Nioh - PS4

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Viewed: 3D Third-person, over the shoulder Genre:
Adventure: Role Playing
Media: Blu-Ray Arcade origin:No
Developer: Team Ninja Soft. Co.: Tecmo Koei Europe
Publishers: SCEI (GB)
Released: 9 Feb 2017 (GB)
28 Jun 2019 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 18+
Connectivity: Network features, Network play
Features: PlayStation 4 Pro Enhanced


Nioh is an interesting proposition. Team Ninja (of Ninja Gaiden fame) has taken its signature frantic hack 'n' slash combat and mixed it with the dark fantasy, punishing difficulty and RPG elements of From Software's Souls games.

You play as a somewhat gussied up version of William Adams, a real-life Westerner who showed up on the shores of Japan back in 1600. An historical tale this is not, however. At least not for the most part. In Team Ninja's version of events, Japan is overrun by demons known as Yokai and Adams finds himself at war with them and, on occasion, other samurai.

The Souls influence will be apparent in Nioh's slowly replenishing stamina bar and a system that gives you one chance to reclaim lost XP after you're killed. It deviates, however, in the much wider array of moves at your disposal. A skilltree offers progression that's more typical of the hack 'n' slash genre than From Software offers, creating a lot of flexibility in how you play as Adams.

As you'd expect from a Team Ninja game, Nioh's boss fights take centre stage. They're brutal, bloody and slightly comical, ranging from humanoid baddies to the likes of a demonic, modular centipede.

Another move from the Souls playbook is the multiplayer component. If you're really struggling, you can summon another player to assist you in co-op. Or, if you're feeling more combative, you can do battle with the ghosts of fallen players on the spot where they fell, complete with all the gear at their disposal when they died.

Nioh is, in a nutshell, a bit Ninja Gaiden, a bit Souls, all brutal.