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December 2023

Nioh 2

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Developer: Team Ninja
Release Date: March 13, 2020


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PS4 Review - 'Nioh 2' Darkness in the Capital DLC

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on Oct. 22, 2020 @ 12:00 a.m. PDT

Prepare to be overwhelmed with intense action and experience the ultimate sense of accomplishment with the Sengoku masocore title, Nioh 2!

Buy Nioh 2

It's been a heck of a year, but there have been a number of bright spots in video games. A little lost in the midst is the fantastic Nioh 2, which was released early in the year. It has been getting a constant stream of updates and paid DLC ranging from bonus items to new difficulty modes, and it does a lot to help keep the game fresh. The latest DLC, Nioh 2: Darkness in the Capital, is a standard expansion. It has some new levels, a new weapon set, some new bosses, and plenty of more ways to be humiliatingly killed by a ridiculous-looking monster.

The first new addition in this DLC is the Fists weapon set. Previously, you could try an unarmed play style, but Fists gives your bare hands a more fleshed-out play style. Truth be told, these quickly became one of my favorite weapons in the game. Their animations are great, but beyond that, they feel amazing to use. You attack incredibly quickly and can chain together active skills to allow for lengthy and incredibly powerful combos. It's a weapon that heavily rewards you for properly using Ki Pulse, and when you get some practice, you basically feel like a martial arts master who only needs some gauntlets to clown on Yokai. As long as you like fast and speedy weapons, the Fists are worth the cost of the DLC on their own.

Fortunately, the rest of the DLC is also significant. It follows the same basic formula: Go through areas, fight Yokai, kill bosses, get loot, and repeat. Admittedly, the actual levels feel a bit too familiar despite a healthy dose of new Yokai and new traps and dangers. Part of that can be attributed to more recycled content from Nioh 1 than in the previous DLC. That isn't bad, but it feels like Nioh 2 is starting to run a bit thin on tricks. Considering how much content is in the game and the DLC, that may not be a surprise, but hopefully, the third DLC can freshen things up a bit.

One thing that isn't running low on ideas is the boss fights. There's an incredible boss fight against Minamoto no Yorimitsu, which is easily one of my favorite encounters in the series. It's dramatic, fast-paced, and evenly matched. Yorimitsu has a skill set that's very similar to your own, so it becomes a delightful rival battle that is the highlight of these sorts of games. Another standout is a battle against one of the ancestors of Ninja Gaiden's Ryu Hayabusa, who fights and looks pretty much exactly like that game's hero did in the Xbox reboot of Ninja Gaiden. It's a super cool fight that evokes a lot of nostalgia, since pretty much every move that Hayabusa does is straight from the game. You can even unlock special skills and armor for beating him.

Nioh 2: Darkness in the Capital is a solid and enjoyable DLC. It doesn't really break the mold but offers a healthy helping of new Nioh 2 gameplay. The somewhat forgettable stage design is strongly bolstered by some amazing boss fights and the new Fist weapon set. It's a great way to further extend the absurd amount of content in Nioh 2 and its DLC. Starting a new game with the Fist weapon set would be a great way to revisit the title. The DLC won't freshen things up if you're already burned out on Nioh 2, but sometimes, "more of the same" is all a DLC needs to be.

Score: 8.5/10

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