Nioh 2 (Japanese: 仁王2, Hepburn: Niō Tsū) is an action role-playing game developed by Team Ninja and Kou Shibusawa.[1] Both prequel and sequel to Nioh (2017), the game was released for the PlayStation 4 on March 13, 2020, where it was published by Koei Tecmo in Japan and Sony Interactive Entertainment worldwide. Versions for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 5 titled Nioh 2: Complete Edition featuring all the previous downloadable content were released on February 5, 2021.

Nioh 2
Nioh 2 cover art.jpg
Developer(s)Team Ninja
Kou Shibusawa
Publisher(s)
Director(s)Fumihiko Yasuda
Producer(s)Fumihiko Yasuda
Designer(s)Takahiro Shiojima
Programmer(s)
  • Yuta Yamazaki
  • Takahiro Suzuki
Writer(s)Ryohei Hayashi
Composer(s)
Platform(s)
Release
  • PlayStation 4
    • JP: March 12, 2020
    • WW: March 13, 2020
  • Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 5
    • WW: February 5, 2021
Genre(s)Action role-playing, hack and slash
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

GameplayEdit

Similar to its predecessor, Nioh 2 is an action role-playing game. Players can create their own playable character, who was a yōkai spirit. Players are equipped with a variety of weapons such as odachi and kusarigama, and earn new skills as they progress in the game.[2] When players defeat a hostile yōkai, some of them may drop a "Soul Core". They allow players to use yōkai abilities and transform into a yōkai after being deposited in a shrine.[3]

At locations named "Benevolent Graves", players can summon other players, controlled by artificial intelligence, to assist them in combat.[4] The game also features a three-player cooperative multiplayer mode.[5]

SynopsisEdit

Setting and charactersEdit

Set in Japan during the late 1500s, most of Nioh 2 storyline chapters are prequel to Nioh, while the end chapters of the story take place after the first game's last storyline following the Siege of Osaka.[6] Players take the role of a character named Hide (, Hide), a half-yōkai referred to as a "Shiftling" whose appearance and gender is decided by the player. Hide's journey through the Sengoku Era begins when they befriend Tōkichirō, an ambitious merchant seeking out Amrita, and Mumyo (無明, Mumyō), a demon hunter of the Sohaya group, eventually playing a critical role in the rise and fall of the warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Kashin Koji serves as the main antagonist, a mysterious entity linked to a powerful yōkai known as Otakemaru, who obstructs Hide's progress at every turn and is responsible for manipulating many of the events that take place through the game. One key item featured in the game is the Seven-Branched Sword, here known as the Sohayamaru, the sword used to slay Otakemaru in the past and the namesake of the Sohaya.

During their journey, Hide encounters and serves with several historical characters such as Saitō Dōsan, Takenaka Hanbei, Hachisuka Koroku, Oda Nobunaga and his wife Nōhime, Oda's sister Oichi, Akechi Mitsuhide, Shibata Katsuie, Saitō Toshimitsu (father of Fuku from the first game), Maeda Toshiie and his nephew Keiji. Hide also encounter and fights against Imagawa Yoshimoto, Saitō Yoshitatsu, Magara Naotaka and Nagamasa Azai. Returning historical characters from the first game includes Tokugawa Ieyasu, Tadakatsu Honda, Saika Magoichi and Oda's African retainer Yasuke. Other historical figures such as the Heian period onmyōji Abe no Seimei, tea master Sen no Rikyū, Katō Danzō and Okuni also appear to aid Hide in their adventures. Nioh's protagonist William returns near the end portion of the game which takes place after the events of the first, still in pursuit of Maria, with Hattori Hanzō making a cameo appearance: The Hanzō encountered by players here is his father Masanari.

Nioh 2 received three downloadable contents following its release, each DLC taking place post-game where Hide is sent back in time to the Heian period to solve the mystery of the Sohayamaru's origins and Otakemaru's hatred towards humanity. The first, "The Tengu's Disciple", takes Hide to the end of the Genpei War where they encounter Minamoto no Yoshitsune and his ally Benkei. The second DLC, "Darkness in the Capital", has Hide allying with Abe no Seimei, legendary demon slayer Minamoto no Yorimitsu and her Shitennō against Ashiya Dōman's plots. The last DLC, "The First Samurai", brings Hide into an encounter with Suzuka Gozen, revealing the truth of their ties with Otakemaru and the Sohayamaru.

DevelopmentEdit

Nioh 2 was announced for the PlayStation 4 at E3 2018 during Sony's press conference.[7] An open beta of the game began on November 1, 2019. It released on March 13, 2020.[8]

ReceptionEdit

Nioh 2 sold 91,892 copies during its first week of release in Japan, which made it the bestselling retail game of the week in the country.[19] It was also the bestselling game during its first week of release in the UK.[20]

The game received mostly positive reviews. IGN stated, "Nioh 2 is an impressive evolution of its predecessor, strengthening everything that was already great, while mostly leaving its already existing issues alone. Its stellar combat is elevated by the addition of Soul Cores, Burst Counters, and the ways in which those two main new mechanics affect enemy AI and how you approach battles. It’s depth is impressive, even though that can also make it feel a little overwhelming due to how much time must be spent managing Nioh 2’s many systems. If you’re up to the challenge, Nioh 2 is no doubt one of the most difficult and rewarding games of this generation."[18] While GameSpot stated, "Ultimately, that excruciating difficulty and the feeling it evokes are baked into Nioh's DNA, though, and its boss fights remain compelling even as they vex and frustrate. Though it sometimes feels like a curse as you play, it is a testament that Nioh 2 successfully grabs and holds your complete attention so close for so long."[16]

By December 2020, the game had shipped over 1.4 million copies worldwide.[21]

It was nominated for Best Action at The Game Awards 2020.[22]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ https://www.gamecity.ne.jp/shibusawa-kou/nioh.html
  2. ^ Morton, Lauren (December 12, 2019). "Nioh 2: everything we know about Team Ninja's next samuraii game". PC Gamer. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  3. ^ Franey, Joel (November 4, 2019). "How to Turn Into a Yokai in Nioh 2". USgamer. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  4. ^ McWhertor, Michael (September 17, 2019). "Nioh 2 adds more complexity, also lets you pet a cat". Polygon. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  5. ^ Donaven, Imogen (September 13, 2019). "Nioh 2 gets online co-op, character creation, and Yokai superpowers". VideoGamer.com. Retrieved December 14, 2019.
  6. ^ Wallace, Kimberly (September 13, 2019). "Nioh 2: More of What Fans Want". Game Informer. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  7. ^ Schwartz, Terri (June 12, 2019). "E3 2018: Nioh 2 Announced at Sony Press Conference". IGN. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  8. ^ Sheridan, Connor (October 30, 2019). "Nioh 2 release date is set and the open beta begins November 1". GamesRadar. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  9. ^ "Nioh 2 for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  10. ^ "Nioh 2: The Complete Edition for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
  11. ^ "Nioh 2 Remastered: The Complete Edition for PlayStation 5 Reviews". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
  12. ^ https://www.destructoid.com/review-nioh-2-582534.phtml
  13. ^ https://egmnow.com/nioh-2-review/
  14. ^ https://www.gameinformer.com/review/nioh-2/nioh-2-review-meticulous-masochism
  15. ^ https://www.gamerevolution.com/review/637652-nioh-2-review-ps4
  16. ^ a b Epstein, Mike (March 20, 2020). "Nioh 2 Review". GameSpot. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  17. ^ https://www.gamesradar.com/nioh-2-review/
  18. ^ a b Saltzman, Mitchell. "Nioh 2 Review". IGN. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  19. ^ Romano, Sal (March 18, 2020). "Famitsu Sales: 3/9/20 – 3/15/20". Gematsu. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  20. ^ Dring, Christopher (March 16, 2020). "UK Charts: Nioh 2 takes No.1 as Mario Kart 8 races up the charts". Gematsu. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  21. ^ https://www.koeitecmo.co.jp/ir/docs/ir1_20210125.pdf
  22. ^ Tassi, Paul (December 11, 2020). "Here's The Game Awards 2020 Winners List With A Near-Total 'Last Of Us' Sweep". Forbes.