So, the title of this review says it all in what someone should expect when playing Nioh. Now before I get into the actual review I want to say that this is by no means a bad thing. Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and so forth are some of the best games of any generation because they are actually challenging. They are not games made for casual players because they require patience and dedication to get good enough to not only beat them but to even play them well.
One other thing I should clear up is that Nioh was not made by From Software (the creators of the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games), instead this game was created by Koei Tecmo of Ninja Gaiden fame. Because of that, anyone who is thinking of purchasing this game must understand that it is not an easy game. Alright, now for the actual review.
I will say that I never go too deeply into story details during my reviews. Nioh takes place during the 1600s and you follow an Englishman named William. The game starts out with conspiracy theories about supernatural things involving different real life countries and political figures, like Queen Elizabeth. So long story short you were hired to perform a task and once you completed your task you were to be disposed of in order to not share anything you may have discovered; then you pretty much just start. The rest of the game finds you traveling to different lands in order to help resolve a far reaching conflict. I will say that the story is much more fleshed out when compared to Dark Souls or Bloodborne; you don't just start and try to figure everything out for yourself.
The game itself is slow, methodical, and challenging. You start with the bare necessities only to unlock stronger weapons (axes, spears, swords, bows, and flintlocks), armor, and tools by defeating enemies, bosses, and remnants of other players. When I say remnants I mean AI versions of players who have died. When a player dies you will see a grave that states their name, rank, equipment level, how they died, and how much of a challenge they would be if you were to fight them. Fighting them and beating them unlocks very good gear as well as a much better chance of getting the item you need for coop play. One difference between Nioh and Dark Souls is, as of my personal experience, there are no invaders. This is something I am personally happy about because after awhile human invaders became more annoying than threatening. But that comes down to personal opinion. Also in a fashion similar to Dark Souls you will collect a kind of currency that can be spent at points along the way in order to upgrade yourself. Also in Dark Souls fashion, if you are to die, which you will, you must get back to that spot in order to retrieve your lost currency. If you die again, it's all gone. What follows is a wide assortment of enemies and a large number of bosses. I'm not joking about the boss number, there are a lot of them. Also in Dark Souls fashion, you can summon other players to help you by offering an item that is found in the world. The one thing that people should know however is that in order for you to summon someone they must have already beaten the area, boss and all. This is different from the beta where anyone can be summoned at anytime. This is also the only problem I have with the game because the beta was designed differently and the coop functionality was changed at literally the last minute. However, this is literally the only problem I have with the game.
Nioh is a challenging game with perfect controls, superb visuals, not too bad of a story for something like this, rewarding gameplay, and enough extras to keep people coming back for awhile. Now I compared this game to Dark Souls a lot because it really is like it so if anyone reading this does not like Dark Souls then I would look for another game to play. But if someone is looking for a challenging game that fills the genre void that Dark Souls 3 has left, then I would give this game a look.