Fextralife’s Most Wanted: Nioh

Nioh (pronounced knee-oh) is an upcoming action RPG being created by Team Ninja exclusively for PS4 and slated for release some time in 2016. Set in the Sengoku period of Japan, around 1600 AD, when there were many warring states, you play as a blonde-haired protagonist named William. He looks strikingly similar to Geralt of Rivia (The Witcher) decked out in some kick-ass Samurai armor, wielding a Katana and Bow (if only there was such armor in The Witcher 3).

Ni-Oh is set during the samurai era and we want you to feel what it’s like to be a samurai.
— Yosuke Hayashi

Some of the things you notice rather quickly are Health and Stamina bars stacked one on top of the other in the bottom left of the screen. The Health bar is surprisingly blue (when full), and the Stamina bar is the familiar green color that we’ve all come to know from the Souls series and dictates your attacking and blocking. Your equipped Weapon and items are shown in the bottom left (in nearly identical fashion to Dark Souls) and there are different stances for holding your weapon shown in the bottom right.

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Clearly Geralt of Rivia wasn’t an inspiration here…

You will do both your blocking and attacking with your weapon. There were different weapons shown and I was able to see different Spears and Swords, as well as Bows. The game has a loose lock-on system for targeting that is used when in melee and a first person view when using the bow. You can dodge in a fashion similar to Bloodborne, and there seem to be short combos the player can perform as well as finishing moves (the only concerning thing here is combat looked slightly button-mash friendly).

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You can see the 4 equipment slots in this screencap. Each armor piece has a level and weight.

An interesting thing to note, is that when you die there is a spirit wolf guarding your corpse (it was hard to tell exactly what you dropped when you die, but it was something), and you must return to it to reacquire whatever you dropped. The game will feature an Online element where the corpses of other players will appear in your world and you can challenge them (they become AI controlled specters of the players) for loot and experience.

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Corpses like these are regularly strewn across the landscape. You can see the gear, level and stats of the player you can choose to fight.

You collect experience from killing enemies, by absorbing a gold colored light that leaves them and flows into you, and enemies also drop loot, which appeared to be random. The Bosses looked large and intimidating, if not abnormally creepy. They varied from a large Oni wearing samurai armor to a large centipede-looking skeleton that was 30m high. I would expect some seriously epic Boss fights, as it was mentioned that the game will be extremely difficult, to give the players a sense of accomplishment when finally achieving victory.

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One of the many bosses in the game.

You can level up in the game at very traditional looking Shinto shrines and there appeared to be 8 Stats that you could allocated a point into when leveling up. There are 4 Armor slots and each piece of equipment has a level and weight assigned to it, implying there will be some sort of carrying capacity or equipment load. No word on whether you can upgrade or level up equipment yet, but there appears to be a variety of gear.

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The Stats screen at a shrine. You can see the cost to level up at the bottom left.

There was no hands-on demo, so I didn’t get to play, but from what we saw of the game it looks like it might be a must buy for Souls fans in Japan, and possibly the world. We have not heard yet if Nioh will have a western release, but we can all cross our fingers! I’ll keep you guys up-to-date with any more information I find out.

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Senior Editor at Fextralife. I enjoy gaming, playing and watching sports, cooking yummy food, watching a good movie and hanging out with Fex.Find more of my posts

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8 comments on “Fextralife’s Most Wanted: Nioh”

  1. Avatar Emergence says:

    I love the setting, looks like a lot of fun. We’re not often given a chance to jump into that ronin theme in games so I’m hoping this gets a Western release.

  2. Avatar NoctisAllight says:

    Looking at the game and see a samurai fighting other samurai pretty normal then some kind of demon thing appears and he summons something and his sword starts glowing…that escalated quickly. That said it looks interesting and I’m curious to see if they will try to connect it to Ninja Gaiden lore.

  3. Avatar Fexelea says:

    Watching the gameplay it felt very close to Ninja Gaiden, with some souls-like RPG elements added. I’m very intrigued :D

  4. Avatar Emergence says:

    Oh wait this is the Ninja Gaiden Souls game? Ok now I’m excited.

  5. Avatar Hereticool says:

    I really hope this game gets released outside of Japan. I may have to look into a way to contact the developers and write them a letter of encouragement. This game looks like it could be really cool.

  6. Avatar Alkaiser says:

    Looks awesome. If this gets a western release, it would be my second samurai game since Onimusha :twisted:

  7. Avatar theotherMittens says:

    It looks fun, but why is the PC a blond white guy?

  8. Avatar Hereticool says:

    The backstory is the protagonist is half Japanese. Not sure why they decided to go with blonde hair and blue eyes, considering those are recessive traits. All my friends and acquaintances with partial Japanese heritage have dark hair and eye color.

    Come to think of it… I wonder how many fair haired blue eyed sailors made to Nippon during the Sengoku Jidai?

    I’m willing to suspend my disbelief if the game mechanics make up for it.

    The mention of what sounds like bloodstain equivalents and at least some form of multi-player interaction really has me hoping this game resembles Dark Souls more than just cosmetically.

    Pvp Samurai duels would be awesome!


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