Alien in foreign land
Nioh is set in a dark-fantasy version of Japan in the 1600s, during the civil war that preceded the Tokugawa shogunate and the beginning of the Edo period. The protagonist is William Adams, the first Englishman to land in Japan and became one of the few western samurai. The game follows some of the historical events linked to this figure, blending it with other fictitious and folkloric and mythological ways in the country, in this case mocked by the appearance of demons called yōkai .
Though the narrative is interesting, during the adventure there is never the feeling of being fully involved, a plot that is not exactly able to leave the mark and all too little organic, relegated to the presentation of occasionally pseudo-historical moments between
them. In addition, the epic represented in the movies is scaled down by those who are ultimately battling actual clashes and managing events.
Beyond that, Nioh manages to propose a gaming system that is confusing a mix between a technical action and a soulslike, incorporating various elements of great interest, especially with regard to the combat system. It is therefore
easy to recognize some familiar traits in Nioh that form the classic elements of soulslike: a temple instead of bonfires to save progress, Amrita instead of souls, and a whole host of habits that such enthusiasts will appreciate definitely.
Though Nioh’s level design is partly in the shape of soulslike, with branched, anthrax roads where you can find treasures or nasty surprises, and sh
ortcuts that give you a precise form of gameplay within the levels, you must specify that you will not be in front to a spooky world and ideally without moving constraints. On the contrary, Nioh presents a single mission structure that clearly determines the most action-oriented nature of the work, where you will face the enemies in the different areas and defeat the bosses to adv
ance the story. This, at least, is what happens in the main missions. Secondary and twilight ones are rather partial duplications of the same areas already visited, where you will have to meet the requests that will be delivered from time to time.
Although the desire to give more variety and to offer moments of breath, which are in reality the apology to favor the farming and the growth of the c
haracter, is very appreciable, there are very few missions that can give rise to important stimuli beyond the most obvious need to str
engthen itself to deal with the most bossed bosses. Boss who, among other things, are poorly balanced with each other: in fact, it will kill someone at the first attempt, when you have spent at least a dozen bad guys for the previous one. And this brings to light one of Nioh’s most obvious problems, which can be brutal in some frantic, extremes in others and aff
ordable in broad terms, but never seamlessly. That is to say, in essence, that instead of having a smooth curve of difficulty, you often fall into a downpour that is not always enjoyable, which might force you to abandon a mission to pass on to secondary
ones, losing the internal progress of the levels with the greatest difficulty. Future patches, in this sense, could fix some of the shortcomings found just before launch. Until then, to complete all users, they will have to go for an exciting adventure, which easily exceeds fifty hours of gameplay.
Demonic Japan
The flagship of production is undoubtedly the combat system, which is stratified, complex and not easy to master, varied and able to leave the player the freedom to express his style best. Suffice to consider that there are five types of different weapons, each of which has three positions (low, intermediate and high) and have different combo, to which are
added the (active and passive) abilities that determine how to approach the fighting.And again, consider the presence of spells to inflict elemental damage and altered status, the manufacture of special objects, the use of driving ghosts that significantly boost attacks and a well-implemented growth system. There are no basic classes, but given the great flexibili
ty afforded by the growth system, you do not actually feel the need to adhere to a predefined scheme. Moreover, there is also the possibility of redistributing the points obtained, maintaining their favorite weapon and enhancing it by the blacksmith (through an o
ption called “soul affinity”), and continuously varying the approach to battles depending on the characteristics of the opponents .
The clashes are very fast, technical and you have to alternate the parade, the dodge and manage the stamina through what is called Ritmo Ki. This
is a system that involves pushing a button when a light revolves around the character (or when the bar alone permits), using great timing to keep you unwell at the time of need. However, this great amount of alternatives is counterbalanced by a non-perfec
t management of the dodgers, whose ray appears to be too narrow against enemies with large-scale attacks or against those who continue to attack intact despite being subjected to shots; this may lead to a bit of frustration, in some particularly difficult sections.
Not perfect management of the drop-rate of objects and equipment: they are always exhausted and often unsuitable for the cause, they will soon become the most profitable commodity for exchanging with the Amrita.