Nioh: PS4 Review
Released by Koei Tecmo
Based on original material by Akira Kurosawa, Team Ninja's latest has elements of Japanese samurai, dastardly mixed up with the bastard hard playability of Bloodborne and Dark Souls.
It's the story of William Adams, a western samurai who finds himself entangled in the Japanese civil war. As the war grows in stature, supernatural elements are inveigling their way into proceedings, adding further elements of chaos...
Nioh may have the aforementioned elements of Dark Souls with it, and it's very much a similar MO to these games.
From light to heavy attacks, dodging to picking up health and using inventories, this is something you've seen many times before. But once again, concentration and patience are needed to ensure that you get through what's going on in the combat front and come off relatively in tact.
Though in fairness, every attack is going to leave you gasping for life and hoping no surprise foes are waiting around the corner to pick you off. Readying yourself to combat and choosing the right stance also helps you deal with the combat, though to be frank that takes a little while to ready yourself for and to get into.
Cameras can be locked on to help dispatch the bad guys - it's all very familiar.
And yet the developers of Ninja Gaiden and the Dead or Alive series know exactly what players of this genre want - from simple combat that rewards learning to powering up and collection of loot, Nioh ticks all the relevant boxes.
From shrines to pay respect to and health to collect that looks like Jak and Daxter's way of powering up, the game's got what it needs in place to ensure that it plays well. There are epic elements within the sprawling world as well, and there's clearly an homage to the times settling in as the game carries on.
Missions are dictated through the map and take you through the history of Japan - it's a nice reverence that plays well as the game takes hold.
Occasionally, though, some glitches in the camera slow things down. From missing walls to circling cameras, sometimes, it's hard to focus the game onto the actual screen and to see what's going on.
And a lack of an idea of where you're going sometimes means you can spend a lot of time going back and forth down corridors you've already been down but only realised late in the day that that is what's happening.
Ultimately, from meleeing to simple combat, Nioh is a game to sink time into. It rewards long term investment and isn't for a simple 10 minute play. It's a solid, occasionally glitchy, RPG that surprises early on in the year.