By Michael "Magic Mike" Dumee on February 3, 2017
Mwoohaha! I think I would be an awesome Samurai. It would look well on my resume, don't you think? I can just picture the job interview now...
"So Mr. Magic, why should we hire you?"
"Well sir, I can move around the workplace and only be seen or heard when I want to. Plus, I can bug the hell out of my co-workers this way"
"Hmm, sounds like you would be perfect for a management position... Okay, you're hired!"
Well, I've got all the time in the world to try out how this career will work for me. Because I had the honor and privilege to wield my samurai sword in the magnificent world of Nioh.
I really wanted to play Nioh because of it resemblances with the Souls series. I love those games with hard-to-defeat enemies and 'what-kind-of-weapon-do-I-need-this-time?' bosses. Why? I don't know. It's sounds pretty annoying if you put it like that. But I guess I like a challenge and Nioh is no exception in that respect.
In Nioh, you control a cool Western Samurai named William. He has the task to fight all the evil of the world and restore the peace again. To complete this noble task you will have to take on enemies, humans and supernatural beings alike. Of course you have your samurai sword to protect you, but you can also choose from an array of awesome weapons; Katana's, spears, axes and kusarigama's; a small, scythe-like weapon with a chain attached to it.
Of course I chose this awesome weapon together with a one-handed katana. "Oh yeah, just point me in the direction of the danger!" There are also ranged weapons like bows and guns. At the start of the game you can choose a type of weapon in which you are more proficient. Doing so will up the stats for that weapon type by a little bit. Throughout the game, there are many ways to upgrade your weapons. You could add a poison effect to your weapons to do more damage, for example.
Besides weapons you also can choose guardian spirit, which also has an influence on your overall stats and will stay with you for the entire duration of the game. The guardian spirits are animal forms that will guard your Amrita when you die, as well as add a special ability to your already impressive arsenal of attacks. I could go on and on about all the kinds of attacks and special abilities incorporated into Nioh. There are all so cool! Just try them out for yourself, you will not be disappointed!
Nioh is set in a dark fantasy world where the clans of the Japan are at war. During the tutorial the story and your role in this conflict is explained and you have all the time in the world to learn the basics of the game. One thing to keep your eye on is your Ki stamina. When his Ki has been depleted, William is left vulnerable to attacks. Although your stamina replenishes naturally over time, you might want to speed up this process by using something called a "Ki Pulse". During a combo, blue essence swirls around your character. If you press R1 at the exact right moment, William is able to replenish some of lost Ki this way. It's a really cool feature and comes in really handy during combat. Some enemies make use of an attack which will create an area of effect. If you stand in this area, your stamina will regenerate slower than normal. This is where Ki pulse comes in really, really handy!
I love finding items and Nioh offers a lot of items for you to find. Treasure chest and defeating opponents are a good way to find loads and loads of clothing and gear. Apart from the loot you will find around the world, you can collect Amrita; the energy/currency needed for upgrades. So try to collect as much Amrita as you can because you will definitely need the upgrades before long. Trust me, Williams adventures are perilous enough to warrant an ever-increasing need for upgrades!
The controls are easy to learn, although I had some difficulties, because I recently played a lot of Dark Souls. The control schemes are similar, but the actions are assigned to other buttons. I often attacked the air in front of me when what I really meant to do was use an item. But that's not an issue with the game, it is an issue with me, playing to many games at the same time. Like always, it just takes some time to get used to this controls scheme and before you know it, you will be slashing your way through tons of enemies like a mad butcher and using the right item at the right time.
The world of Nioh is really beautiful and looks very detailed and realistic. Together with an awesome soundtrack, the developers really created the perfect setting for this awesome tale. If you like challenging games such as the Souls series, you will most definitely love Nioh. Now, if you'd excuse me, I've got a few hundred enemies to sort out... Banzaaaiiii!