Not starring Tom Cruise.
When it comes to the DLC for Nioh, both the first and second game, I’ve got a bit of a love-hate relationship with them. On the one hand, each DLC brings with it a new weapon type which means new build possibilities and a completely new way to approach combat. On the other hand, the levels usually aren’t anything special and the story is average at best. This time around there’s no new weapon type to carry the DLC and the story is, well, still kind of bad.
The opening cinematic of Nioh 2 tells the tale of a man with horns who, despite meaning no harm, was terrorized by local villagers. Filled with rage he lashed out and killed everyone, and he became known as a demon. Even though he seemed immortal he was felled by the blade, Sohayamaru, which became a big focal point of the main storyline. The final DLC, The First Samurai, goes back to this period and explores the origins of this demon and the blade.
On paper it’s an exciting place to end the tale of Nioh 2, but it just doesn’t come together in the end. It’s not that the revelations within the DLC are particularly bad, as seeing the birth of this blade and learning about this demon’s origins was really interesting, but like the other DLC before it the narrative moves at a breakneck speed and you’re unable to really appreciate the story as a whole.
There’s no time to connect with these new characters or really feel for this scorned man who turned into an instrument of war and in the end. I watched the final cutscene that attempted to be emotional and I just didn’t care.
Where this DLC shines however is actually in its levels and bosses. The island of Onigajo just gives off oppressive ‘final dungeon’ feels and is probably one of the more interesting areas in the entire game. This is without mentioning some of the best new enemy additions Nioh 2 has seen resulting in some of the toughest battles to date. There is also a new difficulty serving as New Game+4, as well as a new mode called Underworld, which is kind of similar to the first game’s Abyss and serves as the new, really hard endgame content.
The First Samurai, doesn’t manage to tell an interesting or an engaging story, and it being the final one makes it feel even more disappointing. Coupled with the lack of a new weapon type, this finale just kind of fizzles out. Yet I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it. The final area was pretty incredible and the new enemies and bosses were a joy to face off against.
If it’s one thing this DLC made me realize however, is that Nioh 2 as a complete package is one of the best loot focused games out there right now. Having played other games in the genre recently and not even achieving a fraction of what Nioh 2 gets right, makes me appreciate what a well thought out and brilliant game this is.
Last Updated: January 21, 2021