Nioh 2’s launch in 2020 was a pretty enjoyable sequel to Team Ninja’s take on Soulsborne gameplay and action. Set in Feudal Japan in a story in which demonic yokai, spirits, and gods are drawn to wartorn battlefields and the mysterious energy known as Amrita that flows through them, the sequel expanded on everything the first game did to offer a rich melee combat experience. Now, Team Ninja is breaking out of the confines of PlayStation 4 and expanding the experience to PC and PS5 editions. We got a chance to play Nioh 2 - The Complete Edition on PC and came away with love for the sharp improvements Team Ninja has made to this bundle of the second game and its DLC.
The collected journeys of Hide
Since Nioh 2 first came out in March of 2020 on PlayStation 4, Team Ninja has added a lot to the game, which was already quite a deviously challenging and rewarding experience if you check out our original Shacknews review. The three premium DLCs, The Tengu’s Disciple, Darkness in the Capital, and The First Samurai (which just launched in December 2020) are all gathered alongside the base adventure in Nioh 2 - The Complete Edition. Even without the DLC, Nioh 2’s main story takes around 40 hours to beat (without extras and side missions too, which add more time). Considering that each of the DLCs add around 8 to 12 hours to the game, it’s a pretty lengthy bundle of adventures for $50.
Then, there’s the additional features to the base game. Nioh 2 already had a lot of weapon styles in the form of the Katana, Dual Swords, Axe, Twin Axes, Kusurigama, Spear, Tonfa, Odachi, and Switchglaive. The DLC added the Fist and Splitstaff weapon classes for all new fighting styles that you can access from the start. There are also plenty of new Yokai Cores and Guardian Spirits to discover, which increase the variety for your character builds and overall playstyle as you battle through the game’s many levels, enemies, and bosses. If you liked what Nioh offered in the first place, or if you’ve held off on Team Ninja’s take on Soulsborne gameplay, Nioh 2 - The Complete Edition is a wonderful way to gather all of it together in one place. Keep in mind, it’s still hard as heck and will inundate you with menus and gear to sort through every step of the way, something we noted in our original review. That said, the combat, character upgrades, progression, and challenge feels as good as ever in Nioh.
Next-gen additions in your Nioh
One of the more compelling reasons to explore Nioh 2 - The Complete Edition is the multitude of new features and improvements that have been put together for PC and PS5 players. When we talked to Nioh series Producer Fumihiko Yasuda, he mentioned that loading times and taking advantage of SSD technology were a major priority for the team in these editions of the game. If you played Nioh or Nioh 2 on PS4, the difference will become abundantly clear immediately. The loading screens in Nioh 2 - The Complete Edition have been reduced to a handful of seconds before you can move on to the next thing. As I mentioned in my Demon’s Souls review, this is fantastic for these types of games because it takes quite a bit of the sting out of dying and having to wait for the game to take you back to the last checkpoint. You can just jump right back in in an instant and most missions start up rather quickly as a whole as well.
That’s not all that was added to the Complete Edition next-gen versions though. For the PC version, gamepad support, keyboard and mouse support and customization, 4K ultra-HD and ultra widescreen support, HDR, and up to 144Hz support were added. Each setting works well if you have the tech to take advantage of them. I played a little bit with keyboard and mouse just to get a feel and found it somewhat enjoyable to be able to map styles and commands as well as mouse-controlled view, in addition to playing on the gamepad when I felt like it. Moreover, those who are concerned about performance or highest visual quality will be happy to know that Cinematic and Actions graphics modes return to take advantage of your settings to their fullest. You can also mess with the frame cap in-game to set it to 30, 60, or 120 FPS as it suits your needs.
Unfortunately, DLSS and ray-tracing options don’t make an appearance in the remastered versions of Nioh 2, but all of the settings present come together for a tailored experience in making Nioh 2 look sharper than it’s ever looked before.
Spirits shimmering and shining like never before
Overall, Nioh 2 is what we said it was back in our review: a very solid Team Ninja version of the Soulsborne action hack-n’-slash adventure formula we love. Having all of the DLC collected in one place, Nioh 2 - The Complete Edition makes for a fantastic bundle of that already enjoyable experience. It’s a bit sweeter for PS4 players taking their journey over to PS5 because they’ll be able to upgrade to the remastered editions at no additional cost based on what content of the game and DLCs they already own. Nonetheless, the graphical tweaks and additions are also a genuine treat to Nioh 2’s already-striking style. Whether you explore it on PC or PS5, this upgraded bundle is a lot of game that will challenge you all the way to the very end of its yokai-slaying journey.
These impressions are based on a digital Steam copy of Nioh 2 - The Complete Edition on PC. Nioh 2 - The Complete Edition comes out on PS4, PS5, and PC on February 5, 2021
TJ Denzer posted a new article, Nioh 2 - The Complete Edition PC impressions: A sharper cut
if I thought Nioh 1 was great, but fell off because it was too long and started to get repetitive, would I like the sequel?
I am still in the starting couple of missions but this is the video that sold me on the game.