Nioh 2 raises the genre's bar high with an impressive evolution of its predecessor. The game runs and plays beautifully and the amazing combat is elevated by the addition of Soul Cores, Burst Counters, and the myriad of ways in which those new mechanics affect your approach to battles. Add in massive amounts of new content and deep character customization and you have a rewarding gaming experience that shouldn't be missed.
Nioh 2: Complete Edition is a very unique action-RPG with precise controls. You can move, aim, look around and interact with your environment with ease. The graphics look amazing, the sound effects are great, and the game feels solid. The character creator in Nioh 2 is excellent, you will be able to create some amazing protagonists but be warned it is so deep you might spend hours just in this area alone.
The game has not forgotten the depth of combat that made the original so enjoyable. The real key to beating enemies and progressing through the game is by using your Burst counters to maximize your strikes and efficiently manipulate the enemies in front of you. One of the best parts about playing through the game with a handful of friends is the ability to communicate with your team in real time. It is easy to navigate and you can even see who is healing which partner and which character is charging. Just like its predecessor, the game gives you a myriad of options that allow you to customize your combat style to best suit your preference. You have access to a sword, spear, and your holy sword which you can swap to any of the three fighting stances.
To customize your combat style, you can equip one weapon to each stance, all three weapons at once or switch between stances mid-combat. This last is very useful and can be one of the most effective things you can do in the game. Nioh 2 makes even the most hardcore player care about each battle.
Set in Japan during the late 1500s, most of Nioh 2 storyline chapters take place before the original Nioh with the exception of the end chapters of the story which take place after the first game's last storyline following the Siege of Osaka. Your character, Hide, a half-yōkai referred to as a "Shiftling" can be fully customized as we already mentioned using the excellent character customizer. Hide's journey through the Sengoku Era will introduce many memorable characters including Tōkichirō, an ambitious merchant seeking out Amrita, and Mumyo, a demon hunter of the Sohaya group. You will also run across Kashin Koji, a mysterious entity linked to a powerful yōkai known as Otakemaru. He is the main antagonist and will obstruct Hide's progress at every turn.
If you're looking for a strong story-driven action game that emphasizes mechanics over convoluted dialogue and optional missions, then there is no better title out there than Nioh 2. With updated graphics and a level of performance that almost makes the game look better than its console siblings, Nioh 2 truly is a "Game of the Year" candidate. Ever since Nioh 2 was announced at PSX 2015, people have been talking about whether it would be able to keep up the high standards set by its predecessor, Nioh. Developer Team Ninja's response was to not only equal those standards but surpass them. As long as you do not get overwhelmed by the depth of this title you will be rewarded by some of the best gameplay of this generation.