Did you know Nioh 2 came out this very year? I nearly forgot, even though I like its “Dark Souls with Japanese folklore flavor” quite a bit. Any game that came out before or around the beginning of The Before Times (i.e. pre-quarantine) seems just a little bit doomed to get lost in the shuffle. But end-of-year add-on content, like the Darkness in the Capital DLC, might be just what the doctor ordered to remind people how fun Nioh 2 is. And it’s available now!
According to the PlayStation Blog, this expansion “features new storylines, overwhelmingly powerful new bosses, tricky new Yokai, new Guardian Spirits, skills, Ninjutsu, Onmyo Magic and Soul Cores.” That’s quite a lot to chew on, and fits perfectly with the game’s more loot-driven nature. Nioh 2 is technically a game you can play over and over again in pursuit of the perfect weapon and armor drops. Though it may not look it. And one of the things that keeps replay fresh is mastering the (genuinely very distinct) weapon types. An entirely new sort of weapon alone is a pretty good draw to give the old girl a spin.
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I was already looking for an excuse to check out Nioh 2 again to begin with. We’re coming up on Game of the Year deliberations, if you can believe it, and every year I need to slap myself to keep from forgetting anything that came out before July. That’s easy with more overtly live games, like my 2018 GOTY, Monster Hunter World. But even a loot game like Nioh 2 feels a bit more like a self-contained experience. Not to mention it’s now directly competing for my attention with Ghost of Tsushima (also published by Sony). That game, while normally more realistic, is getting its own fantastical live game update in the form of Ghost of Tsushima Legends… literally just a day after Darkness in the Capital.
As a result, the timing is a little tricky for more reasons than one. Still, both games provide very different combat experiences, with Nioh 2 being developed by Ninja Gaiden studio Team Ninja. We did a review podcast about it way back in March — and were really enamored with how fast and fun each individual weapon type felt.
Besides just this one new DLC drop, I’ll also have an equal amount of stuff I already missed to chew on, as this is actually the second expansion to Nioh 2 this year. The Tengu’s Disciple released back in July, also including new bosses, locales, and one of those aforementioned weapon types.
In a way, it’s actually exciting that I dipped out of the game for so long. Exploring the glut of new content all at once, plus the endgame stuff I never played at the time, almost makes this feel like a fun, late surprise. I’ve been jonesing for another Dark Souls-like game (even restarting the also Japanese mythology inspired Sekiro a couple weeks back to get my fix). We’re also just about to hit a dry period before new consoles release. 2020 time dilation or no, now’s as good a time as any to hop back into the game.
Nioh 2: Darkness in the Capital is out now on PlayStation 4 for $9.99 USD.