Nioh 2 – The Complete Edition Preview: Everything Hurts (And That’s The Point)
There’s Dark Souls… and then there’s Nioh.
That’s a statement that I should’ve considered before committing myself to the responsibility of previewing Nioh 2 – The Complete Edition prior to its release next month. You see, I’m no good at Dark Souls, or any Soulslike game for that matter. However, given the time I spent last year branching out into various new genres or genres I never really gave a second glance, I figured it was time to give Team Ninja’s take on the “masocore” action genre a go. As it turns out, I was giving myself far too much credit for being able to take on such a ridiculously difficult game. But I’m pretty sure that’s one of the highest compliments that I can give in terms of my early impressions of Nioh 2 – The Complete Edition… because that’s the point.
If you’re unfamiliar with the premise of Nioh 2, it’s essentially what you get when you take a Soulslike and stick it in feudal Japan. You take on the role of a half-yokai warrior during the Sengoku Era tasked with taking out demons and other creatures within the world’s various Dark Realms. You begin the game by selecting a primary weapon ranging in everything from swords to switchglaives to dual-wielded hatchets, and everything in between. Thankfully, you’re not married to the weapon that you start out with, which is nice for changing things up later in the game, or – if you’re anything like me – in that case that you are absolutely awful with the weapon you initially select.
This is an important thing to consider, since every single combat encounter requires you to be at your absolute best. I’ve played games with demanding controls before, but Nioh 2 takes the cake. Never in my life have I wanted to master a control scheme so badly, yet with almost every enemy encounter, I end up button-mashing in a frenzied panic. Unsurprisingly, this strategy doesn’t pay off very often at all. Even the lowly grunts – known as Dwellers – have their way with me, much less the game’s insanely difficult and beautifully designed bosses.
Nioh 2 – The Complete Edition includes everything that’s been released since the original game launched in March 2020 for PlayStation 4, while expanding its graphical options and making its debut on PC. You’re getting the game’s three DLC releases alongside the base game, which includes The Tengu’s Disciple, Darkness in the Capital, and The First Samurai. Each expansion brings new missions, weapons, armor, and more challenging enemies to an already difficult game, because I guess we’re gluttons for punishment.
The Complete Edition will also give you additional starter weapon choices, which you might think would give you some kind of a leg up in the Dark Realms. While that may be the case for those who have already played Nioh 2 and know what to expect, expanding the weapon selection doesn’t do much for new players. Again, this is intentional in its design. A starting selection of 1 million weapons wouldn’t make the beginning of this game any easier. You’re going to die. A lot. Regardless of the weapon you choose. At some point, you’ll (hopefully) master your weapon and the game’s grueling pinpoint controls. Just don’t expect for that to happen very early on in the game.
Since the game itself is less than a year old, it’s hard to imagine that anyone who already owns Nioh 2 (and its expansions) will want to pick up The Complete Edition unless they’re REALLY big fans of the game. On the other hand, for those who missed out on the game initially, The Complete Edition seems to be the one-stop-shop for everything you need to experience Nioh 2 in its entirety.
Next: Bloodborne Is Still The Best Souls Game, And It’s Not Even Close
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Sam has been writing for TheGamer since early 2018, earning the role as the Lead Features & Review Editor in 2019. The Denver, Colorado-native’s knack for writing has been a life-long endeavor. His time spent in corporate positions has helped shape the professional element of his creative writing passion and skills. Beyond writing, Sam is a lover of all things food and video games, which – especially on weekends – are generally mutually exclusive, as he streams his gameplay on Twitch (as well as TheGamer’s Facebook page) under the self-proclaimed, though well-deserved moniker of ChipotleSam. (Seriously…just ask him about his Chipotle burrito tattoo). You can find Sam on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook as @RealChipotleSam.
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