Nioh 2: The First Samurai, the review: the latest DLC for the Team Ninja game

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Valery Aloyants
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Eventually, Nioh 2 also appears to have completed its content cycle. After the February release, Team Ninja waited several months before releasing the first of the DLC dedicated, but then never stop, closing in these pre-Christmas days with "The First Samurai". In this review of Nioh 2: The First Samurai we will mainly talk about the new content, then leaving a general opinion on the work to the full version that will arrive on PS5 and PC in February.

Further back in history

As we know the Nioh2 DLCs have accustomed us to time travel. Where the basic campaign can be considered both a prequel and a sequel to the progenitor, the additional contents of the second chapter delve into the most remote past of the Japanese Middle Ages, mixing as always history and folklore, characters that really existed and myths of one of the most fascinating cultures. in the world.

With "The First Samurai"we even go back to the eighth century, before the very birth of the concept of Samurai and it is no coincidence in this sense that the title of this DLC which, however, puts aside the historicity and focuses on closing the events, trying to give a sense to all this historical back and forth. The First Samurai is successful in his will to close the circle, less in his quality of writing, also thanks to a very short duration that places him in last place in the ranking from this point of view.

The two main missions, accompanied by another ten secondary assignments, can be completed as always in four or five hours, but the part dedicated to the narrative implications is once again hasty and not very impactful. Relative problem for Nioh veterans, who are now aware of the more folkloric than qualitative focus of a fluctuating and far from profound narrative.

The goal in this case is to close the accounts with Otakemaru, putting on the plate some of the boss fight more challenging than the game, perhaps even tending to imbalance in some respects. Despite this, we arrive at the end of The First Samurai satisfied with the journey, and also ready, why not, for the next chapter.

A "Dream" gameplay

New DLC and therefore new difficulty level. Anyone who has had the opportunity to sufficiently deepen their run on Nioh 2, will now be able to try their luck even with what, to all intents and purposes, will remain the most difficult difficulty present in the game, unless there are particular surprises. The Dream of Nioh, this new addition, dramatically increases the challenge, pushing players to make the most of every available resource and, more importantly, to play really well with the creation of their own build. We are not yet able to deal with this level of difficulty with our character worthily, but we are certainly talking about a challenge dedicated to the most savvy players and to those who never leave the streets of Team Ninja for too long.

Detached from the Nioh Dream, but somehow close to it, the Japanese developer has inserted something that we all expected, the return of a totally endgame along the lines of the Abyss of the first chapter. L'Afterlife, this is the definition, it develops in an almost identical way, putting the players in front of more than one hundred levels of increasing difficulty and within which to retrieve more and more pieces useful for their build or to recover resources to be allocated to growth. Compared to the old curses, the Kodamas come to our aid here, giving the player one series of blessings which are then exploited to make their way through this hell on Earth.

On closer inspection, the Underworld is the only real content that increases the hours dramatically, and which among other things has legitimized the team not to include a new weapon available, but only a series of additional skills for each of those already present. We do not deny that this lack, although relatively minor given the already wide choice present, is felt where we were now used to testing new moveset to each additional content, but that can't be the thing to overshadow all the good there is.

What convinced us very little of Il Primo Samurai is the work done on the settings and on the level design. Nioh hardly stood out from this point of view, but both the basic campaign and the two previous DLCs had been able to offer a series of glimpses and some found in the rather interesting maps. This time that inspiration seems to have faded into the background, leaving behind the best moments and giving away a couple of uninspired villages and just enough wood.

Special mention for i new Yokai, perhaps the best additions to the roster since the first chapter. Sufficiently varied in design and behaviors, they flesh out a group that is not exactly exciting at a numerical level.


Tested version PlayStation 4 Digital Delivery PlayStation Store


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Your vote

Nioh 2: The First Samurai is a DLC that does what it should: closes the accounts and ends a mediocre story but still worth living. The main course is certainly not the dialogues but everything that accompanies a layered gameplay capable of adding to the progenitor without really changing what already worked. The addition of the Underworld and the Dream of Nioh are a worthy conclusion to a content pack that will be able to keep players hooked for hundreds of hours. All provided that they want to get lost in an endgame made of repetition and loot, but this is the very nature of Nioh, take it or leave it. Waiting for the revised and corrected version to be released in February, closing the trio of DLCs could be a decent way to spend these sad Christmas holidays, hoping for better times.


  • Closes the circle
  • The Underworld is almost infinite
  • The Dream of the Nioh adds an additional NG +
  • Listless level design
  • No new weapons
  • Narratively always little stuff
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