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' The First Samurai DLC

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on Dec. 22, 2020 @ 12:30 a.m. PST

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

Nioh 2: The First Samurai is the last of the DLC packs. It follows the same basic formula of the previous DLCs, where your character is sucked backward in time to experience some of the events leading up to the game's story. At the end of the day, it's mostly an excuse for new bosses to fight, and that's perfectly fine for a Nioh DLC, even if one could hope for something more.

The unfortunate truth about The First Samurai is that there isn't a lot to say about it. Unlike the other two DLC packs, it does not come with a new weapon, which already puts it significantly behind on the content. It adds a small smattering of new skills for every weapon type, although the skills don't particularly stand out. Most of them are utility at best, and while there a few standouts, like the Fist's Beyond Infinity skill, which lets you effectively punch like a JoJo's Bizarre Adventure character, the bulk of them are just "meh." There are new Yokai skills and guardian spirits, which might be nice to freshen up a build, but nothing in this DLC changes the game in the way that new weapons did.

The content isn't bad, but Nioh 2 is clearly reaching the end of its life cycle, and The First Samurai does little to change that. What it offers is almost exclusively geared toward the most high-end of high-end players. This includes a new, even harder difficulty mode for those who've already mastered Nioh 2's original challenges and The Underworld, a challenge dungeon that's comprised of a bunch of floors of increasingly difficult enemies. The Underworld seemingly isn't even available unless you've already reached one of the harder unlockable difficulty levels. If you're just someone playing on the base difficulty for the story and gear, you're going to find this particular DLC to be extremely anemic.

Aside from all of that, there are a few new story missions and bosses, including a cameo from the Dead or Alive series, but a lot of them feel pretty familiar. Even if they are in new locations, they don't add any real new tricks, so it ends up feeling the same after a short while. It's clear the intent is to encounter these stages on higher difficulty levels, where they can utilize all of their tricks, but like the rest of the DLC, that means casual Nioh players who haven't yet grinded up ultimate god-weapons and armor are going to be left in the cold.

That is about all there is to Nioh 2: The First Samurai: a few new missions, a few new skills, and endgame content geared almost exclusively for the top 1% of players. The Season Pass of the game is worth it for the first two DLCs, but the third DLC is so incredibly limited that you have to be a Nioh die-hard. If you are a Nioh die-hard, The First Samurai gives you more things to test your skills on and more ways to optimize your builds, and it's good at that. If you just want to put your Nioh 2 skills to the ultimate test, there is a lot here to potentially kill the heck out of you.

Score: 7.0/10

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