Nioh 1 and 2 are already available on the PlayStation 4 with the first game and its DLC being on PC. On February 5th, Nioh 2 – The Complete Edition will be coming to PS4 and PC while PS5 players can delve into both titles with The Nioh Collection. What can you expect from this compilation especially if you’ve never played either title? Let’s take a look at 13 things you should know before buying.
All Nioh 1 and 2 Content
The Nioh Collection includes Nioh 1 and 2, both remastered and with all of their DLC and free updates. It marks the series’ debut on the PlayStation 5 and provides the complete story in one package. Of course, if you’re only interested in playing one of the games, then they’ll also be available separately as Nioh Remastered – The Complete Edition and Nioh 2 Remastered – The Complete Edition. There are certain ways to upgrade and a few restrictions but we’ll get to that in a bit.
Story and Setting
The first Nioh takes place primarily in Japan in 1600. Before being unified under the Tokugawa Shogunate, the various clans were at a war for supremacy. Yokai have also started cropping up due to the conflict. As William Adams, the player ventures to the region to find Edward Kelley and ultimately becomes embroiled in the war, encountering numerous historical figures like Hattori Hanzo, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Tachibana Ginchiyo and many more.
Nioh 2’s story begins in the late 1500s. Instead of William, players control a new hero named Hide, a demon hunter that’s half-yokai and capable of utilizing demonic powers. The main adversary is Kashin Koji who seems to know about Hide’s past and also has his own machinations for the fate of Japan. The DLC has its own story that ties into the base games while expanding on the conflicts at large.
Nioh has been described as a Souls-like due to its use of stamina (known as Ki here), light/heavy attacks, and losing Souls – in this case, Amrita – upon death. However, there are numerous differences that set it apart. Stamina can be recovered using a technique called Ki Pulse, which also serves to purify any harmful Yokai effects. One can also use multiple stances for attacking, each with its own unique abilities depending on the weapon type used. There also Guardian Spirits which confer different benefits when equipped on top of unleashing powerful skills of their own.
Nioh 2 further builds on this with Yokai abilities that can be earned by defeating foes and equipping the Soul Cores that they drop. The protagonist can also Yokai Shift to activate a powerful Yokai form that deals increased damage. There are also various Burst Counters that can be initiated against foes depending on the Yokai form equipped. Some enemies unleash attacks that can only be Burst Countered so there is an incentive to be more aggressive.
Also on a side-note – Nioh 2 has a custom character creator, allowing one to create their own version of Hide. William’s appearance in Nioh is fixed though one can unlock the ability to take on other characters’ appearances later.
Action RPG Elements
Another way that Nioh 1 and 2 distinguish themselves from your average Souls-like is the extensive loot system. Various weapons and armor have their own rarity from Common to Exotic (and even higher tiers as one progresses to the end-game). There are also various additional stats tied to each which can be re-rolled at the Blacksmith. Items can also be enchanted for additional benefits or broken down into crafting materials to make new weapons and armor.
Various upgrades also apply, whether it’s unlocking and improving different skills and abilities, mastering different spells or simply improving the strength of one’s Guardian Spirit. There’s a fairly in-depth loot game to be had especially with all the different set bonuses, and you can spend a lot of time min-maxing a build to perfection.
Given that this collection is $70, there’s a lot of playtime that one can get out of it. HowLongToBeat.com lists Nioh Complete Edition as taking 145 hours to complete. The base Nioh 2 experience takes about 104 hours with all of its DLC providing an additional 35 to 40 hours. Activities like the Abyss, which consists of 999 floors of enemies and bosses to battle through, along with numerous difficulty modes in both titles can keep you playing for even longer. Suffice to say that if you can get into it, The Nioh Collection is well worth the money.
Fast Loading Times
Perhaps the biggest gameplay benefit to Nioh players on PS5 is the console’s SSD. No longer will you have to wait several seconds to respawn after dying unceremoniously. You can simply leap back into the fray at a moment’s notice. This also applies when loading into a new mission from the region map. Though loading times were never too crazy in the original releases, being able to jump back in without any delays fits the fast-paced nature of the action.
Multiple Graphical Modes
The Nioh Collection offers three graphical modes on PS5. The first is 4K resolution at 60 frames per second; the second is at 1080p resolution but runs in 120 FPS; and the third runs at 1080p/60 FPS but offers improved graphical effects for the shadows, foliage and model textures. Both games have been noted for their different graphical modes providing options for performance and fidelity so it’s good to see The Nioh Collection offering these choices as well.
Of course, DualSense is also supported even if the implementation isn’t super over-the-top. The controller’s haptic feedback will apply to different combat abilities while the adaptive triggers will come into play when using the bow and arrow. For the latter, the sensation of pulling the bow-string and loosing the arrow is replicated using the adaptive triggers, adding to the overall immersion.
Upgrades and Save Transfer
If you already own Nioh 2 on PS4, then it can be upgraded to the base version on PS5 for free. Any DLC expansions purchased separately will also carry over along with save data. This also applies to purchasing Nioh 2 – The Complete Edition on PS4 – a free upgrade to the PS5 remaster will be provided. Unfortunately, there’s no free upgrade for the first Nioh, whether it’s the base game or Complete Edition. The only way to play it on PS5 is to either purchase it separately or purchase The Nioh Collection. Whether save data transfers will apply for the original game is currently unknown.
PS4 and PS5 Crossplay
Nioh 1 and 2 can be played and completed solo but both titles also support co-op. Though it doesn’t seem to apply to the first game, Nioh 2 Remastered – The Complete Edition will support cross-play between PS4 and PS5 players, as per to game director Fumihiko Yasuda in an interview with WCCFTech. Unfortunately, PlayStation players can’t team up with PC players when Nioh 2 – The Complete Edition comes to Steam.
Interestingly enough, Nioh Remastered – The Complete Edition will be getting its own unique feature – Photo Mode. While its exact features haven’t been outlined yet, one can reposition the camera’s angle for dramatic shots and apply different filters while adjusting the aperture, focal length and so on. This feature is currently exclusive to the PS5 version with no mention of it coming to PS4 or PC.
No Xbox Series X/S Release Plans
The obvious question one has to ask – is there any chance of The Nioh Collection coming to Xbox Series X/S at some point? Speaking to VideoGamesChronicle, Yasuda responded that there are “no current plans” to bring the Nioh series to Xbox consoles at this point. However, he did state that if a new Ninja Gaiden title happened, the development team would “definitely like that to be on Xbox consoles” given the franchise’s history with Microsoft.
No Plans for Nioh 3
Whether a new Ninja Gaiden releases or not, the current story for the Nioh series has come to an end. Yasuda noted that with the release of Nioh 2 and its DLC, “It’s reached a good point in the story where all the loose ends are tied up” and that there are currently no plans for a sequel. While it’s possible that the franchise is revisited at some point, The Nioh Collection is as definitive as the story gets.