Death is only the beginning
The Nioh Collection is as named a Collection remastered for the PS5 Console featuring upgrades of Nioh and Nioh 2 and all DLC ever made for these games. As this was the first time playing the Nioh series for me I can’t comment on if the game is worth it from a long time player perspective but as a new player I definitely can say this is one collection that is worth investing in if you have yet to experience it but it isn’t for the faint of heart.
As a JRPG fan and a huge fan of games like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, I am used to unlikely heroes with giant big-ass swords swinging them around with no issue of stamina or breaking a sweat. Nioh is a different affair however and something that I am not used to. In Nioh you take the role of William a Samurai fighting in Japan through inspired environments. The game is action-based and you are required to take the utmost caution with attacks and dodging. You have a Ki Stamina Bar which depleted when attacking, dodging and sprinting, this depleted quickly and when depleted you are left open and vulnerable to attack. You can restore Kai through a carefully timed Ki Pulse. While navigating you can find Gold, Weapons and Items such as Restoratives and Bombs. Amrita is dropped from foes after fighting them. Amrita itself is Niohs EXP and this is gained through both fighting and donating Items to the Shrines which act as safe havens for the player. Amrita is stored and then spent at these shrines but it lost should you die and fail to reach your spirit corpse if you die again. As you level you can increase certain stats for William. The main draw to me was the stances which you can fight in. There are three stances and each has different effects. A high stance does more damage but lowers your defence making you more vulnerable to attacks. Trial and error with these stances is a key to progressing and knowing which weapons and stances benefit certain enemies and bosses will help you in the long run.
Nioh is a brutal affair and if you are not used to this sort of game you will find yourself dying a lot just as I have. The game throws loot at you constantly but these will mostly be used for upgrading and helping you level up. I found myself dying the most to bosses in Nioh to the point where I could not progress for the longest time, I did have to cheat a little bit by inviting another player to the game. To do this you offer an Ochoko by summoning a visitor at a Shrine, You will lose one if a player does join your game but it does make life easier, it did for me for the most part. Ochoko is gained by defeating AI-controlled spectres of other players who appear in the game as corpses. These corpses tell you who died where and what level but are usually an easy takedown and can be fought over again. The game takes place in various locations which are selected from an overworld map. They usually have missions with a boss at the end. My problem with Nioh has been the bosses as the difficulty has put me in my place on many occasions and to the point that stopped me from progressing. Bosses are very unpredictable and when dodging I found it has to be precise and when you are fighting in some rather small enclosed spaces it isn’t easy to not get hit, If you have a ranged weapon this can help you take out some less significant enemies much easier thanks to some high damage headshots. Bosses also suffer from having a lot of health and it can be rather frustrating to almost down a boss only to die from carelessness, if you are like me you will find yourself summoning other higher players most of the time for help. So I thank everyone who has helped me thus far. If the difficulty of the game just wasn’t enough for you then Twilight Missions will surely be your forte. These are harder varients of the main missions and have much better rewards than the standard missions. All I can say is best of luck. Safe havens include the aforementioned shrines during gameplay which do respawn all enemies so grinding is a thing should you wish to do this. When you are not in missions you can upgrade weapons and Armour via the Blacksmith. This can be done through disassembling weapons that you find and then refining materials into a new weapon. Here you can also transfer one special ability of a weapon to another and my personal favourite feature is the ability to glamour one weapon to look like another. Want that big badass powerful weapon to look like a mere stick, well here you go!
Nioh 2 is more of the same brutality as the first but in my opinion, it’s a lot worse although I have heard in general it is easier. I felt like normal enemies were killing me too often and I was being picked up and destroyed a lot more and if you aren’t at full health you are as good as dead. Enemies themselves have a burst attack which can be interrupted by a burst counter by the player. Burst attacks are hard-hitting attacks and are easily distinguished by an orange glow but should you try to interrupt these or simply move out the way? Well interrupting a burst attack will give you a significant advantage by dealing Ki damage and allowing you to land some hits so I would say definitely take advantage while you have the chance. Just make sure you have Anima power in reserve to be able to do so. The game itself has you customise a new character, something you can’t do in the original Nioh. There are new weapons, yokai weapons and skills to collect and each new weapon and magic comes with an expanded skill tree. The Yokai Realm mechanic has also been expanded so that now it’s not a pool on the floor that you disperse with a Ki Pulse, instead, a section of the map will appear that will not dispel until you kill a specific Yokai. Soul Cores are a new feature, Soul Cores that you find are attached to your Guardian Spirit. After purifying these at a Shrine you grant these abilities to your Guardian Spirit, if you die you will lose these and are able to go and retrieve them much like lost Amrita but should you die again trying to get back to your corpse then your Soul Cores will be lost forever. Areas do seem more expanded and with the new weapons added there is a lot more weapons and skills to get to wraps with.
Nioh is a brutal game but if you found it too easy then what else is there to do? Well apart from Twilight Missions there is the option of New Game+ which adds a lot of new changes to the main game, enemies will be stronger. Some will also even have new attacks they wouldn’t normally have. Missions will also have their rewards changed and new Etherial rarity equipment will drop.
In terms of performance, I can honestly say both Nioh games run flawlessly, The game has had its release on PS4 and this is essentially a PS5 remaster with 120 fps support and Dynamic 4K Mode. As someone who doesn’t own a TV with 120 fps support, I couldn’t tell you any difference between its original release and this one.
I love Nioh, this a game that I seem to have overlooked, although the difficulty is something I’m still yearning for I am very much in my element with this series. I enjoy searching for new areas and finding chests guarded by multiple areas and then figuring out how to take out each one of these enemies without dying so I can claim that loot.
.What I cannot say for sure is if this game is for you, if you enjoy Dark Souls difficulty of games then the Nioh Collection will definitely be not one to miss. What I can say for sure is that this game is worth the cost as what you are getting is a great amount of content. You are getting both Nioh and Nioh 2 plus a large plethora of content. As someone who has not played these types of games before I can say I have had fun with them even if they are frustrating, bring a friend or borrow a player if you have to. That’s what I did.
A PlayStation 4 Review Code was provided by Sony Interactive Entertainment