If you’ve never played Nioh before, welcome! Our Nioh support crew* will be on call day and night to help you through the trickiest of levels. If you’re experiencing a feeling of being run through a digital meat grinder, don’t panic. Everything is working as designed.
Nioh is, was and will always be a punishing experience, but it’s one that’s exceptionally rewarding once you put in the time and effort. You’ll feel each and every failure and the immediate pressure to ensure that you don’t completely lose your progress. Pushing through this incredibly challenging game results in a rewarding experience like few others deliver. Plus, the bonus of playing through the excellent DLC chapters for each game adds a number of new challenges for anyone who only experienced the base games.
The Nioh Collection is like getting a brand-new supercar to replace your already awesome stable of (only) slightly aged supercars. It has all of the bells, whistles and pizzaz that you would expect from your brand new finely-tuned machine, and it delivers all the familiar thrills and spills that got you excited the first time. There’s a very good reason why you’re getting The Nioh Collection – it’s the best possible version of these games available, and it goes very fast!
“The Nioh Collection is like getting a brand-new supercar to replace your already awesome stable of (only) slightly aged supercars”
The recent remastering of Demon’s Souls (the grandpappy of the torturously good action RPGs) set the scene for what’s possible in the new-gen. Now Ninja Theory have arrived at the party with all their toys, making good use of the PS5’s DualSense controllers and giving a significant boost to the visual experience. Everything just hums along nicely in performance mode (with 4K resolution at 60 FPS) and both games really do look lovely. These remastered editions even boast a potential for up to 120FPS, if you can actually find a TV that handles that kind of juice (or check out your local JB…)
Perhaps the best part about The Nioh Collection is that absolutely nothing has been done to the combat system here. Then again, why would you want to change something that’s quite simply one of the most challenging and complete action RPG systems?
The sheer number of weapons and armour available can be overwhelming at first. Some initial trial and error with different items will allow you to find the combination that works for you. It’s a loot hoarder’s dream – and once you do find the setup you like, things become the slightest bit easier.
All of that comes before you consider the constantly shifting enemy types, including the excellently designed mid- and end level bosses. Nioh grabs you, thrusts you into the action instantly, and won’t let up for a second throughout the epically gratifying game time.
Going back and enjoying the original Nioh is a blast, especially with the significant graphics uplift. And rather than beginning again PS4 save files transfer across so that you can pick up the torture from exactly where you left off – although maybe try not to jump straight into the hard stuff straight away. Nioh will be having no part of it – it’s as unforgiving as your high school bully, and twice as gnarly!
When you find yourself finally breathing again after finishing a level boss, you’ll be treated to some exceptionally good-looking cutscenes. It can be more than a little difficult to engage in the ongoing story, simply because a laser precision focus is required between the considerably lengthy levels. It is definitely worth your time to go back and enjoy the collection of cutscenes in sequence once you’ve finished the story.
All of the fun toys are back in play again, including the exceptional character customisation options and weapon kit builds if you feel so inclined to customise your armament to the individual levels. The Nioh Collection has even eased up slightly on the (lack of) lighting so you won’t feel the need to crank up the brightness to “High Noon on Mercury” just to see your character.
Overall, the step up for Nioh 2 (read our original review here) is marginal from what was already a fabulous looking on the PS4. The pleasure now is that the PS5 runs fast, smooth and WHISPER QUIET. But the absolute jewel in the crown of this collection is the original Nioh remaster. It really is something special, giving a strong coat of polish and streamlining to an already considerably good game. Including the complete DLC collections for both games makes this the ultimate pickup for anyone who hasn’t already played through the entire story.
In a game that’s all about exceptionally fine margins between success and failure, The Nioh Collection makes substantially satisfying steps forward in delivering a complete experience.
*not a real crew
The Nioh Collection is available now on PS5.