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Nioh 2: everything we know about Team Ninja's newest samurai game on PC

Nioh 2 the complete edition
(Image credit: Team Ninja)

If you like trashing demons with katanas, we have some good news: Nioh 2 is definitely coming to PC. Despite a slightly wonky PC port, I found Nioh to be a fun and fast-paced innovation on whatever it is we're calling the "souls-like" genre these days. Nioh 2 diverges further from that inspiration, with Team Ninja referring to the prequel as an "evolution" of Nioh. There are more weapons, more skills, and lots more yokai. You won't be playing as the blue-eyed Irish samurai William this time around, as the prequel takes place long before his birth. Instead you'll create your own character: a yokai spirit. Here's everything else we know about Nioh 2 and its PC port.

When is Nioh 2's release date on PC? 

Nioh 2—The Complete Edition will release on Steam February 5, 2021 with all three of the game's DLCs and a very, very colorful PC-exclusive Valve Helmet

Nioh 2 originally released on PS4 on March 12, 2020.

What is Nioh 2's story? 

Nioh 2 is a prequel to Nioh. Like the original, Nioh 2 is a historical fiction (heavy emphasis on the fiction, of course) set in the 1500s in Japan. Nioh 2's story is about the historical warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who Nioh 2 fictionalizes as two separate people. You play as a yokai character, and together with another main character Toukichiro, become known as Japan’s “second great unifier.”

We've tried Nioh 2's PC port

We had high hopes for Nioh 2's PC port after all of Koei Tecmo's talk about input customization and special PC features, but after Wes got a Nioh 2 preview it sounds like the sequel swings and misses at some of the same issues as the original Nioh did when it arrived on PC. 

It's a beautiful looking game and seems to be bursting with neat settings to customize loot tier colors and other minutia. Unfortunately the PC build we played didn't allow you to uncap your framerate, including cutscenes, which were locked to 30fps. 

Equally disappointing is that changing key bindings only displayed the PS4 button prompts and the game never hides your mouse cursor even when playing with a gamepad. Koei Tecmo's PR has said that these issues we experienced should be fixed before release. 

Fingers crossed, since they went to all the trouble of adding the ridiculous Valve helmet and everything.

Seriously, look at the helmet

The Valve hat from Nioh 2.

(Image credit: Team Ninja)

That's some serious commitment to PC peripherals.

What is combat like in Nioh 2? 

Nioh 2's combat will be similar to Nioh's, but with some key new features. The most obvious changes come from playing as a yokai character. You'll be able to transform into your yoki form and use special skills not available in your human form. You'll also be able to obtain Soul Cores from killed yokai that give you access to their powers if you manage to bring the Core back to a shrine with you before dying. Like Nioh, the prequel will also have high, medium, and low stances for each weapon which slightly change your attacks. The skill tree is also significantly expanded; more on that below.

As with the original, there's quite an arsenal of different weapons to tackle as well. You can equip swords, dual swords, spears, splitstaff, axes, hammers, kusarigamas, odachis, tonfas, hatchets, switchglaives, bows, hand cannons, and rifles. There are also Yokai Weapons and Blessed Weapons with their own properties that fall into one of the above types.

Look at Nioh 2's enormous skill tree 

(Image credit: Koei Tecmo, Team Ninja)

Nioh 2 has a much bigger skill array than Nioh. The picture above is just the skills for one weapon: the Kusarigama. Nioh 2 has skill trees for each of its weapons along with skills to unlock for Ninja, Shiftling, Samurai, and Onmyo Magic. 

The weapon skill trees of course focus on unlocking new active and passive skills for that particular weapon. The Ninja skill tree is all about stealth, throwable bombs, and poisons applied to weapons. The Samurai tree gives bonuses to Fortitude and unlocks various Ki pulses. The Shiftling tree is for increasing your yokai form powers. Lastly, the Onmyo Magic tree unlocks the ability to use casting magic through Talismans. 

Nioh 2 has co-op for up to three players

Like Nioh, the prequel will have co-op for players to join one another for an area of the game. This time around, you'll be able to invite two friends to help you along instead of just one. 

You can also get help from AI versions of other players 

Nioh 2 is introducing a "Benevolent Grave" as the alternative to the Bloody Graves from Nioh. Where Bloody Graves in Nioh let you summon the AI version of other players to fight in your world, the Benevolent Grave will summon an AI version of another player with all of their gear and skills to assist you as a companion. It sounds like a great way to get assistance for those of us who can't convince our actual friends to play all the usual death treadmill games. 

Nioh 2's character creator looks pretty detailed

(Image credit: Koei Tecmo, Team Ninja)

Unlike the original, Nioh 2 will let you make your own character. During an E3 interview from 2018, Nioh 2 director Fumihiko Yasuda said "after the game launched, one of the biggest requests that we had was character creation." For Nioh 2 you'll design your own character and the creator looks to be up there with games like Code Vein and Black Desert Online in the level of detail it can achieve. 

You can immediately return to character creation if you step into the tutorial area and don't like how your yokai's face looks. Everyone's been burned before by a face that looks great in muted character creation light and horrific under the in-game sunlight. You'll also be able to share a code for your creation so that others can use the same character if they like. Folks shared quite a lot of creations during the game's original launch, which you can find on Reddit and Fextralife.

But you can still play as William anyway 


(Image credit: Koei Tecmo, Team Ninja)

During Nioh 2's open beta on PS4, players who had a save game for Nioh 1 installed were able to wear a disguise that looks like the original game's protagonist. It's just cosmetic, as Nioh 2 takes place well before William is born, but if you miss your blue-eyed boy you can take him on this adventure too. 

Lauren loves long books and even longer RPGs. She got a game design degree and then, stupidly, refused to leave the midwest. She plays indie games you haven't heard of and will never pass on a story about players breaking games or playing them wrong.