Nioh
Nioh-mainvisual.jpg
Developer(s): Koei, Team NINJA
Publisher(s): Koei-Tecmo
Release Date: PlayStation 4

Japan: February 9, 2017
Europe: February 8, 2017
United States: February 7, 2017
Microsoft Windows
INT: November 7, 2017

Genre: Action RPG
Game Modes: Single player, multiplayer
Ratings: CERO: D
ESRB: Mature
PEGI: 18
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows

Nioh (仁王) –stylized in Japanese as NIOH, originally titled Oni (鬼) and formerly spelled Ni-Oh– is an action game that was first announced in 2004 as a PlayStation 3 exclusive. It was stuck in development limbo for twelve years; its finalized form was first presented to the public at the SCEJA Press Conference 2015. The main goal of the project is to present an original "difficult and dark samurai action game" from Koei.

Kou Shibusawa started as the project's producer before being made the general producer. Hisashi Koinuma is the current producer. Team NINJA started as backup before becoming the lead development team for this title. Yosuke Hayashi and Fumihiko Yasuda are the directors. The 2016 main visual is illustrated by Kouji Tajima. Yugo Kanno serves as the game's music composer and arranger.

The first model of the project released to the public stated that the game's story would be based on one of Akira Kurosawa's unfinished works. A future film of the same name was set to be directed by his son, Hisao, but both mediums experienced delays. After many years of silence, Shibusawa presented the title again with Yousuke Hayashi at Tokyo Game Show 2010. Shibusawa revealed that they had a prototype role-playing version of the game in 2006 that allowed players to direct generals in battle. This version was originally written by the Kessen scenario writer, but Shibusawa felt it was too rigid to be presented as a revitalizing game for the company.

To remedy the problem, he decided to hand it to Team NINJA to bring new life into it. While he knows that Koei is famous for historical simulations, Shibusawa responded that he doesn't want the same experience with Nioh as he is striving purely for historical entertainment with this title. He feels the newer results from Team NINJA has made a complete revival for the better and was pleased with what has been presented to him. Hayashi responded that it was a pleasure collaborating with Shibusawa on a product, and he hoped players would experience the definition of a samurai within the current age. Hayashi later commented that their original prototype was rejected because it was deemed too similar to NINJA GAIDEN. Yasuda remarked that they went "hardcore gore" with this model.

Development was delayed again when Shibusawa pushed for a realistic aesthetic to contrast the "cartoon-like visuals" that appear in Samurai Warriors and demanded several retakes of the yokai's formless appearance. His requests caused the development team many hardships and lengthened development for the action RPG model to seven years. Koinuma wanted to present a grim, medieval Japanese aesthetic, but he also wanted to avoid being too violent. He recalled the comic panels that Omega Force had once used for reference for Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage and advised the team to adapt their gore to be on a similar level. Yasuda commented that the realistic visuals and the yokai were made by the Dead or Alive design team, whom were not at all used to working with the darker material. Koinuma remarked that the game shaped into something that satisfied everyone in 2015. Hayashi stated that the feedback they received from the alpha and beta trials helped finalize the game mechanics in ways that they weren't able to do with private testing. To them, Nioh has truly been a "contribute and create" title, and they are thankful of the positive feedback that they have received from reviewers and players.

An alpha demo for the game was released in April 2015, allowing players to sample two stages of the game and give feedback. Over 850,000 players worldwide downloaded the alpha. A beta demo was released in August with updated gameplay as well as a new stage, a training mode, and the Twilight missions. Players who managed to defeat certain bosses were rewarded with the Mark of the Conqueror and Mark of the Strong DLC which allow access to the Onryoma Helmet and the Hinoenma Helmet respectively.

The game's digital deluxe edition comes with five new weapons, a PS4 avatar, and a season pass. Pre-order any version to receive a serial code for the Nioh armor. Customers who pre-order within the first two weeks will also acquire a Yukimura Sanada-inspired armor.

"Golden Nioh Armor" shall be given to players as an update on February 24, 2017. It's to thank players for helping to sell one million units globally in two weeks time.

The Complete Edition box includes the base game plus all three downloadable expansions. Purchasing the Steam version yields the exclusive Dharmachakra Kabuto for players while PS4 owners obtain the deluxe armor and weapon set.

A prequel was announced in the E3 2018 event.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Hisao's involvement with the final form of the game has not been mentioned. It is likely that the collaboration has been dropped.

The story's setting is a dark fantasy version of the Japanese Warring States Period. The years of strife of the period have caused Yokai to come out of hiding, ravaging the land. The protagonist is William Adams, a Western samurai with "raging blond hair and deepest blue eyes" who fights against demons and specters. Players experience his cutthroat life by the sword.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

The game is specifically designed for trial and error. Developers expect players to retry segments multiple times.

  • There are three different attack stances for weapons: low, neutral, and high. Each one has different strengths and weakness.
    • Low stance consumes the least amount of stamina per action, is very fast, and has the best dodge. However, it is also the weakest in terms of damage
    • Mid stance is balanced in terms of stamina, power, and speed as well as having the best guard. Stamina recovery is also high
    • High stance has the most powerful strikes, but is slow and consumes large amounts of stamina.
  • A stamina meter limits the number of actions that can be performed at a time. It is reduced by being hit.
    • Stamina recovery can be sped up by using the Ki Burst, allowing William to recover larger amounts of stamina more quickly.
  • In addition to boosting stats, player can also invest in skill trees that are divided between Samurai, Ninja, and Onmyo.
    • Samurai points can be used on melee weapons, unlocking new combo finishers, unique attacks, and passive bonuses that boost overall performance. Samurai points can be earned by using weapons, increasing stats, or using special items.
    • Ninja points are used to acquire Ninjutsu such as bombs, caltrops, and shuriken and boosts Ninjutsu capacity. These are earned by boosting stats or finding special items. Ninjutsu uses are refilled by going to shrines.
    • Onmyo points are used to buy Onmyo magic which can apply buffs such as elemental damage to weapons or debuffs such as slowing enemies as well as increasing Capacity. Onmyo uses are refilled by going to shrines.
  • Armor can be found and equipped. It customizes the character's appearance. Armor also weighs William down with weight affecting his stamina recovery, consumption, as well as his speed.
    • The Appearance Copy system lets players change armor to any look they prefer while still keeping stats, allowing players to not have to wear grossly mismatched sets in order to have good stats.
  • The player can equip various types of Guardian Spirits, special creatures based on mythological beasts that affect Williams attributes and give him bonuses. They also give access to Living Weapon mode where William's health and stamina are combined to offset damage and can inflict massive damage if used correctly. To activate Living Weapon, William must harvest amrita from enemies to build the gauge.
    • The 1.07 update released alongside The Dragon of the North expansion allows the player to equip two Guardian Spirits, the sub-spirit providing one of its passive bonuses, albeit to a lesser extent. The main spirit can be swapped at any time like weapons.
  • Shrines are scattered across the map. Players can access these points to select between different characters, develop their stats, and equip jutsu and magic. It also replenishes guardian spirits.
    • Players can find Kodama spirits to send to shrines. Doing so allows the player to ask for blessings that boost drop rates for weapons, armor, ammunition, healing items, and Amrita. Finding Kodama also boosts the amount of elixirs the player can carry.
  • Equipment is based on a loot system, with attributes being random. Rarity is assigned by colors with tougher enemies typically dropping rarer, and therefore stronger, equipment.
    • The rarest tier, Divine, only drops on the Way of the Strong difficulty and beyond.
    • As of the Defiant Honor expansion, a new tier called Ethereal has been added which can only be acquired in the Way of the Wise difficulty. Ethereal equipment cannot be forged, but must be found via drops. All Ethereal equipment also gives a set bonus regardless of armor equipped.
  • William can swap between different weapons in real-time, carrying two melee and two ranged weapons in his equipped slots. He starts with the katana. His other weapons include spears, halberds, axes, hammers, dual katana, kusarigama, odachi (with The Dragon of the North expansion), tonfa (with the Defiant Honor expansion) bows, rifles, and handcannons. Every weapon has their own traits to differentiate from the other and have their own skill trees for customization.
    • Weapons can be customized and upgraded to feature passive bonuses and elemental damage that can inflict status effects on enemies.
    • All equipment has a Familiarity stat, improving what William has simply by equipping and using it. Higher Familiarity boosts stats, bonuses, and gives a chance at better loot should William choose to use them as offerings at shrines.
  • In between missions William can take on side quests or go to the blacksmith to reforge equipment.
  • If players are connected online, they can see sword markers from other fallen players to warn them of the difficulty of an area. Attack the mounds to revive the other players' corpse and gain bonus items.
    • Players may join various clans for online ranking points.
  • Dismemberment is a feature exclusive to English ports.
  • Downloadable content includes special weapons, armor, characters, and additional story episodes.
    • PvP was implemented for Dragon of the North. There are 1 v 1 and 2 v 2 match setups.
  • Players can select different settings to either optimize frame rates or enhance full motion cutscenes.

Characters[edit | edit source]


Yokai[edit | edit source]

Trophies[edit | edit source]

Icon Name Unlock Method Type
NO Trophy 1.png You Are Nioh Obtain all trophies. Platinum
NO Trophy 2.png Battle's End Complete "The Queen's Eyes." Gold
NO Trophy 3.png Samurai of Legend Complete all missions. Gold
NO Trophy 4.png Twilight Walker Complete first Twilight mission. Silver
NO Trophy 5.png Regular Smith Customer Make a total of 60 requests at the blacksmith. Silver
NO Trophy 6.png Master of Quality Collect all the best materials. Silver
NO Trophy 7.png Friend of Guardians Collect all Guardian Spirits. Silver
NO Trophy 8.png Kodama Leader Collect all Kodama. Silver
NO Trophy 9.png Freedom Restored Complete "The Demon King Revealed." Silver
NO Trophy 10.png Gesture Master Acquire 40 gestures. Silver
NO Trophy 11.png Spa Lover Bathe in every hot spring. Silver
NO Trophy 12.png Ultimate Pro Reach maximum proficiency with first weapon. Silver
NO Trophy 13.png Divine Obtainer Obtain first divine item. Silver
NO Trophy 14.png Ressurector of the Hiragumo Collect all fragments of the Hiragumo teakettle from Shigisan. Bronze
NO Trophy 15.png Teamwork Complete 10 missions with NPC or in the “Yokai Realm with a companion” with other users. Bronze
NO Trophy 16.png Yokai Telepathy Communicate with a yokai 10 times. Bronze
NO Trophy 17.png Master of Chaos Confuse an enemy for the first time. Bronze
NO Trophy 18.png Yokai Quelling Master Defeat all types of yokai. Bronze
NO Trophy 19.png Spa Healer Bathe in first hot spring. Bronze
NO Trophy 20.png Keeper of the Flame Light all three evil-warding bonfires in Itsukushima. Bronze
NO Trophy 21.png Latest Masterpiece Forge an item. Bronze
NO Trophy 22.png Nue Slayer Defeat the Nue of Mount Hiei. Bronze
NO Trophy 23.png Dungball Roller Become Ryunoshin the dung lover's best friend. Bronze
NO Trophy 24.png Ugly Fellow Use the mask of an ugly fellow to defeat an enemy. Bronze
NO Trophy 25.png Legendary Swordsmith Found Muramasa and brought him in. Bronze
NO Trophy 26.png Disguiser Use a disguise. Bronze
NO Trophy 27.png Refashion Change the appearance of an item. Bronze
NO Trophy 28.png The Beginning of a Samurai Reach level 10. Bronze
NO Trophy 29.png They Call Him Anjin Complete "Deep in the Shadows." Bronze
NO Trophy 30.png An Agreement Forged Complete "The Ocean Roars Again." Bronze
NO Trophy 31.png Wandering Spirit Complete "The Demon of Mount Hiei." Bronze
NO Trophy 32.png A Question of Intentions Meet with Tokugawa Ieyasu. Bronze
NO Trophy 33.png Onward to a Decisive Battle Witness Tokugawa's forces head toward a decisive battle. Bronze
NO Trophy 34.png The Battle Ends Complete "The Source of Evil." Bronze
NO Trophy 35.png A True Samurai Complete "The Samurai from Sawayama." Bronze
NO Trophy 36.png Making Rounds Make two circuits around Japan. Bronze
NO Trophy 37.png Full-fledged Samurai Reach level 100. Bronze
NO Trophy 38.png Fashionista Change hair style or beard. Bronze
NO Trophy 39.png Sword Master Acquire mystic art for the sword. Bronze
NO Trophy 40.png Dual Sword Master Acquire mystic art for the dual swords. Bronze
NO Trophy 41.png Spear Master Acquire mystic art for the spear. Bronze
NO Trophy 42.png Axe Master Acquire mystic art for the axe. Bronze
NO Trophy 43.png Kusarigama Master Acquire mystic art for the kusarigama. Bronze
NO Trophy 44.png Ninjutsu Master Acquire mystic art for Ninjutsu. Bronze
NO Trophy 45.png Onmyo Magic Master Acquire mystic art for Onmyo Magic. Bronze
NO Trophy 46.png A Long Journey Begins Complete "The Man with the Guardian Spirit". Bronze
NO Trophy 47.png End Times Defeat Derrick the Executioner. Bronze

Icon Name Unlock Method Type
NO Trophy 48.png A Reunion with Hanzo Complete "Yokai Country". Bronze
NO Trophy 49.png Awakened Ambition Complete "The One-Eyed Dragon's Castle". Bronze
NO Trophy 50.png The Smoldering Flames of War Complete "Spirit Stone Huntress". Bronze
NO Trophy 51.png Oshu Explorer Complete all Tohoku region missions. Bronze
NO Trophy 52.png Destroyer of Demons Complete all "Way of the Demon" missions. Bronze
NO Trophy 53.png Oshu Guide Collect all Kodama in the Tohoku region. Bronze
NO Trophy 54.png Odachi Master Acquire mystic art for the odachi. Bronze
NO Trophy 55.png The Chosen One Equip +15 divine equipment in all slots except for accessories. Bronze
NO Trophy 56.png Hot Spring Enthusiast Bathe in every hot spring in the Tohoku region. Bronze
NO Trophy 57.png Female Impersonator Complete any mission while transformed into a woman. Bronze
NO Trophy 58.png Eluding the Dragon Complete "Hands of the Dragon". Bronze
NO Trophy 59.png Conqueror of Aoba Castle Seize all of Aoba Castle's three-storied keeps in "The One-Eyed Dragon's Castle". Bronze
NO Trophy 60.png Good Listener Listen to Katakura Shigenaga's entire introduction in "The One-Eyed Dragon's Castle". Bronze

Icon Name Unlock Method Type
NO Trophy 61.png Infiltrating Sanada Maru Complete "Siege of Osaka". Bronze
NO Trophy 62.png Gesture of Reconciliation Complete "Scion of Virtue". Bronze
NO Trophy 63.png Known the Land Over Complete all "Siege of Osaka (Winter)" missions. Bronze
NO Trophy 64.png Beyond Death's Door Complete all "Siege of Osaka (Winter)" missions in Way of the Demon. Bronze
NO Trophy 65.png Battlefield Guide Collecte all Kodama in "Siege of Osaka (Winter)". Bronze
NO Trophy 66.png Tonfa Master Acquire mystic art for the tonfa. Bronze
NO Trophy 67.png Cleanliness is Next to Godliness Bathe in every hot spring in "Siege of Osaka (Winter)". Bronze
NO Trophy 68.png Tonfa Triumph Defeat Sarutobi Sasuke in "Siege of Osaka (Winter)" using only tonfa. Bronze
NO Trophy 69.png Master of the Twin Sticks Defeat Ganryu's Sasaki Kojiro using only Dual Wooden Swords. Bronze
NO Trophy 70.png British Militarism Use all the culverins in the Siege of Osaka. Bronze
NO Trophy 71.png Will of the Sanada Defeat all of Sanada's Ten Braves in "Scion of Virtue". Bronze
NO Trophy 72.png From Heaven on High Complete "The Sparrow Flies Again". Bronze
NO Trophy 73.png Holy Trinity Equip the Kusanagi Tsurugi, Yasakani Magatama, and Yata Mirror. Bronze

Icon Name Unlock Method Type
NO Trophy 74.png Spirit Stones Run Amok Complete "The Sanada's Resolve". Bronze
NO Trophy 75.png To Yodogimi's Side Complete "Resentment Unleashed". Bronze
NO Trophy 76.png Turmoil's End Complete "The Last Samurai". Bronze
NO Trophy 77.png Bringer of Peace Complete all "Siege of Osaka (Summer)" missions. Bronze
NO Trophy 78.png The Final Stand Complete all "Siege of Osaka (Summer)" missions on Way of the Demon. Bronze
NO Trophy 79.png Wrinkly Soaker Bathe in every hot spring in the "Siege of Osaka (Summer)" chapter. Bronze
NO Trophy 80.png The Ultimate Guide Collect all Kodama in the "Siege of Osaka (Summer)" chapter. Bronze
NO Trophy 81.png Battle-Hardened Veteran Complete "The Grand Tournament" on Way of the Strong or higher. Bronze
NO Trophy 82.png The Master's Master Complete "The Master Ninja" on Way of the Strong or higher. Bronze
NO Trophy 83.png Journey into The Abyss Complete the 20th plane in The Abyss. Bronze
NO Trophy 84.png Cannon Fodder Destroy all the destructible cannons in "The Sanada's Resolve". Bronze
NO Trophy 85.png Ornithicide Defeat the Onmoraki during "Resentment Unleashed". Bronze
NO Trophy 86.png The Sinister Arts Destroy all the Revenant contraptions on "The Last Samurai". Bronze


Spin-Offs[edit | edit source]

Related Media[edit | edit source]

This is one of the titles that shall be at Koei-Tecmo's booth in Tokyo Game Show 2015 with a staged introduction September 17 (JST). Booth visitors can pose with mock weaponry from the game at the Nioh photo set up.

An alpha trial was launched worldwide from April 26 to May 5. Participants in the trial earned a "Proof of Conquest" which can be redeemed for a special prize in the retail version. Answer the questionnaire to get a smartphone wallpaper. A beta trial will be held on August 20 during the PlayStation Festival.

Bessatsu Shonen Magazine serialized a comic adaptation called Nioh ~Kiniro no Samurai~ by Yousuke Katayama. It stareted in the June 2016 issue and concluded in its May 2017; it will be compiled into three volumes.

Twitter followers may participate in a lottery draw to win a Kodama strap.

The original soundtrack can be purchased February 15, 2017. The complete guidebook can be purchased since March 29, 2017.

A Kodama Hunt was held for overseas Twitter users; those who correctly guessed the number of hidden Kodama spirits were given a free PC code of the game as a reward.

Image Song[edit | edit source]

Performed by Siedah Garrett

Gallery[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

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