult to get into and out of the peaceful and delicate narrative, which contrasts with the adrenaline-fueled action of the game. Despite the plot being fairly linear, some details can easily be missed, weakening the effectiveness of the storytelling.
The game environment
The game world consists of numerous areas divided into main and secondary missions. The levels are relatively limited, but the developers have created a variety of challenges by unlocking shortcuts, adding new paths and directions. The environments never feel heavy, even on a console like the PlayStation 4 Slim. There are different play options to select the desired type of experience, such as a stable frame rate. Sometimes, as is often the case in games of the same genre, the camera can cause some difficulties, especially when facing large enemies in tight spaces.
The Twilight Missions, night and day variants of already seen levels with increased difficulty, add further challenges and longevity to the game. However, a possible side effect is the feeling of familiarity that develops after a few hours of play. Despite there being some truly noteworthy sights that invite you to press the Share button, there is a certain monotony in the landscapes. Also, the lighting and tones used to animate the landscape make some deadly trap crevices difficult to see.
The orchestral soundtrack is fitting for the situations but the timing is sometimes questionable, even comical. The dialogue audio is available in Japanese and English, while the texts have been fully localized in Italian.
The combat is at the center of the gameplay experience in Nioh 2. Each type of weapon has a surprising depth, with a vast choice of available abilities and attacks. This allows the player to use each weapon in creative and personalized ways. Additionally, guard positions are a key element of combat, giving the player the option to choose between a faster but less damaging position, a slower but more powerful position, and an intermediate position that balances speed and damage. This makes each weapon suitable for different situations without completely wiping out their strengths and weaknesses.
In Nioh 2, the combat is at the center of the gaming experience. With a vast selection of attacks and a dedicated skill tree, each type of weapon offers surprising depth. The active management of the Ki rhythm, which manages the resistance bar, requires good planning and timing to recover from consumed resistance from attacking. The combat also requires alternating techniques, guard positions, evasions, and blocks, avoiding relying on autopilot.
Additionally, the transformations into Yokai and demonic abilities add even more depth and complexity to the combat system. However, the repetition of missions and boss fights can become an issue if the player is not fully engaged with the combat system.
Nioh 2 is a challenging yet rewarding game that features a deep and rich combat system. The main and side missions can be repetitive, but they are made interesting by the wide range of customizable weapons and abilities. The multiplayer mode is well integrated and provides additional longevity to the game. The environments are well-crafted but may have some imperfections, and the equipment customization system can make it difficult to invest in individual items. Overall, Nioh 2 is a game that provides a thrilling and satisfying combat experience for players who enjoy challenging games.
For fans of action RPG games, Nioh 2 is a must-play game that offers hours of fun and challenge. If you want to see Nioh 2 gameplay in action, make sure to check out my videos on YouTube.
Nioh Collection – PlayStation 5
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