Nioh 2 teaser artSource: Team Ninja

Nioh 2's announcement couldn't have started any more epic, and it couldn't have ended any more disappointing. We didn't get much of a trailer or much in the way of info at its E3 2018 debut, but we can already begin to put the puzzle pieces together to learn what's in store, especially with the new trailers and gameplay footage that has been released over the last year. Here's everything you need to know about Nioh 2.

Japan awaits

Nioh 2

Go beyond realms of mortals

Nioh 2 is the sequel (but actually prequel) to Team Ninja's 2017 hit game. Featuring expanded, difficult combat, Nioh 2 also sees the addition of a character creator instead of a set protagonist, as well as the ability to transform into a Yokai.

What is Nioh 2?

Team Ninja had a bit of a chip on their shoulders preceding the launch of the original Nioh. The company that was responsible for all-time classic Ninja Gaiden hadn't reached that level of brilliance since.

Nioh was the game it decided to make to shut all that noise up. It was an action RPG title that married what they were known for in Ninja Gaiden with a more methodical fighting system akin to Dark Souls. Nioh 2, naturally, builds on that solid foundation.

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The story of Nioh so far

A samurai warrior in Nioh 2Source: Team Ninja (trailer screenshot)

The original game was set in Japan during the year 1600. It featured a fictitious story, though there were characters based on some real legends and historical figures, including Queen Elizabeth I.

The central plot device was Amrita, a mystical stone found in Japan. Anyone who can absorb the essence and harness the energy of the stone becomes powerful beyond measure. A pirate-turned-sailor-turned-explorer named William is tasked with finding it for people who mean to use it for nefarious purposes.

As for the new game, we're not sure where things will go from there. We've learned that Nioh 2 is actually a prequel to the first game, set in the year 1555 during the Warring States period of Japan. The new player character is a mercenary that is part human, part Yokai. We can also gather from promotional material and comments from the developers that we'll actually be traveling to the land of the Yokai this time around, the Dark Realm.

What is the gameplay in Nioh 2 like?

The original Nioh combined the tight combat of Ninja Gaiden with Dark Souls-like nuance — that is, you have a stamina bar that'll dictate how much punishment you can dish out on any given foe. You also don't want to get hit by attacks, because death comes about quickly and often. And yes, the game prides itself on unforgiving difficulty, and that won't be changing in the sequel.

You'll earn XP and new gear throughout the game to make your character stronger, and you'll be rewarded for your masochism with more rewarding death sequences.

Team Ninja says Nioh 2 will be a natural progression, meaning it'll build on the first game while adding new gameplay systems, mechanics, and features to make it even more fun. In fact, it's confessed that it was intentionally more reserved with the original game, Now that there's a good foundation, it'll be going all-in for the sequel. We're still not sure what that means, but it's safe to expect a better game all-around.

One thing we do know is that you'll be able to customize your character this time. You'll be able to choose both your gender and race, as well as other customization options that haven't yet been revealed. Being part human and part Yokai, your character can transform into a Yokai for a period of time, which can lend a savage edge in battle. Team Ninja has shared different clips of gameplay through new trailers.

Does Nioh 2 have co-op?

Yes. Nioh 2 takes the multiplayer system from the first game and expands it, allowing up to three players to play together. You can also seek out AI companions if you aren't playing online.

When is the release date for Nioh 2?

Nioh 2 underwent a closed Alpha test and a beta test in 2019. The first test ran from May 24 to June 2. Team Ninja said that this original alpha was designed "to help gather feedback for development." The beta test began on Nov. 1 and ran through Nov. 10. After that, there was a Last Chance trial that allowed players to build a character they could carry over into the full game.

Team Ninja has shared the release date for the game, which is currently set for March 13, 2020.

You can check out the Nioh 2 launch trailer below.

Is Nioh 2 coming to PC?

Nioh 2 is not coming to PC at launch. For the moment, the game is only a PlayStation 4 exclusive. The first game did not launch on PC at first either but instead released on the PC platform a few months after the initial PlayStation 4 launch. Nioh 2 may come to PC later in a similar fashion.

Where can I purchase Nioh 2?

Preorders are live right now and you can preorder the regular version or the Special Edition on Amazon. Preorders through the PlayStation Store are also live.

Japan awaits

Nioh 2

Go beyond realms of mortals

Nioh 2 is the sequel (but actually prequel) to Team Ninja's 2017 hit game. Featuring expanded, difficult combat, Nioh 2 also sees the addition of a character creator instead of a set protagonist, as well as the ability to transform into a Yokai.

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