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Nioh Review In Progress

Death is all around.

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There is no avoiding death in Nioh, even if you're gifted enough to stay alive. Corpses litter its many moonlit, war-torn locales; it's a dark vision of Japan during the aftermath of the violent Sengoku period in the early 17th century. It's a time of upheaval seen through new perspectives in Nioh: by the fluid yet demanding action game designs of Team Ninja and from the narrative view of navigator and trader William Adams. As is Koei Tecmo's tradition with historical figures, Adams' reputation and prowess as the first western samurai are elevated to supernatural status. While his skills and powers befit a game dense with hostiles and hazards, it has less in common with Ninja Gaiden and more with the recent works of From Software.

Even when Nioh plays like a superb spinoff of Dark Souls, it has so far shown potential in carving its own identity. For instance, while its shrines function similarly to Dark Souls’ progress-saving "bonfires," they are not necessarily safe havens since a shrine becomes inaccessible if an enemy is nearby. By and large, Nioh's demons and possessed humans move with more assertiveness and emotion than anyone you'll find in Dark Souls. You hear it in their growls when they spot you and in their grunts as they labor to swing heavy weapons with two hands. And no matter how victorious you are, wins mean little unless you make it back to your shrine to redeem your experience and level up.

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Nioh’s environments can be deceptive and you quickly learn to stay on your toes at all times. Demons stand in plain sight at the end of hallways, hoping that you'll charge ahead carelessly without anticipating his buddy hiding around the corner. You feel smart when you’ve methodically lured a possessed ninja into a one-on-one battle. Conversely, you feel idiotic when an enemy capitalizes on your cockiness or carelessness. That’s the twisted beauty of Nioh: it pulverizes you the moment you don’t respect a foe’s abilities. That includes any attempts at brute forcing your way to victory. In Nioh, even a weapon with high attack power like an axe is better in the hands of a patient player than a persistently aggressive one.

Aggressive habits are understandable if you prefer Bloodborne, since health replenishes every time you deal damage. Conversely, stamina--which determines the amount of actions you can perform in a brief span of time--takes immense skill to replenish in Nioh. Like the efficient movements of a veteran samurai, stamina management in Nioh requires mindful execution where every strike has purpose. The fact that enemies are also subject to the limits of stamina is a standout feature, creating a level of combat depth not found in From Software's games.

Mastering stamina replenishment has, as of yet, not been a prerequisite for advancing in Nioh. Instead, you can defeat its bosses by mixing thoughtful tactics and proactive use of the game's many consumables. It’s also an immense help that each weapon has an expansive move set, spread evenly across three fighting stances. It’s gratifying to have the presence of mind to switch between these poses in a duel, and besting an enemy without wasting a single action makes you feel like a veritable badass.

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The myriad variables to consider when it comes to weapon choice, combat stances, and moment-to-moment strategies almost feel overwhelming, but having all these options is turning out to be one of Nioh’s strengths. The wealth of loot collected from a dozen vanquished foes can turn you into a weapons user of multiple disciplines, jumping from sword to spear to hammer in the span of an hour. And even if you do become familiar with all five weapon types, there’s also the consideration of foregoing the defensive security of an armored samurai in favor of the less protected yet more agile ninja persona. It remains to be seen if this degree of diversity will be a detriment to long-term success, but so far, Nioh has been a punishing yet gratifying excursion for jacks of all trades.

Even after spending roughly 40 hours battling my way through Nioh, its progress menu implies that I still have a ways to go. And given that its collectibles have practical value, I have additional incentives to fully explore the worlds's many engrossing environments. With any luck, the increased levels that result from these thorough searches also help make the boss fights less of a headache. Given the varying degrees of hardships I've encountered up to this point, I can't wait to see what devious tricks the remaining bosses have up their sleeves as I forge through the rest of the game. Stay tuned for our full review in the coming days.

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HandicapGamerz

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9 out of 10. Gravity 9 out of 10, Uncharted 9 out of 10, Horizon 9 out of 10, Red Dead Redemption most likely 9 out of 10. But any steam 16 bit indie early access game is better than this, and at 144fps

/irony off

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JEF8484

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40 hours in almost a week ago and no review....odd.

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tommyd79

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Checks in the mail................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

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pikanoob

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its been a week since this "review in progress" and you still arent done? this is literally your job, get your shit together

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Avatar image for deactivated-589b58f0d8bc1
deactivated-589b58f0d8bc1

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Uh, you can't use bonfires in Dark Souls if enemies are near it or you've been invaded; they go out. And you keep giving other examples of ways the game is not like the Souls games when they actually do have those things in common.

Have you even played any of them, Mr. Concepcion?

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Duremioh

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I get it. Would delay my review too if it meant I didn't have to go to work.

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HandicapGamerz

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PC guys need to start understanding that times have changed and nowadays what gives money are phones/phablets and consoles. People don´t want to sit on a chair all day long, devs do not care about PC anymore. You have amazing dedicated devs to pc, in the likes of Riot, Blizzard and Valve. They will keep supporting PC no matter what with their incredible games, but that´s about it. Even Projekt Red turned sides on Witcher 3. Companies go where the money is and the market is completly saturated right now. The money is all on League of Legends, Dota 2, Counter Strike and World of Warcraft. There isn´t room for much more than that.

Start to open your minds about gaming and start understanding a console is a computer actually, and you will be happier than what you think. This is not 1990 anymore.

2 • 
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BabeNewelll

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@handicapgamerz: You're an idiot or a troll lol

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whatsazerg

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Hey GS... having a hard time finishing the game? IGN finished it and had their score up days ago. Git gud, plebs.

5 • 
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Mikeblazingit

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@whatsazerg: ign sucks ass

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deactivated-589b58f0d8bc1

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@whatsazerg: LOL if you don't think they're worthy why do you give a shit about their review?

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deactivated-5b2c8e0382c99

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@whatsazerg: I was just thinking the same thing. Reviews for this game are all over the place. GameSpot is one of the last ones to post. That's happened a few times. Don't know if that's because they're going more in depth or if the people playing just aren't that good.

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FreeRyu

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@whatsazerg: Seems they are actually playing they game lol. I expect a 9/10 tbh.

3 • 
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strrckshn

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The best place to play Dark Souls series and only place to play Demon's Souls, Bloodborne and Nioh is PS4 ...

http://media.fyre.co/dk0HJ3GjSBa90sCMf6DP_dark%20souls.gif

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Avatar image for deactivated-589b58f0d8bc1
deactivated-589b58f0d8bc1

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@strrckshn: Demon's Souls is on PS4? News to me...

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wexorian

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Edited By wexorian

@strrckshn: And dark souls main income and biggest user base is PC , sorry about that :)

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Avatar image for deactivated-589b58f0d8bc1
deactivated-589b58f0d8bc1

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@wexorian: I would love to see the figures to actually corroborate this, please and thanks. :)

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FreeRyu

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@strrckshn: Sony should hire you.

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strrckshn

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Edited By strrckshn

This lol. Sums Nioh to a tee. Awesome.

https://media.giphy.com/media/26AHQIrpEjKYDgGZy/giphy.gif

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Domiddian

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Hory shet!

A 9.6 on IGN.

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FBohler

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Looks fun, but the AI seems to be rock dumb as they walk toward the player waving their weapons on each and every encounter depicted in this video.

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wexorian

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Edited By wexorian

I don't get it why some people love attacking other platforms and Kneel before their """"""god"""""" consoles and pee on others? stop being a jerk and play your exclusive simple, Does not matter you will drop this game and 90% of time you will play multiplatform AAA,3rd,indie, titles anyways.

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Manu_PT

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@wexorian: PC Elitist alert. Also multiplatform AAA titles aren´t even the top games AAA wise. Usually they´re the worst, and the ports are awful on PC.

2 • 
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Fedor

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@manu_pt: you don't know what you're talking about, do you?

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ANUBISZER0

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@wexorian: Yup, I hate that. People defend their system of choice like it's their child or something while they bash every other system.

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Manu_PT

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Edited By Manu_PT

@ANUBISZER0: That´s exactly what wexorian did in the first place. I´m a PC gamer and I talked about disadvantages of my platform. Then wexorian comes and starts being one of those scummy pc elitists.

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wexorian

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Edited By wexorian

@manu_pt: Had you read what people replied to you? every 2nd person call you an .d.ot or a blind guy who don't know what he talks about :)

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HandicapGamerz

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Edited By HandicapGamerz

@wexorian: you the idiot here. pc elitist kid, get a life, go get some fresh air

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