By now, many of you are most likely familiar with Nioh or have at least heard information pertaining to the title, but for those who haven’t had a chance to dive into the yokai infested realm this is your big chance. Anyone who loves a great challenge will surely find Nioh: Complete Edition to be a delightful treat as it provides an abundance of heart racing boss battles, unforgiving enemies and just a plethora of hidden treasures that amount to an incredible experience. If you’ve always been curious about Japan’s illustrious history pertaining to the Samurai or even the Yokai lore, then Nioh: Complete Edition is certainly a title where you can learn a great deal of information simply by immersing yourself deeply. Most of your attention is going to be towards slaying a ton of enemies and coming up with clever ways to survive, but if you can find time to pick up on the historical references scattered throughout the game then Nioh becomes even more enticing.
What to Expect
For the sake of the title length, we’ll refer to Nioh: Complete Edition as Nioh for some parts, as the game is pretty much a port of the PS4 game, along with the added content (3 story expansions). The main difference of course is that you’ll have access to all seven weapon types along with the Ninjitsu and Onmyo Magics right from the beginning, and finishing the core game will also unlock features like the Dual Guardian Spirit. As a Steam exclusive, you’ll also receive the beautiful Dharmachakra Kabuto, a wicked Samurai helmet that you can receive by going to the Boons section in game!
Much like its Dark Souls brethren, Nioh places a lot of emphasis on having the player come up with strategic ways to survive in a ruthless environment, searching for whatever accessories you can find to help protect you in battle. It can be extremely aggravating at times because the enemies don’t give you any opportunity to breathe and one slip up can lead to an enormous amount of damage and ultimately death. Instead of your usual bonfire, which is used as a save point and place to level up your character in Dark Souls, Nioh uses a small shrine where you must pray and replenish your health among other things. Another great aspect is that Nioh: Complete Edition runs at steady 60fps once you configure your PC settings correctly and to be honest, it runs a heck of a lot smoother on PC by leaps and bounds. With all that being said, let’s hop right into the good stuff and give you a breakdown of the story and gameplay.
For those just picking Nioh up for the first time we’ll briefly explain the story. The game takes place in the 1600’s during the Sengoku Warring States period, when a massive civil war broke out prior to the ruling of the Tokugawa Shogunate. You play as an Irish-born English sailor by the name of William who is a real-life historical figure that Koei Tecmo used in order to explain the events within the game. William is on a mission to obtain Amrita for the Queen but eventually is imprisoned in order to keep the Amrita a secret. William successfully breaks out with the aid of his spiritual guardian Saoirse, but then he encounters Kelley, an evil mastermind who kidnaps his guardian Saoirse and makes his way to Japan. William must now journey towards the mysterious island, where he encounters Hattori Hanzo, a servant for the powerful Tokugawa Ieyasu. Hanzo befriends him and tells William of the great turmoil that’s transpiring and of the great war that will unfold if the Yokai aren’t taken care of. Now William must work alongside this powerful Shogunate in order to stop Kelley and retrieve what’s rightfully his before it’s too late.
As stated earlier, Nioh: Complete Edition comes with all of the bells and whistles from its PS4 counterpart, but PC owners will receive the full course meal which only adds more zest to the gameplay. As an action RPG your main goal is to level William up as much as possible by collecting Amrita, as it will help you to better refine your playstyle down the road. By that we mean the game comes with a plethora of weapons, armor and other special tools to choose from so ensuring you’re at the right level means that you can equip them at any time. As you run around killing enemies you gain better proficiency with the weapons in hand and so, learning to master a specific class or classes of weapon is imperative. For example, each weapon class comes with their own strengths and weaknesses and so you’ll need to determine which works for you and how to maximize the potential of each weapon (or magic) moving forward. We opted for the Odashi and Dual Swords because it created a very balanced approach to fighting Yokai, since the Odashi is a very powerful long sword that can deal an enormous amount of damage from range. The Dual Swords are used more for close range combat and due to their incredible speed, they can cut enemies down very quickly allowing for you to follow up should the enemy try to counter.
That’s a point we want to cover as well since it plays an integral role in just how long you survive. Follow up attacks require a greal deal of Ki, which is akin to your overall stamina and so if you have a weapon that’s heavy for example, you spend a lot of Ki to attack which can leave you open to counter attacks. In order to prevent this you’ll need to equip clothing that will allow for free movement which will use up less of your Ki, and provide enough energy to follow up without risking death. Knowing how to master the Ki and its properties will definitely help you to live longer. This is where the fun happens because there’s an assortment of clothing to choose from ranging from the Samurai uniform, pirate gear, and the Ninja outfit. Similar to the weapons, the longer you equip the clothing and continue to upgrade it over time the stronger and more durable it becomes. Swapping weapons out in this game frequently isn’t really something we recommend because it’ll only slow down the process of mastering that weapon, and it’ll make defeating stronger enemies later game quite frustrating. Weapons along with everything else in the game come in the form of rarity types so white typically means common, while purple items are very rare and contain a lot of perks when equipped. Pay very close attention to that when equipping your character since they do play a big role later down the road.
Of course, you’re free to change your weapon class at any time should you feel bored with the one you currently use, but doing so just means familiarizing yourself with that new weapon which puts you at disadvantage. Going to the Blacksmith in between missions is something you’ll do a lot so that you can forge your older items with your newer ones and depending on the weapon’s rarity, you can carry over some of that weapons buffs to make your new weapon even deadlier. A lot of meticulous thinking needs to be put in place in order to successfully overpower enemies, or in a lot of cases knowing when to just run away is a strategy in itself. Knowing when you’re at a disadvantage is something to always be aware of in Nioh because it’ll save you a lot of trouble and frustrating moments. The main portion of the game will not take you too long but add in all the side missions along with the plethora of added content via the expansion, and you’re looking at a game that will take more than 100+ hours to really complete. Plus as we said earlier, the replay value is just incredible because you’ll want to try and beat the game using different weapons and armor just to take your yokai slaying skills to the next level.
One other important aspect of the game we want to point out is your Prestige Points, which allow you to receive buffs that help tremendously. Prestige Points are split up into two sections, Agyo and Ungyo and the two allow you to pick from randomly generated buffs that can aid you in the long run. Make sure to use your points carefully and decide what will truly be of great benefit to your overall playstyle and strategy.
We’d like to add that there is the online co-op choice should you find the difficulty to be overwhelming, and so grabbing a friend to help you out is a nice plus. Having the game online also allows you to see where other players have died in the game and allow you to fight their lost soul to obtain some juicy gear, that is if they have any. Either way the online portion of Nioh is a nice addition and just adds another layer of excitement to the game overall.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
With a powerful story that’s rich with content and incredible voice acting by some of Japan’s best actors, Nioh is a game that keeps you coming back for more no matter how many times you’ve played through it. It’s filled with so much historical references that you’ll want to have google open in order to search for they all mean, so in a way Nioh is more than just a game it’s a true learning experience. It’s like opening the old pages of a historical book you’ve discovered in the library and every page you read is filled with tidbits of information that help you to better understand everything that’s happening, encouraging you to dive deeper. Japan’s history is truly something to explore because there seems to be no end to it, and the very same can be said about Nioh in closing. Whether you’re a fan of Japan’s samurai culture or perhaps your curiosity is peaked and want to know more, Nioh provides everything you need to have a satisfying gameplay experience. The game is visually stunning and very rarely skips in framerate on the PC version when compared to the PS4, so you’re really getting the ultimate package. The in game tutorial is very thorough so if you find yourself struggling to understand everything, playing through the tutorial will be of great benefit.
We will stress however that Nioh: Complete Edition is a very big game and will take quite some time to download (100gigs), but if your PC specs don’t match up either then expect to have some issues. Make sure that your PC is capable of running the game before buying and ensure that you have a controller handy, as keyboard and mouse functionality isn’t available. We didn’t really experience any problems with our third party controller but just make sure also that you configure your controller to work accordingly with the game.
An incredible amount of depth and challenge that keeps you coming back for more.
Having the added content available in one package is a huge plus.
Visually stunning and artistically captivating.
Voice acting is godlike.
It’s difficult but it’s so rewarding!
It’s essentially the same as the PS4 version so if you’ve already completed it along with the expansions, there’s really nothing new.
Honey's Final Verdict:
We had an absolute blast playing Nioh and to be quite honest we’ll most likely continue playing well after we complete it. There are always new routes to discover, new items to acquire, among a plethora of other things. It’s addicting, it’s rewarding and most of all, it’s complete. What are your thoughts on Nioh? Did you manage to complete it, or are you still working your way towards the end? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and as always, be sure to follow us on Twitter along with Twitch to keep up with all the gaming content.
Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!