I regret signing up for this Nioh 2 Complete Edition PC review as it’s highlighted my weaknesses in time management. It has ultimately dominated my time when some equally excellent games are winking, showing a little leg and enticing me with flattery to get some attention.
While my reviews aren’t a comprehensive 100% completionist account, they’re based on an adequate amount of time unlocking skills and abilities, diving deeper into an ever-complicated plot and having a ‘balanced’ overview of the game in question.
Nioh 2 Complete Edition is arguably a game that unlocks in new game+/endgame. Yet, it’s those early steps of grinding, flirting with various weapon combos and soul cores at the beginning that makes this an undeniable attention seeker.
Nioh 2 Complete Edition PC Review
Nioh 2, from Team Ninja and Koei Tecmo, is a prequel to Nioh. In short, it’s before Nobunaga Oda’s plans to unify Japan, a story from the first game. However, this is a standalone, so if you haven’t played the first, you don’t need to, though I highly recommend playing at some point. You play the non-speaking Hide, or ‘Hiddy’.
The silence is due to the character creation side of things as you can customise your player and their gear. Note that in the Nioh 2 Complete Edition, you can switch to William Adams from Nioh. As with my Cyberpunk 2077 character, they ended up looking rather vanilla without the custom willy.
A new addition to the game is oni forms as your character is half-human, half-oni/yokai. There are three: Brute, Feral and Phantom. They are essentially a hard-hitter, dex-type and magic dealer. I opted for the Phantom, for cosmetic reasons and it didn’t look so much like a Super Saiyan.
Like the From Software model, Nioh 2 Complete Edition is a third-person action RPG type where you level up your stats through strength and dex, ninja skills, magic and Oni powers. There’s a multitude of skill trees for these and your weapons that level with usage, and you can customise the move sets too.
It Takes Two (Or Three), Baby
A key ingredient for Nioh, from my perspective, was online cooperation. I’m not a casual gamer, but I’m not a leaderboard celeb or have a dedicated cabinet for my in-game achievements/trophies. If it weren’t for cooperation from others, I would have struggled.
In truth, Nioh was more demanding than all of the Souls games (excluding the Dancer of the Boreal Valley in Dark Souls 3). That was a nightmare and only got through on a minor glitch. However, calling upon another player when stuck was pivotal, unlike Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, which is why I never finished it.
Nioh 2 has the same option, and you can co-op and even call in two players to help. Alas, while Nioh 2 came out exclusively on PS4 in March 2020, at the time of writing, only devs and reviewers have the game, and it’s a bit hit and miss in finding someone other than decoy NPCs.
You’ll encounter blue graves which are summonable NPCs (player avatars) using ochoko cups, purchased at shrines, or drops from defeating the ghosts of other players, revenants. The NPC’s play nothing like their real-life players, and a bit gormless.
More Weapons Than You Can Shake A Stick At
Fortunately then, Nioh 2 Complete Edition is a *little* easier. Granted, my tactic is to grind areas to level up my stats, then when I hit a bit of a hurdle, look up a build on Fextralife to realise I’ve ballsed up a little. Still, each to their own. A highlight was beating their revenant mid-game, however.
To summarise, you can opt for a melee-based fighter, ranged, ninjitsu master or wielding magic. In short, I almost always go for a tank or ranged, but with my first playthrough, I maxed out my ninja skills and opted for speed and poison attacks.
If you’re familiar with Nioh, you’ll know about the wealth of weapons types and unlimited buff options applied to them. You can even tweak them a bit at your base; building new armour and weapons, and swapping out the stats, even the appearance.
New weapons include the switchglaive – a hybrid weapon that wouldn’t be out of place in Bloodborne, hatchets, odachi, tonfas and variations on fists that have oni-like claws. The kusarigama is still my personal favourite, but the switchglaive is pretty fantastic.
Included in the Nioh 2 Complete Edition are three separate DLC’s; The Tengu’s Disciple, Darkness in the Capital and The First Samurai. In all honesty, the base game should keep you super busy as it is, what with the main missions, subs, training and twilight missions which are super hard but give fantastic rewards.
Though I relied on dead players’ spirits in the early sections, I was unable to do a co-op with anybody, unfortunately. It would have helped with the third boss in the game; a serpent with insane agility that hits like radioactive herpes coated in broken glass.
It was this boss (Yatsu No Kami when you get there, or if you’re familiar with it already), that had me grinding my teeth, and having a complexion that was comparable to a Consec scanner’s head: red and ready to explode. This boss fight must have added a further few hours to the gameplay just to level up a bit.
The bosses that followed didn’t compare. For a while. If you’ve played Nioh, you know what to expect. While Nioh 2 Complete Edition is fractionally easier in places, you can still get killed by a lower level enemy or fall off a cliff if not paying attention.
Feudal Mice and Keyboards
The dev team has a knack for building up your anticipation with some wicked cutscenes, reminiscent of classic titles such as Kessen or similar title, Onimusha. The visuals are fantastic, and the game runs nice and swift without slowdown.
In the options, you can switch to performance rather than visuals. With the latter selected, it looked ace and never a situation where I could blame my demise for a frame drop. There are too many settings to list, but one that might be relevant for the PC version is keyboard and mouse usage.
They’re switched on by default, and I couldn’t work with it, familiar with the PS4 setup. Though the mouse is perfect for ranged attacks, I used a Switch Pro Controller, and this is perhaps why I forgot about the many hours I spent playing, as it was so comfortable. Unless you’re the type that can speedrun in their pants, Nioh 2 Complete Edition will take you a long time to complete.
When I ‘finished’ Nioh after 60-70+ hours, thinking I was totally OP, old Billy boy had to take on these deities that were essentially god mode all the time. To this day still, I haven’t 100% it, and don’t think I will. But I love that. Like it’s predecessor, Nioh 2 opens up more at endgame with harder twilight missions, et al., plus the included DLC bonus.
Nioh 2 Complete Edition Review Summary
Nioh 2 Complete Edition is such a fantastic game. If you were as frustrated with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice as much as I was, this will make up for it. The longevity is high as you should experiment in the game – from skillsets to abilities and the various loot, it just feels like a very personal, customisable experience. An Essential title.