This is more of a wrapup than a review, but I figured I’d keep the format consistent. I talked a lot about Nioh here and here, so read through all three posts for a more complete picture.
I finished Nioh last week. I said a lot about it in posts, but I figured I’d wrap up Nioh now that I’ve completed it.
Nioh is an unabashed Dark Souls clone. While that can turn many people off, either because of the Dark Souls gameplay or the fact that it is not wholly original, it is an absolutely worthwhile game. I had a ton of fun with it while it lasted, and it’s huge. There are five regions in the game, each of them containing probably in the neighborhood of 10 missions. That’s roughly 50 missions, each of them full of complex and challenging combat. I came close to finishing all of the side missions, but when I finally got to the end of the game I sprinted to the end. I didn’t do any of the side content in the last region.
I don’t want to retread too much ground on Nioh, so I’ll just focus on the end here. The end is comprised of a series of very difficult challenges, with the final mission involving a gauntlet of previously defeated bosses before reaching the final boss. I think there are 7 total bosses in that last level. While it does make this last mission very difficult, I think it illustrates one of Nioh’s biggest weaknesses. The repetition of enemies and environments got to be a bit frustrating by the end. I got very tired of fighting the same five or six different yokai by the end, and the environments were even less diverse. By the time I reached the end, I had beaten each of the bosses in that level several times over already. These bosses had been recycled for some of the side missions, so I think the weird lightning lion boss in the final level was actual the third time I fought him in the game.
I get that it can be hard to consistently design interesting and difficult bosses, but this game is huge. If they had pared down the number of missions, the game would have felt more focused and the repetition in the enemies and environments might have been less noticeable.
That said, the last mission is a beast. The lead up to the actual bosses is long and very challenging, and beating 7 bosses in a row is ridiculous. It took me a few hours just to get through that one mission. I had a huge sense of accomplishment when I finished, which is what I look for when I play this kind of game. There is an epilogue mission, which was ok. Just two bosses, and they were pretty tame. But taken as a whole, that last section of the game was incredibly difficult and fun.
With all that said, all the things I’ve previously written about Nioh still stand true. The combat is on par with Bloodborne for me, I just absolutely love fighting in this game. And I think if the developer makes some adjustments for the sequel, they could easily out do Dark Souls. Nioh is a great game, and if you love Dark Souls and samurai’s, you should definitely play it.