Let me just get straight to the point and tell you that this final piece of DLC is incredible. It’s everything I wanted out of the Nioh content expansions, but it managed to exceed even those expectations. This is truly one hell of a way to end what is probably one of the best new IPs this generation.
Bloodshed’s End takes place about half a year after the previous DLC and sees William closing in on Maria and coming face to face with the mastermind pulling the strings from the shadows. It’s not as gripping as I’d hoped it would be, especially with it being the last piece of DLC, but it does have quite a few awesome cinematic and emotional moments that I wasn’t really expecting, which was a pleasant surprise I must admit. Even though I had lukewarm feelings towards this series of additional content, I still felt a bit sad seeing it all end.
While I enjoyed the story overall, it’s the gameplay this time around that really put the icing on the cake. Firstly, the game introduces a new mode called The Abyss and any fan of Devil May Cry’s Bloody Palace will surely find some joy here. Much like DMC, The Abyss throws you into a gauntlet of increasingly difficult fights as you make your way to the bottom. As you clear floors, you not only encounter vicious foes, but you also have the chance to get some good gear. It’s a fantastic mode for those looking to experiment with their character builds and it easily opens the floodgates to some interesting speed runs. Unfortunately, there’s nothing special awaiting you at the end, but the mode is still a welcomed addition, and should there be a sequel, I would like to see it make a return, but with more lucrative and special rewards aside from loot drops.
One of my major problems with the previous DLC offerings were the uninspired and average boss battles, but thankfully, Bloodshed’s End offers two fights that are not only some of my favourite boss encounters this year, but also make this DLC worth the price of admission alone. The first is actually the final boss, which pits you against a fantastical and very well-known figure straight out of Chinese mythology. Everything about this fight was spot on. The enemy’s movements and animations complimented the stage and music perfectly, resulting in nothing but pure exhilaration. If that singular boss was all there is on offer, I would’ve been satisfied, but there was one more surprise left that quite honestly brought a tear to my eye, and that was a 1-on-1 duel with a member of the Hayabusa bloodline. Fighting Jin Hayabusa made me so unbelievably happy, especially seeing him don the classic blue Ninja Gaiden shōzoku. This was such a treat for me as Ninja Gaiden is one of my all-time favourite franchises and the fact that they included music from Ninja Gaiden 2 just put the cherry on top. Oh, did I mention you can learn the Izuna Drop skill? Yeah, you can learn the freaking Izuna drop.
For all that this DLC does right; there are still a few downsides to the experience which I unfortunately can’t ignore. Some of my complaints from the previous two DLCs carry over here. Where Defiant Honor gave us memorable levels during the siege of Osaka, here, they go back to the same old designs we’ve seen far too many times before. I had hoped that there would’ve been some effort put into an interesting stage for the finale but I felt like I was mostly re-treading old ground here. There are also some repeat boss fights from the main game and DLC, which was a bit disappointing, especially as these humanoid battles have failed to really provide any sort of new experience. Where these issues were enough to almost completely sully the experience before, are thankfully nothing more than minor annoyances now.
Bloodshed’s End provides an incredible closing to Nioh. While it still falters in its level design and some of the boss battles, this final batch of content does enough to remove the stain of mediocrity that was caused by the two DLCs preceding it and I’m elated that it could conclude on such a high note.
Last Updated: October 11, 2017