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Nioh Collection Review (PS5) – An Opulent, Value-Stuffed Remastering Of Two Of The Best Action RPGs Money Can Buy


Nioh Collection PS5 Review. When Team Ninja announced that it would be remastering and re-releasing both Nioh games on PlayStation 5, it was cause for celebration. Nioh and Nioh 2 were and are some of the best and most resolutely enjoyable takes on the Soulslike action RPG formula that previously been pioneered by the godfathers of the genre, From Software.

Including a whole heap of technical improvements and all of the DLC ever released for each game, Nioh Remastered: The Complete Collection is an absolutely valued stuffed twin-pack of two of the best action RPGs released on PlayStation 4. Put simply, if you’ve exhausted everything that PS5 launch title Demon’s Souls had to offer, then Nioh Remastered: The Complete Collection should without a doubt be your next stop.

Nioh Collection PS5 Review

In this Nioh Collection PS5 review:

Nioh Remastered: The Complete Edition

Cementing its reputation as easily one of the best action RPGs released in 2017 (you can catch our full review of Nioh here, as we’ll be mainly covering the technical improvements in this review), Team Ninja’s Nioh was an incredible Soulslike to say the least. Beautifully combining endlessly sophisticated combat with a fantastical vision of Japan’s Sengoku period, Nioh was pretty much as it essential as action RPGs could get when it released almost exactly four years ago.

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Taking a second bite of the apple on Sony’s shiny new PlayStation 5 console, Team Ninja’s most ambitious title (aside from Nioh 2, of course) looks set to unfurl itself in front of an all-new generation of gamers. How has Nioh aged though? Well…

The truth is that Nioh has aged fantastically on PlayStation 5. Bolstered by the significant horsepower of Sony’s latest chunk of gaming silicon, Nioh Remastered allows players to experience Team Ninja’s action RPG epic in full 4K resolution at 60 frames per second, or engage a high-end performance profile that allows for reduced resolution visuals at a liquid-smooth 120 frames per second.

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When played in its resolution focused preset, Nioh Remastered is the best it is ever looked, boasting a razor sharp visual presentation and gorgeously lit environments. That said, it is worth remembering that the increase in resolution does little to improve the texture detail and geometric complexities of Nioh’s game world. This is still very much a 2017 videogame and it shows as low-res textures still abound in various places and character models which certainly look like products of their time.

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That said, it seems churlish to criticise a game on such a technical level when it’s obvious that the bounty of its visual opulence lay in its extravagant art style, character designs and mystical, Sengoku-era environments. Certainly, Nioh has aged incredibly gracefully here. As players take up the mantle of Irish warrior William Adams as he cuts a swathe through the mystical corruption of 1600s fictional Japan, the player is treated to all manner of astounding locations such as the Kyushu, Tokai regions and much more besides.

Then there are the enemies that you’ll face in Nioh – and what a bunch they are. From the absolutely terrifying nightmarish visage of Nue (see the screenshot below) to the seductive evil of Joro-gumo, the sheer variety of enemies that you’ll face in Team Ninja’s masterpiece arguably sits atop of the soulslike genre – and yes, that does include the likes of Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls too.

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Perhaps more so than any other aspect of its design, however, it’s the combat that makes Nioh Remastered such a thoroughly engrossing effort that stands tall even today amongst its genre stablemates. With sophisticated hack and slash combat that is bolstered by an extremely nuanced Ki Pulse system which rewards players with special buffs and stat boosts at key intervals, and a whole range of playstyle altering weaponry to use, Nioh’s third-person combat still remains one of the best in the genre.

Elsewhere, the 120 frames per second mode that Nioh Remastered boasts on PlayStation 5 is also a superb addition to the game for those lucky folks that have an HDMI 2.1 compliant display hooked up to their PlayStation 5. Providing much more than just buttery smooth animation, the 120 frames-per-second mode of Nioh Remastered also makes Team Ninja’s action RPG effort feel much more responsive than it ever has.

Chiefly, the benefit of the improved responsiveness afforded by the 120 frames per second mode is felt most keenly combat, where the latency between player commands and on-screen action is practically non-existent.

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Further afield, the power of PlayStation 5 is also felt in the loading screens now, too. Greatly reduced from what they were on PS4 and PS4 Pro, the loading screens in Nioh Remastered are so short now that the getting back into the fight after an untimely death has never been quicker; reducing the amount of frustration that is felt as a result.

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Aside from such technical improvements, Nioh Remastered: The Complete Edition not only boasts all of the DLC and premium expansion packs that released for the game, but Nioh Remastered also allows you to continue exactly where you left off in your PS4 save.

Oh, and as an added bonus, Nioh Remastered allows PS5 players to play cooperatively with PS4 owners too. Quite simply, Nioh Remastered is the definitive way to play the game and if you’ve been sitting on the fence, now is the best time to get off it.

More so than ever before, Nioh is a great choice for players who have since exhausted the superb Demon’s Souls. Sure enough, even in its remastered form, Nioh cannot hope to match the visual magic that developer Bluepoint Games performed with From Software’s opus, but in every other way that counts Nioh Remastered is a tremendous action RPG that holds up strongly even today.

Nioh 2 Remastered: The Complete Edition

Benefitting from the same level of polish that the PS5 afforded its predecessor, Nioh 2 Remastered: The Complete Edition finds a new home on Sony’s latest console less than a year after its original release on PlayStation 4. Again, much like our review of Nioh Remastered: The Complete Edition, this review will mainly be concerned with the technical aspects of the game’s PS5 release. So for the full, detailed lowdown on the mechanics and gameplay of Nioh 2, feel free to check out our original review here.

With developer Team Ninja now firmly settled into its Nioh groove, the second instalment in the series largely built upon much of the gameplay design that served as the bedrock for the first game. Combat is now augmented by the new ability for players to shift into Yokai demon form, permitting access to a whole range of new devastating attacks and abilities as a result.

Nioh 2 Remastered PS5 Review 1

In terms of its environmental design, Nioh 2 also leans much more deeply into the dark fantasy that was touched upon in the first game. With hauntingly beautiful forests, abandoned towns, eerie temples and mysterious caverns which all dovetail neatly with its extravagant range of demonic foes, Nioh 2 ramps up the mysticism of the series tenfold.

Another aspect that has been ramped up significantly is the difficulty. A brutal and overly punishing effort by any measure, Nioh 2’s indomitable bosses and relentlessly fiendish foes and traps can prove to be overwhelming – even to veterans of the Soulslike subgenre. As such, unless you’re something of a savant, you’re going to struggle somewhat with what Nioh 2 Remastered brings to the table.

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One other flaw with Nioh 2 is that there is a fair amount of asset recycling from the previous game. Now, while that’s not massive in of itself, it does speak to the fact that Nioh 2 doesn’t feel quite as fresh as the first game did – seeking instead to merely moderately iterate on the previous game, rather than using it as a foundation to forge ahead with new ideas.

Nioh 2 Remastered PS5 Review 2

In terms of what PlayStation 5 players can expect from Nioh 2 Remastered: The Complete Edition, all of the requisite improvements are present. Like Nioh Remastered before it, Nioh 2 Remastered also boasts a full 4K presentation that pops along at a smooth, though not entirely locked, 60 frames per second.

Also like that game, Nioh 2 Remastered allows HDMI 2.1 display owning players to enable a 120 frames per second mode, resulting in an ultra-responsive, ultra-smooth way to play the game which just wasn’t available previously. And notably, for those who have the required kit to do this, 120 frames per second is arguably the best way to play Nioh 2, as the game simply becomes much more responsive during combat and exploration which, to be honest, is kinda what you want to have in a game like this.

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Equally, Nioh 2 Remastered on PS5 also allows PS4 players to use their existing save files and continue where they left off, while cross-generation co-op cross-play (try saying that quickly ten times), allows players from both current and last-gen PlayStation consoles to team up online to face the Nioh 2’s swathe of terrifying Yokai horrors.

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And yep, being the ‘Complete Edition’ also means that Nioh 2 packs in all of the DLC and expansion content that has been released for the game since its launch in March 2020 – with the final DLC only being released a little under two months ago at the end of December 2020. Speaking of which, when it comes to the DLC

Nioh 2 Remastered: The Complete Edition then, is by far the best way to play Nioh 2. It looks visually astounding for the most part, while the combat remains some of the best the genre has seen and the hard lean into dark fantasy lends the game substantial appeal.

However, the massive (and I do mean massive) uptick in difficulty, combined with some uninspired and recycled design choices mean that Nioh 2 Remastered: The Complete Edition doesn’t shine quite so bright as its predecessor. Nonetheless, if you’re a fan of great action RPGs and have yet to dip into Nioh 2, now is the best time to do it – just make sure you’ve completed the previous game first.

Nioh Collection releases for PlayStation 5 on February 5, 2021.

Review code kindly provided by publisher.



The Final Word

There's no getting around it, this is an astounding proposition. Bringing together two of the best action RPGs of the PlayStation 4 era with a range of eye-opening PlayStation 5 enhancements, Nioh Remastered: The Complete Collection is absolutely essential for anybody who has even the slightest interest in great action RPGs with hugely rewarding combat systems and hundreds of hours of challenging gameplay.