E3: Hands-on Nioh

NiOhDemo-1I got a chance to take a close look at Koei Tecmo’s upcoming game Nioh, which has you take on the role of a blonde hair samurai in the Warring States Period of Japan.

The game looks graphically pleasing. From what I played, the world has a dark look to it, with your armor and weapons shining through. The flashes and sparks during combat added color to the scene, giving the game a unique look at times. Some of the enemies you face get stained with blood as you do more damage to them, which can give you a real sense that you are doing damage. Nothing really detailed to the damage, but it was a nice touch.

A lot of the people on the web have compared Nioh to the Dark Souls series, and for good reasons; the game can be difficult. I started my hands-on with a tutorial mission, and, like most games, got familiar with the controls and fighting system. With the high, mid, and low stances that you can take, the fighting system can get a bit challenging, but Soon enough I felt comfortable with the the controls and left the tutorial feeling like I could take on the world. I found out, very quickly, that I was wrong.

My first taste of punishment was with the monsters, known as Yokai. These creatures just appear out of no where, and are relentless in their pursuit of you. I went in a bit overconfident and was quickly handed a fatal blow. It seemed like just a few swipes and the the Yokai had me down. After a while, though, I finally got the best of one, only to have another appear right behind me and kill me. By then, I could see what I had gotten myself into, and tried to play it a little smarter. I tried different stances, and even different weapons, but to no avail. The Yokai always got the best of me.

By the end of my time with the game, I could tell Koei Tecmo was shooting for that difficult, punishing gameplay that so many love in the Dark Souls series, and they seem to hit the nail on the head. Hard. I know I only got to scratch the surface of Nioh, but I felt like it’s one of those games that you really have to sit down with to master, and in the end, the reward will be well worth it. Nioh has no solid release date as of yet, but should be expected out sometime this year.

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