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Nioh New Demo Hands-On Preview – Brutality Turned Up to Eleven

nioh 06-14-16-(10)

During E3, we were treated very well by Koei Tecmo’s team in attendance. Not only did they let us have a shot at Attack on Titan (which was admittedly fun, even though I’m not at all a fan of the series), but we got to have a full 30 minute demo with Nioh.

Having played the original Alpha that was released as a public test, I went in skeptical. There are a lot of things that I really liked about the game – the combat, setting, atmosphere. A lot of the art direction and style is right up my alley.

But there were a number of things in the demo that left me with cold feet regarding the game; things like weapon durability and stamina management among others. The demo I played at E3 put some of those issues to rest while making others worse in the process.

There was more than one area available in the demo, though I bypassed the tutorial-like area and headed into one of the new areas to see what it was like. I was greeted with a beautiful landscape of swaying tall grains or grass, and the scenery was great.

The area was essentially a few open areas attached with corridors between them, and each open area had enemies spawn until you took them all down in a row.

nioh 06-14-16-(12)

This sort of set-up was my first issue. I liked the exploration of the alpha’s area, learning where enemies were, opening shortcuts and the like. However, this area removed all of that in favor of a wave mechanic that threw enemies at me one after another.

I wasn’t upset by it initially, but seeing the entire area just repeat this did eventually get on my nerves. However, I took it in stride and instead focused on the combat.

Combat was hit or miss for me. In it’s base form, the combat is absolutely excellent. All of the action is basically fluid, intense, and visceral. However, it really begins to fall apart as the game throws more enemies at once at you – and by the time you’re trying to take on 3 or 4 enemies at once, you just get overwhelmed too quickly.

One enemy is fun and engaging, two is dangerous, exciting, and one hell of a thrill. Three enemies or more, and you’ve got a hellish experience that is more punishing than your average player will be able to handle – and this is where things started going south for me.

nioh 06-14-16-(13)

I don’t want to say it was too hard, or give excuses like that. And I was able to pass the parts with lots of enemies, too. But when I did, I felt less like it was skill and morel like luck.

This sort of juggling of enemies was less an issue in the original alpha area where you could pull enemies with a ranged weapon, but here the enemies spawned in and aggro’ed to you immediately.

Nioh’s combat feels like it struggles to adapt to fighting multiple enemies, and the game isn’t made for it. That becomes immediately apparent, too, when a small group of enemies can stun lock you into oblivion if you miss your guard.

My only other complaint that remained is stamina management. Or less the management part, but rather the way that you are forced to hunch over to catch your breath if you run out.

Slow me down, make my guard drop, whatever – but making me sit there helpless for several seconds makes losing your stamina far more dangerous than any enemy in the game.

nioh 06-14-16-(3)

There were a lot of good things in the demo, too, though. The removal of weapon durability was a literal life saver, and the game certainly feels better off for it. Combat still remains the biggest draw despite my gripes with it, because the gameplay is really just fun.

Despite all of my bellyaching over the multiple enemy issue I have, I absolutely had a blast playing the vast majority of the demo. I do have faith in Nioh still – and if I’m honest, I’d still be happy to play the game right now and get my face beat into the dirt over and over again as it plays now.

Why? Because it’s just fun.

Nioh is still set for a release on PS4 this year, though there’s no announced date yet.

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46 comments
  1. Hawk Hopper
    Hawk Hopper
    June 28, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    That shark is very cool.

  2. Jack
    Jack
    June 28, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    It’s also one of the stronger summons

  3. ahhhaahhh
    ahhhaahhh
    June 28, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Hope this doesn’t get release on pc

  4. Mr0303
    Mr0303
    June 28, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Can’t you draw out enemies one at a time like in the Souls series or is it more like arena death traps when you encounter more than a couple?

  5. Master Bating
    Master Bating
    June 28, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    I give it 7 months or less

  6. Uncle Slick
    Uncle Slick
    June 28, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    One of the reasons I decided to get a PS4 this year. Plenty of actual games coming out now!

  7. EspomBarrack
    EspomBarrack
    June 28, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    “Slow me down, make my guard drop, whatever – but making me sit there helpless for several seconds makes losing your stamina far more dangerous than any enemy in the game.” I think that’s the point. I had a feeling they wouldn’t change that because it is so core to how they’ve designed the game. So many abilities and mechanics built around maintaining and keeping your stamina up. I actually like it because it keeps the “Swing weapon combo till down to 5% stamina remaining, roll away, rinse, and repeat” deal Dark Souls had going for it on most normal enemies. It’s also a large part of enemies too, THEY have stamina just like the player, and managing your own to outlast them is a big part of fights with the more elite humanoid enemies.

    After playing the Public Alpha/Demo pretty much every day it was available(I think I had 20 hours in it by the end there), I learned to time my Ki Charges and outlast many enemies. It’s the most rewarding ‘stamina management’ has even been in a game like this. I feel without it this game will lose another unique thing that keeps it from being a Dark Souls clone.

  8. Alex Drake
    Alex Drake
    June 28, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Die in a fire

  9. Minuteworld92
    Minuteworld92
    June 28, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Hope this gets released on pc.

  10. DrearierSpider
    DrearierSpider
    June 28, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    Spoken like a true corporate slave.

  11. DrearierSpider
    DrearierSpider
    June 28, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Fairly confident it will, just hope Koei doesn’t use it as toilet paper before plopping it onto Steam like they’ve done with all their other PC releases.

  12. DrearierSpider
    DrearierSpider
    June 28, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    Thought the alpha was a tedious, frustrating mess but still holding out hope for this.

  13. BattlerArisato
    BattlerArisato
    June 28, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    This guy says, like, the same thing over and over, don’t reply to the obvious bait.

  14. Madbrainbox
    Madbrainbox
    June 28, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Have a solid Berserk release and also treat this with care.That’s my wish.Hopefully they will be at least half decent.

  15. RPG
    RPG
    June 28, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    I fully agree with what you said. The stamina management is very tough and punishing, but when you get the hang of it, and utilize Ki charging, it becomes quite rewarding, and adds a great layer of depth and tension to combat. I like how it has given the combat an extra layer of complexity over the what has been seen in the souls series.

  16. RPG
    RPG
    June 28, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    I can remember in the Alpha that there were several instances where you could draw out individual enemies through either specific actions, or attacking with a ranged weapon. In particular parts it was extremely useful, as in it avoided you from being taking to a one way ticket to a an agonizing beat down by multiple foes at once.

  17. RPG
    RPG
    June 28, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    I am highly anticipating this game after playing the Alpha. The comment about the difficulty with multiple enemies does have me a bit worried though. I hope the game does not suffer from the “multiple enemies equals difficulty” crutch that Dark Souls 2 had; which is what a lot of people complained about in that game.
    Looking forward to Nioh’s eventual release.

  18. Master Bating
    Master Bating
    June 28, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    I know that, Im just stating my belief based on empirical evidence as a result of his regular reply.

  19. Chris Mendivil
    Chris Mendivil
    June 28, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    If they are going to make it a habit to throw multiple enemies at us while we can’t do anything about that, then the stamina management neets to go. Ninja Gaiden is more fun anyway.

  20. Master Bating
    Master Bating
    June 28, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    Neo is coming out next year

  21. GameZard
    GameZard
    June 28, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    The sad thing is that three people agree with him.

  22. Guin
    Guin
    June 28, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Hope it has more playable characters than Weeb Geralt.

  23. lalorobot
    lalorobot
    June 28, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    *Like a true troll

  24. BattlerArisato
    BattlerArisato
    June 28, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    You’re just giving him more replies just as he probably wants, downvote or even better, just don’t give a fuck.

  25. Joe
    Joe
    June 28, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    Shame about the durability being removed. They only needed to tone it down, not remove it entirely. Heck, Zelda breath of the wild has weapon durability and they apparently break faster than they did even in the first Nioh alpha.

  26. dsadsada
    dsadsada
    June 28, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    I found that the way to deal with multiple enemies and NOT die from falling out of breath is to use the low stance. Evading with the low stance is already a ki pulse so just throw a few hits, evade, hit a different enemy, evade, repeat.

  27. EroBotan
    EroBotan
    June 28, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    can’t nichegamer ban him? he’s an obvious troll

  28. Minuteworld92
    Minuteworld92
    June 28, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    this isn’t gematsu

  29. doog
    doog
    June 28, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    Looking forward to this game more than anything else that was announced at e3.

  30. Shiggy Diggy Doo
    Shiggy Diggy Doo
    June 28, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    Enemies also don’t rape you in 2 hits

  31. Shiggy Diggy Doo
    Shiggy Diggy Doo
    June 28, 2016 at 9:33 pm

    So Weeb Geralt

  32. Hayate D. Nimbus
    Hayate D. Nimbus
    June 28, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    Hoping the game doesn’t just get steady nerfed with the alpha and beta demo’s feedback. So tired of games taking it easy on people after a few kids go online and piss and moan about difficulty.

  33. EroBotan
    EroBotan
    June 29, 2016 at 12:45 am

    every forum should have a rules lol.

    Being a troll, acute repeat offender, and his post never contribute anything worth to the discussion.

    It’s also tiresome for us to remind newbies that he’s a troll.

  34. Minuteworld92
    Minuteworld92
    June 29, 2016 at 1:36 am

    get thicker skin, it’s not my fault you’re a pussy. you can flag and block repeat offenders.

  35. Master Bating
    Master Bating
    June 29, 2016 at 3:36 am

    He wont stop posting regardless.

  36. (Ω)
    (Ω)
    June 29, 2016 at 7:08 am

    And why not?

  37. Sylveria Shini
    Sylveria Shini
    June 29, 2016 at 8:07 am

    It’s KT though. They love selling DLC characters and costumes.

  38. Chocolate ISISCream
    Chocolate ISISCream
    June 29, 2016 at 9:59 am

    release*

  39. how ya doin?
    how ya doin?
    June 29, 2016 at 11:07 am

    What are you talking about? Koei has no control over the exclusivity, You want to complain go to talk to Sony about it, and as they said it’s exclusive

  40. how ya doin?
    how ya doin?
    June 29, 2016 at 11:09 am

    They said that the difficulty is still there so no worries

  41. EroBotan
    EroBotan
    June 29, 2016 at 11:21 am

    lol, i get into a real physical fight in real life a lot. And most of the time it’s me alone vs a bunch of thugs.

    No one is offended here, just annoyed for reading the same troll over & over again.

  42. Shiggy Diggy Doo
    Shiggy Diggy Doo
    June 30, 2016 at 8:16 am

    YEAH BRO I GET INTO FIGHTS A LOT I”MA REAL BIG GUY, MY NAME IS CHAD THUNDERCOCK AND I BEAT UP PEOPLE A LOT, YEAH

    BUT BRO THIS COMMENT, IT’S OFFENDING MY DELICATE SENSIBILITIES

  43. Smug
    Smug
    June 30, 2016 at 9:09 am

    >this comment

  44. Jack
    Jack
    June 30, 2016 at 10:07 am

    UUUU

  45. EroBotan
    EroBotan
    June 30, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    not my problem if it’s bothers you lol