Nioh, the new action RPG from Team Ninja, had a demo released on Tuesday for the PS4. I played roughly three hours of it, and wrote down my initial impressions about the game.
While the game features Dark Souls elements, such as a stamina bar, called Ki, for attacking and dodging, Amrita (read: Souls) that levels you up, which disappears if you die again while going to get your dropped Amrita. The similarites end there. Combat feels like Ninja Gaiden, with different combos being available upon the type of weapons you can use. There were only three weapon types available, Katana, Axe, and Spear.
You can also unlock new combat options at shrines, which also act as bonfires and where you’ll spend your time leveling up. The combat options can decrease Ki loss when defending, increase a certain stances attack power, or add a finishing move to certain stances. For example, I unlocked one that let me do a pole kick with the spear by pushing triangle after executing any combo.
The demo is certianly difficult, and the flow of combat takes a while to get used to. I wouldn’t say it’s all fair difficulty though. Enemies have the ability to one or two shot you, depending on what armor you’re wearing (which can slow you down), and how many points you’ve allocated to your life stat. Not only this, but it takes five to six hits to kill an enemy. If you have to fight more than one enemy too, it will most likely lead to starting again at the shrine.
Nioh has a lot of ideas going for it that I love, and even though I haven’t finished it yet, I really enjoyed the demo overrall. I love the time period, as feudal Japan is rife with stories to tell. The game is stunning to look at as well, and let’s you choose between focusing on a steady framerate, or a great resolution. However I hope that Team Ninja can iron out the difficulty balances, and weapon degradation before release.
You have until May 5th to try the demo out for yourself. Nioh is expected to be released in 2016 on the PS4.
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