One of the greatest surprises of E3 2018 was the announcement of Nioh 2, successor to Team Ninja’s action role-playing hit Nioh. Impressing many with its skillful blend of combat, difficulty, setting, and use of Japanese folklore, the news certainly came unexpected, especially just a mere one year after its release in 2017.
With TGS 2019 kicking into high gear, more details of the game have arrived in the form of a new trailer, as well as an anticipated consumer demo. This time, however, there are even more mythical Yokai abound as Mezuki leads the pack, taking on a mean, grotesque appearance and wielding a fear-inducing saw-like weapon.
A new boss reveal means new accompanying features and mechanics are in store. Apart from fighting stronger, more elaborate enemies, fans can also expect the following:
- Character customisation is now introduced to the game and players will be able to pick the protagonist’s gender.
- The Benevolent Grave feature, which can be placed by the player or other players like in Dark Souls, where players can summon another player to aid them in the game.
- Three-player co-op instead of two from the original, such that the whole game can be played with just two other friends – except for training missions, which are solo.
- Yokai-specific skills. When other Yokai are successfully defeated, the protagonists get “soul energy” that allow them to use the powers of the slain yokai, and can be upgraded.
- Yokai monsters can force a change in surroundings into the world of the Yokai – otherwise known as the Dark Realm – to become more powerful and hardy.
- In-game bonus content for players with save files from the original game.
- A teasing mention of William’s return, the protagonist of Nioh.
- The same difficulty level as Nioh, despite the addition of yokai powers.
- Different Yokai transformations that focus on specific characteristics (evasion, offense, etc).
Despite the introduction of several new mechanics, Nioh 2 still bears very strong traces of its predecessor’s DNA – for good or for bad. The most noticeable difference, evidently, is the addition of yokai-specific abilities to the roster, as a result of having a human yokai hybrid as the protagonist.
And the move is shaping up to be an excellent one, if the sheer glory and ferocity of the Yokai powers unleashed in our hands-on gameplay video below is any indication:
Nioh 2 is slated for a release in early 2020 exclusively on PS4.