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Ni-oh Preview

Scheduled release date:
TBA 2016
Koei Tecmo
Team Ninja
Number Of Players:
Release Date:
TBA 2016

When a game fades away one generation and suddenly reappears the next, it’s worthy of attention. This is doubly true when it’s such a hugely promising game like Ni-oh , now in development for PlayStation 4 at Team Ninja. The title was originally a PS3 exclusive announced way back in 2004, and it was unfortunately shelved for a variety of reasons. It’s back now, though, and it has returned with a glossy new coat of visuals and far more depth and variety, which is probably essential given the rate of video game progression and advancement in the past decade. After resurfacing at last year’s Tokyo Game Show, the team is ready to give us a peek at the gameplay; be sure to download the demo later this month because it’ll only be playable for a limited time!

As you can see, Ni-oh definitely reminds us of several existing IPs; namely, Dark Souls and Onimusha . After the debut trailer arrived at TGS 2015, the comparisons were immediate and obvious, though it’s important to note that Team Ninja is working on an in-between adventure, as it were. In other words, it appears to be less hardcore and less in-depth than a Dark Souls but perhaps more intricate and with a few more RPG elements than Onimusha . It’s no surprise that when the game was initially unveiled, it was simply called “Oni” (and no, there isn’t a mysterious connection to the classic PS2 game of the same name, as far as I know). But we never had this much blood in Onimusha , nor was the atmosphere quite this dark and forbidding.

That’s where the From Software influence comes in, as the environment is destined to be both intimidating and fascinating. That really is a prime allure of the Dark Souls games, is it not? Here, with the infusion of the supernatural and the fantastical, Ni-oh presents the player with a gripping and challenging landscape, and make no mistake: Combat will not rely on your overwhelming offensive capability. In fact, Team Ninja says success will be reliant upon your defensive skills, as blocking, dodging and countering will be absolutely vital. Interestingly, this is almost the precise opposite of the Dynasty Warriors franchise, Koei’s other noted IP that features a similar Japanese flair and style. It may also remind some gamers of Assassin’s Creed , where countering has always been more effective than straightforward brute attacks.