The Nioh Collection – Review
Follow Genre: ARPG, Hack 'n Slash
Developer: Team Ninja
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Platform: PS5
Tested on: PS5

The Nioh Collection – Review

Site Score
8.5
Good: Smooth mechanics, Setting
Bad: Some difficulty spikes feel a bit out of place
User Score
9.0
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 9.0/10 (3 votes cast)

Back in 2017, Nioh came as a big surprise, and as a semi-exclusive for Sony’s PlayStation 4. Even though Tecmo Koei still published the game on PC, not having this game on the Xbox One and now the Xbox Series X or S is still a big hit to take. The games were dubbed as a Dark Souls-like experience, albeit with smooth mechanics, a lot of content and a very original theme and take on the genre. Now, with the new generation of consoles starting to settle in, The Nioh Collection is now released for PlayStation 5. At the same time, Nioh 2 – The Complete collection has also been released on PC, which is also included in The Nioh Collection. We were lucky enough to be able to try both the PS5 and PC versions.

Note: As stated above, we were also given Nioh 2: The Complete Edition for PC at the same time we received the Collection for PS5. Nioh 2: The Complete Edition is practically the same as the Nioh 2 game included in the Collection. Thus, you’ll also get the information you need about the game in the following review.

Story

Both Nioh titles are set in and around the Sengoku period of the 1600s. While Nioh 2 is a prequel, for the most part, the atmosphere is very similar, as well as how the story is brought to life. Each of the games has its own interesting introduction cutscene as well as a small blurb about the story of the game. Even though these games have a bit more story value than a typical Souls game, the story does take the backseat for the most part.

Graphics

There’s a difference between both games, but with the remastered editions, this has been almost nullified. While some character animations and some textures may be dodgier in the first game, it still makes a very pretty whole. Both games have not received the same treatment as for example, Demon’s Souls, but they do feel ‘next-gen’.

The overall grim atmosphere and the oriental theme have been perfectly embedded into the gameplay, making this a fairly authentic experience. While being stuck to a fixed protagonist in the first game, Nioh 2 allows you to customize your character at will, with many options at your disposal. While not everything looks as spiffy as you’d expect, the games look quite beautiful and have that desperate atmosphere you get from the Dark Souls series. The games are a bit gory at times, often dismembering your opponents when you finish them off.

For the PC version of Nioh 2, you’ll need a fairly heavy set up for things to run smoothly. While not having to overextend yourself in terms of GPU, the game does require a decent processor, which is sometimes overlooked. On the PS5 version of both titles, you’ll be able to adjust the settings as well, depending on if you have a 4K monitor (or TV) hooked up.

Sound

The sound design of both games is quite nice. You have proper English voice acting when needed, but also Japanese voice acting to properly set the right tone and atmosphere. The music is more of a background kind, rather than very in your face. The combat music does kick in from time to time, especially during bigger battles against stronger enemies. Other than that, the sound effects are quite satisfying and have a nice oomph to them when cutting down your enemies.

Gameplay

Both Nioh titles are Action RPGs with hack and slash combat mechanics. In the two games you’ll basically be doing the same thing, namely working your way through different areas, defeating humanoid as well as yokai enemies, while grinding for gear and experience. Just like the Dark Souls games, progress will be fairly slow, and you’ll find yourself dying quite a bit throughout the experience. The combat mechanics, however, are a lot smoother than the aforementioned Souls games. This alone makes Nioh a stellar experience, as you often feel more in control of your actions, thanks to these modernized and diverse mechanics.

Truth be told, while the game holds many different mechanics, such as altering your stances to attack lower or higher zones, leveling up, using your Guardian Spirit, or even dabble with online play, many of the game’s mechanics prove to be straightforward. Gaining experience is also done in a typical Dark Souls fashion, where you collect the essence of the enemies (Amrita) you cut down, and you have to take this to a shrine, which is similar to Souls’ bonfires. Here you choose which stats you level, and you are on your merry way again. Of course, dying before reaching a shrine will make you lose your Amrita, giving you only one chance to recover your body before it’s gone forever.

Both games in the collection come with their respective DLCs, lengthening the already lengthy experience you get from these games. While it will take some time for you to dig into these portions of the game, it’s still nice to have the ‘definitive’ content conveniently bundled together. You’ll experience many ups and downs when playing through the content of both games, as difficulty spikes occur regularly, where you plow your way through an entire area as if it’s nothing, only to be killed over and over again in the next. This is also part of the charm, and it will actually give you a sense of achievement when completing certain areas.

Conclusion

The Nioh Collection is a great addition to the very limited PS5 library. Both games have that typical Dark Souls vibe, that eventually turns into something very original crafted by the hands of Team Ninja. While the first game, even in its remastered form, feels a bit ‘older’, both are great titles to play through in order. As mentioned in the introduction, Nioh 2 – The Complete Edition is also out now on PC, which is equally as good if you don’t own a PlayStation 5 yet. Either way, you can’t go wrong with either the Collection or the Complete Edition. We hope to see a third installment in the future.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (3 votes cast)
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The Nioh Collection - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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