Nioh 2 teaser artSource: Team Ninja

Nioh 2's announcement couldn't have started out 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 have been released over the last year. Here's everything you need to know about Nioh 2.

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 an all-time classic known as Ninja Gaiden, hadn't reached that level of brilliance since.

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Nioh was the game they decided to make to shut all that noise up. It was an action RPG title that kind of 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.

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 the real legends of old. It also featured Queen Elizabeth I and her country's plight to control Spain.

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 eventually 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. It is suspected that we will pick up the story not too long after the first Nioh ended. What we do know is that it'll stay on the same narrative track, though William may no longer be the focal point of the story. If that's the case, we can assume that much of the game will still take place in Japan. The new player character is also part human, part Yokai. We can also gather from promotional material that we'll actually be travelling to the land of the Yokai this time around.

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 their attacks, because death comes about quickly and often at times. 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 over the course of the game to make your character stronger, though, 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 than it already was. In fact, they've professed that they were intentionally more reserved with the original game, but now that they've gotten a good foundation they'll be taking the gloves off and going all-in for the sequel. We're still not sure what that means, but it's safe to expect a better game, period.

One thing we do know is that you'll be able to customize your character this time around. You'll be able to choose both your gender and race, as well as other customization options that haven't yet been revealed. Team Ninja has shared different clips of gameplay through new trailers as well.

When is the release date for Nioh 2?

Nioh 2 underwent a closed Alpha test and a beta test earlier this year. 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. While this first test was for a very limited pool to keep the feedback clear and manageable, it's expected that the tests will only expand as the year progresses.

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

Despite the majority of us not being able to play just yet, Team Ninja has given a number of streamers permissions to share their alpha experience. Many videos are out there for us to drool over while we wait for our turns.

Where can I purchase Nioh 2?

Preorders are live right now and you can preorder on Amazon. Preorders through the PlayStation Store are not live at the moment.

Japan awaits

Nioh 2

Go beyond realms of mortals

Nioh 2 is the sequel 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.

Updated Nov. 7 2019: We'll continue keeping an eye on the progression of Nioh 2 and updating you as things unfold!

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