With the dawn of a new generation, developers and publishers have been forced into making a choice: do you release a free update, or charge for an expanded or remastered version of a game? For Team Ninja’s stab at the tough as nails action role-playing game – a Soulslike, if you will – The Nioh Collection is seeing them do both.
For the original Nioh, PS5 owners can pay for Nioh Remastered – The Complete Edition, either on its own or in the collection, and get an improved version of the 2017 original. Meanwhile, anyone that bought Nioh 2 on PS4 in the last year, or grabs the new The Complete Edition can get a free upgrade to the game on PS5. Conveniently Tecmo Koei have also taken the opportunity to release the sequel on PC for the first time.
I had the absolute pleasure of reviewing the original release of Nioh 2 last year when it launched on PS4, and I think it’s fair to say that my opinions on the base game haven’t really changed. Thankfully, the Complete Edition adds in a whole heap of stuff that players who’ve not kept up with the DLC would have missed.
You know, players like me.
Is this too much game?
I like gaming a lot, and I like Nioh 2 a lot, but even the base game took me some 70 hours to get through thanks to the time I spent messing around with side missions and, let’s be honest here, a copious dose of dying.
I’m not going to dive into the story too much, but there are a trio of DLC expansions, each of which adds a few new stages and around ten new missions into the mix. Each DLC is likely to take you around ten hours to beat a piece, which means that getting through everything is around 100 hours of gameplay.
When you then add on the potential for New Game Plus, and all of the additions that this mode makes to how the game plays, the enemies you’ll face, and even the kind of loot that can drop, you suddenly have what might just be the largest Soulslike in existence.
The co-op is still inspired too, and I’m really hoping other Soulslikes learn from this particular aspect, because not having to use White Soapstones would make my life far easier.
One of the main things that the first two DLCs, The Tengu’s Disciple and Darkness in the Capital, added was two new weapons.
The first of these is the Splitstaff, which is another magical weapon that is basically a big stick with a morning star on either end. I don’t think I have to explain why that’s cool.
The second one is the one that got me though, as it finally adds a Fist weapon to Nioh 2, which turns you into a martial artist. There’s just something wondrous about punching a supernatural being into a pulp, and to say that I was giddy upon managing it for the first time would be a gross understatement of how easily pleased I am (sometimes).
Sure, the yokai are still terrifying, but it’s hard to feel too cowardly when you can take them down by kicking them straight in the chin. Well, I think that’s a chin anyway.
Moving to new platforms, it all comes together in a version of the game that runs incredibly well on PC. I only had a couple of stutters in my time with it, and I’m assuming that’s more my PCs fault than anything to do with the game at this point (it’s getting on a bit).
The only other issues I have with it is that my mouse cursor randomly makes an appearance while playing, and all of the button icons are still listed for a PlayStation controller, even if you’re using an Xbox controller (you know, the superior controller from the last-gen). These are fairly small issues, thankfully, but they’re noticeable.
On PlayStation 5, it’s an already familiar story, but builds off the excellent foundations of the original release. On base PS4 you had a choice between 720p60 and 1080p30, while on PS4 Pro it was 1080p60 and 1800p30. The PS5 upgrade has no need for a 30fps option. Instead, it’s 4K at 60fps as standard, with a 120fps performance option for those with TVs or screens that can handle it. From our spot testing using a 1080p 120Hz screen, it looks to be a flawless 120fps, which is no surprise given how well optimised the original release was.
With super-speedy loading times that make your deaths feel like less of a punishment, the only blemish for the PS5 upgrade is the slight awkwardness of bringing forward any progress you’ve made on PS4. You’ll have to load into the older version of the game, upload your save file to a server and then download it again. PlayStation is still silly for these save file shenanigans, but at least you do have transfers, which isn’t always guaranteed.