Review – Nioh 2 is a relentless game that won’t let you stop playing

by Nathan Dutil

Marcelo Jabulas – In the late 2000s, game producers took a new approach to developing games. If in the 1980s the logic of games was imported from arcades, where titles had to be difficult and with short games to sell tokens, in the 1990s the thing was reversed.

The ability to save progress, inherited from PC games, has radically simplified things. In the 2000s, perks such as auto-healing and checkpoints emerged, features that made the gamer’s life easier. But some studios have decided to do the opposite like From Software and Team Ninja. These Japanese believe that good games are hard games.

And in that vein, Team Ninja has just released Nioh 2, for PS4. The game hits the market three years after the launch of the original title. In this adventure, the player finds the skin of a warrior in a conflict that drags on in Japan during the Sengoku period. The player has the power to summon supernatural entities from nature, all set in Japanese mythology.


Compared to the first game, the immediate difference is the possibility for the player to modify his character. Facial details, hair, beard, skin color and gender allow the player to identify themselves in the game. It is not a primacy, but it goes beyond the original title which had a protagonist with a fixed look.


Nioh 2’s gameplay follows the pattern of its predecessor, including differences in guard height: low, medium, and high. This feature makes attacks and blocks more effective depending on the stature of the enemy. It’s a quirk of the game, which demands attention when you spot your opponent.

But knowing how to handle your weapon is not a guarantee of success. In this game, any opponent is fatal. From a humble soldier to a gigantic demon. To survive the fights, which requires the player to know how to measure his breath. With each hit, run, and block, the energy bar is consumed.

So it’s not enough to press the attack buttons madly, because the “gas” will run out and make you vulnerable. The ideal is to balance the assaults, with setbacks and blockages. This goes for any type of enemy.


Nioh 2 is a difficult and bloody game. This is a game that requires careful progression. Scenarios have multiple paths that can be released, with the opening of portals and the installation of stairs.

Opening the paths is essential as the player dies countless times during the game. And every time the player resurrects or says a prayer in the temple, all enemies on the map respawn. Thus, leaving the tracks free guarantees agility in the campaign. An important factor in avoiding restarts is never to face more than one rival at a time. As the player has to attack, block and dodge, when there is a second or third enemy, it becomes impossible. The trick is to use the bow to take out the weaker ones and focus on the stronger ones.


Like all action RPGs, the game offers a wide list of attributes, such as: strength, energy, charisma, magic and health. And the player can spend his experience points to evolve them. He also learns new moves and combos, using specific points. It is therefore possible to improve skills with a specific type of weapon.


And speaking of weapons, the player has a wide variety to use. It is equipped with two-handed options and two ranged weapons (bows and even muskets similar to early Chinese firearms). Long swords, axes, short swords, knives, clubs, hatchets, sickles, chains and clubs. The options abound. They differ in damage, energy consumption and attack speed. As the game progresses, upgraded versions will appear. The ideal is that the player chooses the option that he likes the most and develops his shots.

Take advantage of ancient weapons to make offerings to the spirits. They will give you Sacred Rice Credits which the player can use to purchase arrows, medicine, and other consumables.


After the introduction of the great RPGs, the player has a wide variety of helmets, breastplates and other armor elements. Along the way, the player finds several rooms that offer more or less defense points. There is also a hierarchy of rooms, some with additional attributes, such as attack aids and the use of certain weapons.

last word

“Nioh 2” is a game that requires determination from the player. He shows you at all times that pride is your greatest enemy. That’s because there’s no point playing brave and going up against your rivals with an open chest. It is often necessary to retreat and even flee to dodge more powerful enemies. Knowing how to use resources to increase the effectiveness of attack and defense is as fundamental as being attentive to enemies.

The big problem with “Nioh 2” is that all of the level’s opponents are just distractions for the bosses. These are frighteningly powerful and are sure to keep you busy for hours, let alone days. Available for PS4, priced from R$249 to R$319.

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