Dark Souls and Bloodborne have officially rocked the foundation of the traditional way we gamers think of a good game. It’s not that often we are challenged with a game that induces so much stress but can also make us throw our fists into the ceiling upon victory. I’ve played both Bloodborne and Dark Soul, and they were arguably the hardest games I’ve EVER played. They put you straight into battle without much guidance and expect you to find your way on your own. It can be a bit discouraging at first but as you begin to kill your first few enemies, you start to gain a sense of self confidence in your ability to reign victorious in your journey.
“Trial and error” was the central theme of both these games. Every time you died you knew exactly why that was, “Oh I should have dodged there,” or “I got too greedy and tried to squeeze in another hit or two.” The game was always a challenge, but with each death, you learn something new and you knew you can come back and win once you implement your next strategy! Then comes your first boss! The huge beast that shakes the ground with each step. You begin to lose hope and wonder “how the hell am I supposed to beat this guy?” You run up and give it your best shot, only to be struck down with one devastating blow that kills you. With each death, you begin to figure out a pattern. “When I’m here, he strikes like this,” “If I do this, he’ll do that.” After about 10 or more tries, you finally beat the boss. With a sigh of relief, you take a second to marvel in your victory before moving on to the next stage. You knew that was only just the beginning.
That grueling punishment we got from dark souls and Bloodborne has essentially created a new breed of gamer, and with that, a new breed of game all together. Nioh is the newest installment in that breed.
I’ve played a couple hours of Nioh and I love everything about it. There are a couple of things that make Nioh a bit different from Bloodbourne and Dark Souls, mainly, the combat system. With Nioh, you have the choice between 3 fighting stances, “high” (Attack), “mid” (Defense), and “low” (Speed). With the introduction of the new fighting stances, there is another threshold of strategy added to the game when trying to defeat a difficult boss. I love how we can change our fighting stance seamlessly whenever we are in the middle of combat. Let’s say we’re fighting a gigantic boss and we need to maneuver quickly around his sweeping attacks we would go with the “low” stance, but the second he drops his guard, we can switch to the “high” stance to deliver a satisfyingly damaging combo and switch back to the “low” stance before he’s able to attack us again.
Nioh also offers great graphics and setting as well. I love the whole Samurai theme of the game. We are faced with Japanese demons and spirits as we move along the stage and we are given traditional samurai style weapons too. Everything meshes together well to create a fun, but also challenging, gaming experience. I’m interested in seeing how the co-op experience is and I’ll be checking that out later today with a buddy from the GRITTY GAMERS crew.
If you consider yourself a hardcore gamer and are looking for another challenging game, Nioh is right for you. You will die a lot but you’ll be a better man for it. If you’re interested in seeing the game in action check out my gameplay videos on YouTube. Until next time gamers, stay gritty!