Nioh – Review Thread
Game Title: Nioh
Platform: PlayStation 4
Developer: Team Ninja
Publishers: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: NA – February 7, 2017
PAL – February 8, 2017
JP – February 9, 2017
Review Aggregator: OpenCritic – 88 [PS4]
MetaCritic – 87 [PS4]Reviews
Attack of the Fanboy – Mike Guarino – 4.5 / 5 stars (PS4)
Team Ninja took their time to ensure that Nioh was as good as it could possibly be, and that time wasn’t wasted. The finished product is a fantastic action RPG that may borrow a lot from the Souls series, but nevertheless adds plenty of great twists to the formula to allow it to stand proudly on its own.
Critical Hit – Umar Bastra – Review-In-Progress (PS4)
It’s an absolutely engaging game that’s soul-crushing, yet addictive and satisfying. It’s still early days, but if it manages to keep up this pace, and the story doesn’t completely fall flat, then we could be looking at one of the best games this year and Team Ninja’s explosive comeback.
Destructoid – Chris Carter – 9 / 10 (PS4)
With its emphasis on challenging combat and light storytelling elements that are at times bordering on parody (in a good way), Nioh feels like a true successor to the Ninja Gaiden series and fills a nice void that Souls left behind. Did Team Ninja ever leave? Whatever the case might be, it’s back.
Eurogamer – Jeffrey Matulef – Recommended (PS4)
This delicious blend of Ninja Gaiden and Dark Souls isn’t quite a masterpiece, but it’s a stirring return to form for Team Ninja.
Game Informer – Daniel Tack – 9 / 10 (PS4)
A dazzling mix of challenging boss encounters, terrifying enemies, and freedom to engage in side-missions and multiplayer create a dynamite fusion of intense fun
Push Square – John Cal McCormick – 8 / 10 (PS4)
Nioh is about as approachable as a game of this ilk can be, and while that may offend the hardcore sensibilities of some Souls fans, it’s a title that will likely appeal to many players who want a gameplay challenge but are turned off by the obtuse nature of Dark Souls’ storytelling and the murky explanations of its mechanics. The experience is marred by some unfortunate difficulty spikes and lacklustre bosses, but the rich loot, levelling systems, and fast, often thrilling combat do more than enough to justify Nioh as a worthy contemporary to From Software’s efforts – and an impressive return to form for Team Ninja.
Stevivor – Steve Wright – 8 / 10 (PS4)
While veteran Souls players may find this somewhat Mickey Mouse, the differences between the franchises will still find enough to keep all players engaged. Nioh borrows – and quite liberally, at that — from a number of different franchises, but that combination makes it quite unique. The Dark Souls for those of us who hate Dark Souls, it’s certainly one to give a try. You won’t be an expert instantly, but you’ll certainly want to come back for more.
TheSixthAxis – Dave Irwin – Unscored (PS4)
Overall, I’m really happy with how the game has turned out thus far, and it’s certainly a game that a Souls fan should be paying attention to.
USgamer – John Learned – 4 / 5 stars (PS4)
Nioh is Koei Tecmo and Team Ninja taking a more measured approach to what they do best, and is a surprisingly feature-heavy and battle-focused heir to the Soulsborne method. But it ultimately stands on its own, and is a worthy addition to any Action RPG library.
GameSpot – Miguel Concepcion – 9 / 10 (PS4)
By adapting the Dark Souls formula to the ways of the bushido, we find Team Ninja at the top of their game.
TrustedReviews – Stuart Andrews – 4 / 5 stars (PS4)
Nioh can’t match the gothic grandeur of a Dark Souls and the boss battles may give you nightmares for all the wrong reasons. All the same, by merging aspects of From Software’s classics with elements of its own ninja hits, Team Ninja has crafted its finest game in years. Nioh is every bit as compulsive and challenging as its inspiration, but is smart enough to add some interesting new twists. Love Dark Souls? Love samurai, ninjas and weird oriental fantasy? Jump onboard and prepare to die, cry and experience the magic in-between.
Gadgets 360 – Rishi Alwani – 8 / 10 (PS4)
On the surface, Nioh is a compelling take on a sub genre of role-playing games created by the Souls games and its ilk. However by putting stamina at the core of its combat and thoughtfully borrowing mechanics from other titles, it results in a game that’s greater than the sum of its parts. Whether you’re a Souls veteran or have a passing interest in such games, Nioh is well worth checking out.
IGN – Chloi Rad – 9.6 / 10 (PS4)
Nioh could well take over 100 hours if you set out to master its many side missions on top of its tough campaign, but it’s a challenge well worth taking. The way it builds on its most obvious inspirations with a highly refined combat system and an unexpectedly charming, yet gritty style all its own allows it to boldly carve out its own identity, standing as a shining example of what action RPGs can be.
God is a Geek – Chris White – Review-In-Progress (PS4)
Certain elements of the game may sound very familiar to other series by certain Japanese developers, but Nioh not only takes the best of what has come before – it makes it better. Managing your Ki and your health, juggling all of your attacks, magic, and weaponry, and trying not to get killed for the millionth time is a thrill, full of genuinely incredible moments.
Playstation Universe – Garri Bagdasarov – 9.5 / 10 (PS4)
Nioh’s development began in 2004. After having to scrap the game once and start development from scratch, it’s amazing to see Team Ninja deliver a near-perfect title. Everything that Nioh does is masterfully crafted and balanced exactly the way a video game should be. If you’re a fan of action/adventure games, Nioh is a must-own. Hell, if you are a fan of video games, I can’t recommend Nioh enough.
CGMagazine – Brendan Quinn – 9 / 10 (PS4)
Team Ninja knocks it out of the park with their take on Samurai Dark Souls.
SA Gamer – Charles Small – 9.1 / 10 (PS4)
It’s brutally hard, punishing and unforgiving, but man is it satisfying, and pretty.
Next-Gen Gaming Blog – Andrew Beeken – 9 / 10 (PS4)
A more accessible yet still challenging take on the tried and tested Souls-like Action RPG, Nioh adds enough nuance and depth to the formula to make it feel fresh and provide a new challenge for players coming out of the back of last year’s Dark Souls 3. With a compelling story, bright visuals and new and interesting locales to visit, Nioh is a must have for Action RPG fans.
Dualshockers – Giuseppe Nelva – 9 / 10 (PS4)
Team Ninja’s latest labor of love is packed with charm, atmosphere, and one of the best action battle systems that you’ll find across the industry.
The Jimquisition – Jim Fucking Sterling, Son – 10 / 10 (PS4)
Nioh got attention for its similarities to other titles, but it deserves to be remembered as its own special game, one that sees and raises the efforts presented by its inspirations. With fast and uncompromising combat, an engrossing economy of loot, and a mesmerizing artistic style, action-RPGs have rarely been this refined or this captivating.
GameZone – Mike Splechta – Unscored (PS4)
There are clear inspirations taken from various games, and yet Nioh manages to do things a bit differently, and because of that, is able to stand on its own as a fun action game.
We Got This Covered – Edward Love – 4.5 / 5 stars (PS4)
Nioh champions the joy of combat and the fun of overcoming a challenge. It owes a debt to Dark Souls, yes, but manages to step out of its considerable shadow, too.
Game Rant – Dalton Cooper – 5 / 5 stars (PS4)
Nioh combines the stiff challenge of Dark Souls, the atmosphere of Onimusha, and the loot farming of Diablo to create an intense experience that’s hard to put down.
GamesRadar+ – Lucas Sullivan – 4 / 5 stars (PS4)
Though it doesn’t outshine Dark Souls, Nioh’s distinctly Japanese setting, thoughtful level design, and demanding difficulty lead to some supremely satisfying payoffs.
Post Arcade (National Post) – Chad Sapieha – 9 / 10 (PS4)
Nioh isn’t just Dark Souls with Samurai and Yokai. It’s more than that. For those up to the challenge, it’s the first essential PlayStation 4 game of 2017.
PlayStation LifeStyle – Tyler Treese – 75 / 100 (PS4)
Nioh is a game of highs and lows. It’s a tremendous blast when the combat gets to shine, but it often gets the spotlight after hours of tedium. Instead of crafting a tight 20-hour experience like Ninja Gaiden, Team Ninja has opted to create a title that had me constantly grinding. It’s a flawed experience that really has no respect for the player’s time, but one that I’m ultimately glad to have experienced.
Game Revolution – Jonathon Leack – 4.5 / 5 stars (PS4)
Although inspired by greatness, Nioh is a superb game in its own right. Its test of precision and timing strays from the accessibility of most modern games, reminding us all what the thrill of overcoming obstacle feels like. While not everyone will agree with its hard mode approach to design, its combat system is well-crafted enough to win everyone over. This samurai tale might not be so simple, but it’s a legendary one that won’t soon be forgotten.
RPG Site – Zack Reese – 9 / 10 (PS4)
Nioh creates its own distinct persona with ingenious game design, beautiful art direction, fascinating storytelling, aggressive combat, and enormous amount of content to partake in. I went from a demo I was very cautious to try into a final release I fell in absolute love with. With all of these elements in tow and nary a criticism in sight, Nioh is arguably one of the best games of this generation.
GameCrate – Nate Hohl – 8.5 / 10 (PS4)
Much like From Software’s Souls games and Team Ninja’s previous Ninja Gaiden efforts, Nioh was clearly designed with a very specific sort of gamer in mind, namely a very patient one who doesn’t mind having to constantly learn from their mistakes. If you find enjoyment in the punishing difficulty of such games and you want to delve into a title which could easily suck up hours upon hours of your gaming time, Nioh will certainly not disappoint.
Ars Technica – Steven Strom – Unscored (PS4)
Nioh makes no bones about standing in the shadows of giants, but it extends and polishes the Dark Souls formula so much that it manages to shine just as brightly. Buy it.
NZGamer – Keith Milburn – 9 / 10 (PS4)
Fast but measured combat, with enemies that demand respect.
Worth Playing – Chris “Atom” DeAngelus – 9 / 10 (PS4)
Nioh is a surprise delight. In a world of clones, it’s great to find a Dark Souls homage that manages to be its own game and stands on its own merits. It’s fast-paced, fun, brutal and full of enough mechanics and gameplay features that you could play it for months. You don’t need to be a Souls fan to enjoy Nioh’sexcellent gameplay. The story is a little thin, and the environments aren’t always great, but if you’re looking for fast-paced samurai action or seeking a challenge, Nioh is the game for you.
TheSixthAxis – Dave Irwin – 9 / 10 (PS4)
Do not dismiss Nioh as just another knockoff; it’s so much more than that. By taking some inspiration from others, Team Ninja do prove with a rich combat system and solid foundation that they have the ability to surprise and innovate. The vast majority of the game is a pleasure to play, despite the fact that death is around every corner. There’s a lot I’ve not even touched upon in this review, simply because it’s better experienced than told. For Koei Tecmo at least, all the effort was well worth it.
GameSkinny – Ty Arthur – 8 / 10 stars (PS4)
While I normally prefer games that don’t go out of their way to frustrate on the difficulty front, I’ve got to admit this is one of the best examples of the Souls style released yet, and if you love that specific type of game, you’re going to love Nioh.
Metro GameCentral – GameCentral – 9 / 10 (PS4)
A perfect accompaniment to the SoulsBorne series, with plenty of unique ideas of its own and some of the best combat of the generation.
GamePlanet – Chris Brown – 10 / 10 (PS4)
Nioh is a triumph. It stands head and shoulders above every other title in the genre, even eclipsing its obvious inspiration. Team Ninja is not only back, but it has thrown down the gauntlet, and only time will tell who’s up for the challenge.
GamingTrend – Christian DeCoster – 90 / 100 (PS4)
Nioh is easily the best action RPG I’ve played in some time. It may take some time to get into the swing of it’s melee combat, and the first level doesn’t make a good impression, but anyone looking for some engrossing hack-and-slash combat should pick this up with Nioh hesitation.
Digitally Downloaded – Mat Sainsbury – 5 / 5 stars
Nioh plays well. It eschews the control setup that the Souls games popularised for something a little more like what we’re used to from Koei Tecmo – face buttons to attack and so on. Indeed, in playing it, it almost behaves more like a methodically-paced Ninja Gaiden, and as someone who never quite had the reflexes to really enjoy the Ninja Gaiden series, it really hit that sweet spot.
Digital Trends – Michael Rougeau – 4 / 5 stars (PS4)
Nioh is a shockingly well-made game considering its troubled development history. It builds on the foundation laid by Dark Souls in interesting ways, while adding its own narrative and mechanical flavors. And though it can be punishingly difficult, it also gives you ample tools with which to overcome its challenges, leaving you feeling empowered in the end.
Cheat Code Central – Patrick Tretina – 3 / 5 (PS4)
Nioh is defined more by its inability to truly connect with gamers looking for a creative challenge, rather than its desire to be placed within the ranks of titles like Bloodborne and Diablo. The game’s grindy premise has been exhausted for what seems like decade and will leave you feeling more defeated than anything else. The combat mechanics are certainly worth noticing, but the environment restricts them, making it a wash. Do yourself a favor and pass on this compilation of recycled concepts and frustrating gameplay.
Forbes – Erik Kain – 9.5 / 10 (PS4)
Nioh is a fantastic Samurai action-RPG with excellent Dark Souls inspired combat, multiplayer options and tons of content. Not for the faint of heart. Boss fights can be as tedious as they are challenging.
Washington Post – Christopher Byrd – Unscored (PS4)
After the “Souls” games grew in popularity, so flourished an ideology in the gaming world about the intrinsic value of titles that have “tough but rewarding gameplay.” “Nioh” obviously wants to claim this mantle. However, lacking as it does the trappings of an interesting in-game world, I found wrestling with its steep learning curve to be little more than drudgery.
AngryCentaurGaming – Jeremy Penter – Buy (PS4)
This is an absolute ‘Buy’. This is Nioh Souls, it’s not perfect, but it’s an excellent addition to the genre. Worthy of smashing its name into others in a failed meme attempt and while nowhere near perfect, it enters into the genre and brings with it refreshing additions that I hope see continued use and while there is a massive amount of data to keep track of. Rarely has a game been so worth it and so mammoth when it comes to true absolute content.
Polygon – Philip Kollar, Arthur Gies – 8 / 10 (PS4)
Arthur: Yeah, I think the plot and development for William is kind of thin, but there’s a very large cast of characters, many of whom are fairly interesting (and based on real people, kind of). And that’s sort of emblematic of Nioh in general. Not everything it does is done well, but a lot of it works, and it does so in unconventional ways.
Phil: Because of its complexity, because of it’s myriad of interlocking systems, Nioh can be hard to pin down. More than anything, it feels like a flawed but promising first draft. Team Ninja has taken some big chances here. They don’t all pay off, but the ones that do pull together for a game that justifies some of the pain required.
EGM – Mollie L Patterson – 9 / 10 (PS4)
You’ll go into Team Ninja’s latest project thinking it’s Dark Souls with samurais and ninjas, but come out knowing it to be its own unique experience. Nioh is an enthralling adventure, filled with great combat, characters, monsters, and locations, and only really stumbles when it tries to be a little too much like other games out there.
COGconnected – Rory Wood – 95 / 100 (PS4)
What Nioh also does incredibly well is blend intense and serious tones with at times light-hearted and silly moments. This deft balance of historical authenticity and far out there fantastical elements is never not entertaining and Team Ninja should be applauded for their ability to combine it all into a believable and engaging world.
There is so much more I could talk about when it comes to Nioh, though a big part of the fun and experience of Nioh is discovering things on your own. But know this; Nioh is an incredible action RPG game that should not be missed. Offering well balanced and visceral combat, engaging environments to explore, challenging bosses and well over 80 hours of exciting content to enjoy.
GamingBolt – Pramath – 9 / 10 (PS4)
Thoroughly addictive, extremely exhilarating, and most of all, a whole lot of fun, Nioh is probably the finest example of its genre, and perhaps one of the best games of this generation.
Twinfinite – Zhiqing Wan – 4.5 / 5 (PS4)
Still, Nioh’s few flaws aren’t nearly enough to offset everything else that the game got right. This game feels so polished with its satisfying combat and its insanely deep loot and crafting system, along with the hundreds of hours of content it has on offer.
Easy Allies – Ben Moore – 4.5 / 5 stars (PS4)
While perhaps not reaching the heights of Ninja Gaiden during its prime, it’s nonetheless a revitalization. Nioh is much, much more than a summation of its influences. The game’s white-knuckle action demands a high degree of determination, but controls so well that any failure can be attributed solely to the player. Although finishing a mission in Nioh is exhausting, especially the times when you walk away with only a sliver of health, it’s very much a mountain worth climbing. There are few games currently available that are so utterly rewarding.