I posted this on r/gaming as well, in hopes that sharing my feelings about this game might lead to others enjoying it as well.
I decided to post it here too show love to the devs, community and in case people curious about playing might read it
I'd like to preface this by stating: 1) I don't typically write reviews, I'm going to try my best
2) I am new-ish to reddit
3) I'm aware I am a bad writer. I'd like not to be, any advice is welcome.
4) I am going to compare it to Dark Souls.
Alot of Nioh fans seem to get their jimmies rustled at the comparison to Dark Souls, but the game is obviously heavily influenced and similar to Dark Souls in many ways. The soul type currency. The fact you only get one chance of returning to where you died or lose all your "souls". The stamina system. You have to learn enemy movesets because the game is extremly punishing and difficult, etc. So I will compare the two.
This game took me by suprise. What I expected was a Dark Souls knock off, cash grab, set in Japan. Which, honestly I still would have still enjoyed because.. Well, the Souls series is/was my favorite game series of all time. That is, until I played Nioh.
In my first few hours of Nioh (During one of the Demo weekends) I noticed right away there was an overwhelming amount of options and features in the game. I assumed these were tacked on so this game could separate itself from Souls as much as possible and would only get in the way of enjoying the game. I ignored many of these features as I trudged through the game, playing it like a Souls game, letting the enemy do its thing popping in and poking, and it was okay. But then I saw a video… A player utilizing the skills and combos in the game, applying multiple elements to bosses and showcasing how fast paced and action packed the game was.
There are so many things about this game that improved on what Dark Souls offered to make it the best game I personally have ever played. There are so many rewarding learning curves added to this game. I'd like to share some of those with you.
Ki Pulse system. Get back some of that stamina you burned by pressing r1 at the right time after attacking. Spend some skill points to get rewarded for doing this at the proper time (such as attack power, extra attacks, etc). I ignored Ki pulsing for too long it is an entitely different ball game when used properly.
The weapon system. This is honestly my favorite part of this game. Everything about it is perfect imo. So much in fact that if everything else about this game sucked I'd still play it. I spent HOURS, learning, practicing, and attempting to perfect the skills I unlocked on my katana. Dodging behind my enemies after a combo and laying into them with well executed charge attacks, parrying into combos and oh so much more. I began to feel like I had truly become a katana master. Something I never experienced in the Souls series. And a system that I found to be even deeper after I switched to spear and discovered these skills weren't just copied and pasted tree to tree but indeed different, diverse, and deep playstyles. My personal goal in this game at this point is to try and master every weapon so I can find my favorite and build the perfect set for it in time for pvp. Which brings me to my next system..
Gear sets. In Dark Souls gear was static, meaning X armor had the same stats for everyone. In Nioh alot of the stats on gear are random, and you can pay to change certain ones, max familiarity and transfer certain stats to a different peice of gear and more. There are a large number of gear sets with bonuses for wearing a certain number of pieces. You can get the recipes for gear and forge them yourself, you can kill players ghost and get theirs, farm them from bosses and levels, hope for them from the tea house. The point is the gear system in this game while overwhelming to figure out at first is very deep and adds so much more customization to your build and playstyle, you can spend countless hours after you've beaten the game trying to find that perfect item, get the perfect stats on your favorite gear or trying the countless number of combos and playstyle.
Enemies. I found the bosses and their patterns to be interesting, well designed and the perfect amount of difficulty. Truly enjoyable. I felt the exact same way about the other enemies in the game. While the variety of them is small at only handful, this never really bothered me, in fact I barely noticed how few enemy types there were, until late game, and even then I didn't really care because I was focused on mastering my skills! It's something I'd like to see though in the next Nioh or in the form of dlc.
Levels. Some of the levels were straight up perfect. And I prefer the level system to the open world in a game like this The open world in Dark Souls always felt a little forced and faux to me and I'm glad Nioh skipped it. However a lot of the levels were very bland and most of the "mazes" and "puzzles" did feel tacked on, uninspired, and I just plain didn't like them. I would like to see more complex or inspired levels and puzzles in the future.
Story: This games story was actually quite nice.The Dark Souls story was too subtle for me,. I'm not a huge story guy, but having some direction is nice.. Nioh is a mix of Japanese history, myth and culture wrapped up in a nice little package that actually intrigued me. I won't say much else about it but if you are a weeb or just love Japan you will probably find some enjoyment in it.
Ninja Skills and Magic. I honestly haven't really delved into these systems enough to tell you anything about them… Sorry.
Sprit Guardians. So you unlock these spirits which possess you and give you bonuses. Stay alive long enough and they will consume your weapon making you an unstoppable killing machine. This is incredibly fun and rewarding. I have a favorite spirit I feel some sort of connection with, and Ive began leveling him up and trying to keep living weapon active as much as possible, with my spirit build. Which is just another learning curve I need to tackle using skills, magic, gear, etc as mentioned previously.
Coop. Easy to do, incredibly fun.
Imo games recently have been too short and offered no enjoyment after the story for me. Maybe this game just happened to be what I always wanted and I am wrong but. I have spent so many hours on this game and enjoy it more now than ever. I encourage anyone on the fence about this game, or anyone looking to sink mad hours into something, to get this. It's a solid 10/10 for me. People currently playing this should join the Nioh discord. It's been a very great community, or message me, and we can play together.
Sorry again for my poor writing skills.