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Nioh

07 February 2017
Nioh - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.39 / 5.0
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433 Ratings / 6 Reviews
#1,282 All-time
#60 for 2017
Nioh follows the story of English sailor William Adams, who travels to Japan in order to rescue Saoirse, his guardian spirit, stolen from him by the alchemist Edward Kelley, who is planning to use her as a tool to acquire large amounts of Amrita (a powerful magical stone) for the use of the English government.
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Title
An easy introduction to soulslike games
Regarding the title - by easy, I don't mean the game itself, but it's welcoming to new players. Dark Souls seems like it's gatekeeping you from understanding the game, which I remember made a bad impression at first on me. To this day I discover new mechanics! With Nioh it's a completely different story. There is an actual tutorial, everything is easy to understand and is well described. It goes as far as telling you what to level up depending on the weapon you're using. This makes the game instantly more enjoyable. The gameplay is hard, so why should the technical stuff be hard too, right?

There are a lot of great things about it. By combining many weapons, stances and abilities you can create the perfect combination for your playstyle The ninjitsu and the magic are clearly described which makes them easy to use. I love the blacksmith. You can customize your equipment looks, abilities, the levelling up is satisfying. Other things I liked include the fact you can freely change your spirit animals and the little Kodama.

Sadly, all this can't save the problem with the level design. I like how it wants you to explore different things, but sometimes it's a bit overwhelming. There are good levels like the Spider Nest Castle, but there are also levels like The Ocean Roars Again that try to kill you everywhere, not by being hard, but e.g. by forcing you to fight in small spaces which makes dodging impossible. To add to this, the enemies are extremely repetitive. Every level you get the same 10 enemies, sometimes you get 1 new that's present in one level only. And the fighting is not satisfying nor responsive, All of this makes the game interesting at first, but very quickly boring and tedious to play.
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F3xis 2021-11-13T10:47:25Z
2021-11-13T10:47:25Z
2.5
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Finally completed Nioh base missions after 40 hours. Played 3/4 of the campaign in co op, which was a lot of fun but also a lot of struggle, and the last 5 or so missions I finished solo.

It is overall a pretty good souls inspired game, but its also heavily inspired by diablo and loot games as well. There is a heavy emphesis on loot and character building, stats, and all sorts of numbers so much so that its pretty overwhelming at times with the amount of things you can do.

You got skill trees which im not a fan of in this game, theres like 6 different skill trees and i dont like how its laid out and its hard to comprehend or understand.. then you got, move combinations you can set like mortal kombat, stat allocations, prestige points, gear to equip/upgrade/weight to juggle which impacts your stamina etc etc. which weapon do you want to specialize in and such.

Unfortunately all of the items have very unmemorable japanese ethic style names so its aalmost impossible for me to tell them apart or remember them because their names are so unfamilliar and forign. What makes things worse , is that you can only really specialize into one weapon group, but looking at all of your items in the inventory its hard to even tell which group a weapon belongs to at first glanc! so yes a lot of the item system can be convuluted and overly difficult.

All of the gear has a base number but then theres a bunch of special stats underneat, that I don't really fully know what any of them did, so i mostly just looked at the base number. i dont really understand it to be honest.


While it is fun getting tons of new loot and upgrading and trying out different items/armor, it basically boils down to picking what stamina bracket you want your weight to be in, picking the highest armor for that bracket, and with your weapon you are locked into using one group type for the whole game mostly so you just do the same there.


Thats the items, and now the gameplay is very much a dark souls style game, there are a few things that make it stand out such as the stances and stamina regain system which is similar to how in Gears of war you can tap a button to reload faster, well its the same idea here but regaining stamina faster. its pretty fun mechanic .

In co op, if both of you die during the mission you have to restart the entire mission over again. And sometimes this means having to do 2+ bosses in a row perfectly or you have to redo it. So you can imagine how annoying and frustratnig that can become.

In single player, you have checkpoint 'shrines' which make it so you dont have to redo the whole stage over again, but you also cant be helped up by your ally if you go down. So its a pro and con. both are fun to play.

I would say my biggest gripe with the game is how long it drags on, and the level design being overall rather unmemorable and sometimes repetitive. There are a few sectons that are memorable such as the water boss and some classic japanese forest hillside things and the coastal towns, but other than that its pretty samey for most of the campaign.


Oh and the absoltue biggest gripe is the story and dialogue is total awful crap. Its like a really bad manga for 40 hours straight. It's all in japanese and none of it makes sense, its all nonsensical wacky stuff, with tons of mythical cute cats flying around and dumb shit. I dont know. At a certain point I was just skipping cutscenes, i dont give a shit. its stupid as hell.

And a personal subjective gripe. Im just really not a fan of japanese aesthetics / armors / weapons / samurai stuff in general. period. so that doesnt help with my enjoyment. I much prefer the dark medevial style of dark souls and stuff, so that point alone makes me enjoy this game less than souls. but its a decent experience, TONS of bosses, however a lot of them end up being this tedious frustrating romp of being forced to die 5x in a row (just to learn their move set) , running back to the boss by speedrunning all the enemies, and trying again. maybe its just the souls forumla, but yeah im getting kind of tired of it at this point. There is still a ton of content to do after you finish the main missions, more main missions as DLC, tons of side content, replay through on harder mode getting cool gear etc etc.. but im about done with this game now after 40 hours, its fine, but theres more there if you want it.


7/10
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darkrecollections 2020-10-15T14:56:22Z
2020-10-15T14:56:22Z
3.5
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With the impact of Dark Souls, naturally, there came an influx of imitators. Some of these imitators create something fresh with Dark Souls as an obvious template, but not to the point where it seems derivative. Others unabashedly steal from the franchise without grasping what makes Dark Souls so refreshing, resulting in a mediocre experience. In the case of Team Ninja's 2017 title Nioh, it upholds the Dark Souls influence without any shame but holds enough of its own merits to avoid being labeled as a "Dark Souls clone." However, the differences this game makes from Dark Souls detracts me from seeing it in the same light.

I'm sure most Dark Souls fans wondered before 2017 what the games would've been like if the setting was Japan. Many fans even wondered why From Software would choose a western, English medieval location for their franchise instead of their homeland of Japan. Many Dark Souls fans are also weeaboos, a correlation that I was ultimately coming to. Because many Dark Souls fans are weeaboos, there was plenty to bank off of the Japanese background of Nioh. Of course, to pander to the weeaboo demographic even further, the protagonist is an Irishman named William. William isn't just some white schmuck. William is based on an English sailor who went to Japan and became a lord in 1600. The events of Nioh retell William Adams's time in Japan in 1600, minus the yokai demon slaying and the elemental powers (or at least as far as I know).

Unlike Dark Souls, this game has a concrete, non-cryptic story through cut-scenes, occurring after every primary mission. Also, unlike Dark Souls, this game could not make me care about the story or any of the characters. Isn't it ironic how sometimes doing less does so much more? Maybe I'm just opposed to the typical epic tale involving a hyper-masculine man conquering all his enemies because it's so cliche. Perhaps it was because I wasn't immersed in the story. After all, I thought William's motives didn't warrant going to Japan in the first place. Before he sets sail to Japan, there is a lengthy prologue in which William's spirit guardian named Saoirse is captured by an alchemist named Edward Kelley. William's motive to go to Japan is to rescue Saiorse from Kelley. I guess I don't understand the relationship between William and Saiorse or understand its depth. William uses several guardian spirits throughout the game, so I'm not sure why Saoirse is special. If it's a sexual relationship, then that would be like if Peter Pan was fucking Tinkerbell, which would be a total mess.

Once William sails to Japan, the game truly begins, and I am reminded why I vastly prefer Dark Souls. For one, the game is very, very linear. It's so linear that there is no hub world. Rather than a hub world, there is a mission select map per area of Japan. One of my favorite aspects of Dark Souls is the lack of boundaries for its world. It seems like an open-world game with Metroidvania-Esque obstacles that prohibit players from going to certain places that uncover through natural progression. As soon as I saw Nioh's mission select screen, I made an audible groan. I knew for sure that this game wasn't going to be as immersive as Dark Souls right then. The seamless world of Dark Souls is one of my favorites in gaming, and this just seemed comparatively lazy.

Nioh's levels follow a familiar structure to the levels in Dark Souls, and they are adequately executed. Most of the levels have a pretty unique layout. The checkpoints in the areas are placed fairly, and the gimmicks for some of the levels are pretty clever. One of my favorites is the mission "The Ocean Roars Again," where you can immediately fight the boss as soon as you start the level. However, there are three torches you can light scattered throughout that award the player's time and effort spent finding them, making the boss fight much easier. There are also plenty of shortcuts you can unlock that make traversing the level much easier once you've uncovered most of it. This design point is always convenient in Dark Souls and shows the developers' care for detail. I also really like the collectible Kodama scattered all over most of the main missions in this game. They are adorable, and there is an incentive to collect them, ranging from getting more experience per kill, finding rarer items in drops, and increasing your medicine count.

Some of the original features in Nioh are dumb. I could not for the life of me execute a goddamn Ki-pulse. It's a button combination move implemented to replenish your ki/stamina. It sounds easy and convenient, but the timing needed to execute it takes extreme precision. Either the game is broken, or I suck, and I'd instead not leave that up to debate. I could argue vociferously about how unnecessarily precise it needs to be. One also must consider how many "ki-pools" there are that keep your stamina from regenerating throughout the game. Once you run out of stamina in most situations, you won't be able to move. This handicap caused me to die more times than I could count. Something else that pissed me off was using a Himorogi branch to exit the level. Not only does it deplete all of your experience, but it just seems unnecessary. There would be an exit option in the menu in any other game. It's not like the game world is intertwined between levels.

Nioh has about 18 story missions and several sub-missions. Each story mission varies in either going straight until you fight a boss or finding keys or a gimmick to get to the boss. The story missions are varied enough never to get stale, but the sub-missions are tedious and repetitive. The submissions tend to be variants on previous story missions but with different/smaller objectives. There are also "twilight missions," more complex versions of the main story missions, but with a red aura surrounding the level. The red aura signifies intensity. All these "twilight missions" have to offer is occasionally adding a harder yokai randomly. These submissions are also reasonably short and optional, but I recommend you do every one of them because this game is very grinding intensive.

Leveling up characters, armor, and weapons are a ubiquitous trope in the action RPG genre. These tropes are what separates the action RPG from the regular action game. Nioh executes this common trope poorly as scaling and progress are measured through arbitrary leveling and arbitrary leveling only. Sure, leveling is essential in any RPG game, but I think Team Ninja had another motive. I don't believe Team Ninja was very confident when making this game. They seem to force you to play a lot of it over and over again, whether you like it or not. Every mission has a difficulty that coincides with William's level and a difficulty meter represented by five red swords. If the mission has all five swords highlighted, you're going to have a bad time. If you're under-leveled, many enemies can take out 80% of your health with one hit. I swear, the next main mission is always around 15-20 levels higher than the last one, so you'll be seeing the five red swords of difficulty constantly. You'll naturally gain two or three levels doing the main missions without dying and maybe once per sub-mission, but it never amounts to enough. Involuntary grinding is one of my video game pet peeves, and Nioh is guilty of it in spades.

Speaking of padding the game, Nioh also really hopes that you like its bosses because you'll be fighting them over and over again, whether you like it or not. The bosses are pretty well designed, and the fights are usually pretty fair. The exception is Hino Enma, a bigger difficulty spike than anything in the entire Soulsbourne franchise. Being paralyzed after one hit so you can't move for more than five seconds, guaranteeing you die is cruel and unusual. Like with each level, every boss can be fought on the player's own volition at the end of their respective level even after beating them for the first time. This aspect is fine with me, but familiar bosses will show up constantly during the missions. Many repeat bosses will appear as regular enemies, end bosses in sub-missions, and even in pairs with other bosses. Some submissions are dedicated to putting you in a familiar arena simply to fight a boss you've already fought before. It's like their way of checking up on you or something. Their favorite seems to be the first main mission boss, Onryoki. He shows up maybe ten times throughout the game during so many instances. He's a giant yokai with two balls and chains, and halfway through the fight, he breaks those chains and uses his body and his iron balls (from the chains) to try to crush you. He's an acceptable first mission boss, but putting him in the game so many times is like someone who told an amusing joke once that got a tiny bit of laughter but then tells it over and over again, hoping it will be just as funny the tenth time as it was the first. It just gets REALLY tiresome.

Nioh is a competent game and supplementary to anyone craving a Dark Souls experience. However, I don't play Dark Souls because it merely satisfies the standard of video game competency. I play it because it's a rich experience. Nioh had Dark Souls as a source of inspiration but was too insecure about their game to deliver the same as Dark Souls. The lack of quality is readily apparent by their streamlined mission selection world, grind-heavy progression, and padding the game by repeating bosses and missions. All of this amounted to a grueling game to get through, not just because the game was challenging. Team Ninja essentially did their job but didn't put a lot of passion into their project.
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Erockthestrange 2019-12-19T22:43:01Z
2019-12-19T22:43:01Z
6.5
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Nioh isn't easy to rate, simply because it is hardly an original game, and it has a lot of good and bad mixed in along with some very weird design choices. At its core, Nioh is like some hybrid mix of Dark Souls and Ninja Gaiden Sigma, it borrows heavily from the Souls franchise, and plays incredibly similar, you have your basic skills and weapon classes, you have different armor types and you have points that act like souls that you use to level up at shrines, which are this games version of bonfires. Hell, I even found the levels to be designed similar to the Souls games, levels have enemies who can mess you up fast and ambush you, there are traps and holes you can fall into that instantly kill you, and levels typically end with a boss fight that is behind some door.

Now Nioh isn't entirely a Souls ripoff. It does have many unique aspects. The game has many different weapon skills and the more you use that weapon, the more skilled you become at it, and Nioh offers a pretty good variety of different weapon types. On top of that Nioh is pretty fast paced and you don't get shields, so you are mostly rolling around and fending off against multiple enemies. Nioh does have magic but it really isn't as focused as the Soul franchise, not to mention you get a trigger that you can activate if you build up your meter that acts similar to the Devil Trigger mode in DMC, it practically makes you near invincible and gives you more damage, but it also runs faster if you get hit and it typically is for only a short duration. Although I will admit, that special really did make some of the later bosses pretty easy, but the game does give you a variety of spirit animals to choose from each that do different kinds of damage.

Now my biggest problems with Nioh come from the side content and mission design. The main missions in Nioh are decent and have enough vareity, but the side content in Nioh is pretty bland. You pretty much go back to the same area you've already been to and just do really repetitive and pointless tasks like killing some basic enemy, going through basic enemy gauntlets, or finding an NPC. The worst part though is that you will go back to the same areas you've already been to over and over until you get completely bored and sick of these areas, and since you've already been to these areas so much there is no longer any sense of wonder or curiosity to these areas. My other big complaint are the random weapon drop system. The way you get weapons in this game are enemies dropping weapons and armor, and the level and damage they do is randomly generated. So you may get lucky and get a really good weapon, or you may just get complete garbage. On top of that as you level enemies drop more powerful weapons so your sword and weapons are pretty obsolete completely fast, which almost discourages you from growing attached to certain weapons. There is a smith you can use that can make basic improvements to your weapons and armor but I found the smith to really only be useful to sell and disassemble my armor and weapons I never used, I hardly used the smith to create new weapons since the weapons enemies dropped were way better. I just did not like this system at all and it made my inventory too clunky.

However, those are really my only 2 big complaints, but they are pretty bad ones. The game is overall pretty fun, the boss fights in this are great and really tense, while not being insanely difficult. All the areas are designed fairly well and it was fun going to each of them the first time. There is a solid enough variety of enemies, although I will admit some enemy types were annoying since they were difficulty to hit. The game offers good variety with combat having different stances and different weapons you can play along with, as well as having arrows and guns that actually are really effective. Not to mention it has an interesting story that is based off the real history of the start of Edo period Japan and uses real historical figures that were important to this time period. And I'll admit, I actually enjoyed Nioh more than Dark Souls III, Nioh just felt more fresh and I enjoyed the design a bit more. Sure Nioh might have borrowed a lot from the Souls franchise, but it does make enough changes and has its own style that it can stand its own.

Yeah the main flaws with this game are big ones, and the side content of Nioh is pretty bland, along with some really annoyingly difficulty missions later in the game where you have to face off against multiple bosses at once. But I really enjoyed each time I got to a new area and faced against a new boss, and there were only a handful of bosses and areas in this game I found poorly designed. Nioh is easily one of the best games of its kind, and while it doesn't come close to being as good as the best Souls games, it is still a lot of fun to play and I can only imagine if it were more refined and didn't have the generic side content, it could have been the best game to come in years.
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jweber14 2017-07-21T22:48:59Z
2017-07-21T22:48:59Z
4.0
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Basically a Dark Souls, but without a soul. I mean, the game is fun and challenging to play, but the plot is very generic and content is re-used all over the place. Monsters, bosses, even the levels themselves: it doesn't seem to matter where you are, the same things keep repeating with just a few variations. The fact that the main "hub" is basically a menu with a map and the areas are small and separated doesn't really help immersion, either.

It helps you to get through Souls withdrawal, though. It's been a tough year, with no From games on the horizon, and Nioh kept me busy enough... but there were many times I wondered why I didn't play Bloodborne again instead.
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Gika 2017-11-15T22:26:57Z
2017-11-15T22:26:57Z
3.5
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I was relatively excited for this game when I found out it was gonna be Koei Tecmo's rendition of the Souls formula via Team Ninja. However I was a bit naive to think that the game would necessarily benefit from it... The setting of feudal Japan was tasteful and I really dug the alternative history approach to the story, allying with and fighting against real warlords and shit from that time period is pretty freaking sweet! The plot centres around a super boring Irish protagonist who's guardian spirit is stolen from him by another super boring villain who flees to Japan to act as a giant shit disturber in their ongoing clan wars. You arrive in Japan and you get wrapped up in the conflict and get introduced to the various Yo-Kai and supernatural shit that exists in Japan which we never knew about apparently... The narrative in this game is fine overall, I apprecieted the intentional "Engrish" and bilingual elements that were added in to really make your existence as a foreigner in Japan feel natural.

Let's talk about game-play, because this is where Dark Souls makes it's way into the conversation. This game; in structure, design, combat mechanics, and gameplay IS Dark Souls. The shrines replace bonfires, amrita replaces souls, Ki replaces endurance, guardian spirits replace spells/pyromacies, enemy placements/enemy types/bosses it's all designed the same as in Dark Souls. They've got the exact same booby traps like the pressure plates that trigger the walls to shoot you, poisonous statues, spinning wheel demons, and big guys rolling boulders down slopes. They've got the same types of short cuts right down to the fucking kick ladders and even the goddamn UI and inventory screens look nearly identical to that of Dark Souls... *sigh* The lack of originality in the design is pretty disappointing, more over the lack of different enemy types in general makes the game feel really repetitive especially in the late game. That said; the bosses were pretty decent, they're were some notable standouts like the Giant Toad ripped right out of Naruto and the ice sorceress Yuka Onna for instance. And again it was kinda epic squaring off against real life dudes from Japan's history like Oda Nobunaga and Shima Sakon.

Now I know there's a push by fans to separate this game from the Dark Souls brand and I respect that, since this game takes the Souls formula and puts nearly all of it's eggs into the combat. It's deep (relatively speaking), customisable and rich with upgrade systems and combo tweeking. You have a stance system that allows you alter your move set to account for different enemy types, tapping R1 at the right moment proceeding a combo allows you to replenish you're endurance, and utilising bows and guns is smoother with first person controls, though they're not at all practical or useful during fights like they were in say, Bloodborne. I dug the guardian spirit abilities, they kind of 1up the spells and pyromancies from Dark Souls and I found myself using them more often. The game also presents the world and story to you in bit sized chunks (i.e. missions) that are spread out over a fairly large map, there're even side missions that are mostly shite. Some having you needlessly retread old areas to fetch dumb items, others letting you train with powerful NPCs and rehash old boss fights. Some areas will throw in little twists like navigating through fire and poisonous gas, finding hidden doors and traps, or destroying generators that spawn enemies. There's a sense of dynamic level design from time to time which I certainly wasn't ignorant to, it's just that the bulk of this game's levels felt uniform and derivative in structure.

I'll also mention the game's presentation which I was admittingly disappointed by considering the setting in which the game takes place. Since this game's focus is combat it doesn't have the world's most interesting visuals. Buildings and castles are usually fairly empty looking and they reuse a lot of structures, there's not much of a vibrant color pallet here or a sense of background in any of the areas, there's a fog/mist in a lot of outdoor areas that make them look bland and the underground catacombs and caverns are all pretty dull. Music? Well the game actually does play music in certain areas which was kind of grating since it wasn't particularly good music, the recycling of the boss music was also a tad irritating but I think that's just because I can't stop thinking about how Dark Souls implemented music so much more effectively. If it wasn't for games like Bloodborne or Dark Souls III having such exceptional sound and art design I don't think I'd be nearly as hard on poor Nioh here, but the standards have been set and you're not gonna half ass this shit and not have me say a thing or two about it.

At the end of the day I can appreciate where Nioh differentiates itself from Dark Souls. I just don't think it's quite enough to stop the rigorous comparisons. This game has a lot to offer for those looking for a combat focused take on the Souls formula with a little bit of world history thrown in. Ultimately it lacks the creativity, polish, atmosphere, and world design of a From Soft title. I'd just stick with Ninja Gaiden if it were up to me ma bois.
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PaperbagWriter93 2017-03-26T00:17:54Z
2017-03-26T00:17:54Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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Catalog

UltimateHick Nioh 2023-01-28T22:20:07Z
2023-01-28T22:20:07Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
avoltaire Nioh 2023-01-27T06:24:42Z
2023-01-27T06:24:42Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
chillpissing Nioh 2023-01-24T22:54:40Z
2023-01-24T22:54:40Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
dmnx Nioh 2023-01-24T01:49:08Z
2023-01-24T01:49:08Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
podponcjusz Nioh 2023-01-23T01:24:29Z
2023-01-23T01:24:29Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ariyorke Nioh 2023-01-21T19:00:02Z
2023-01-21T19:00:02Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
JosefumiKujo Nioh 2023-01-20T15:32:51Z
Windows
2023-01-20T15:32:51Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Lorrendale Nioh 2023-01-19T20:24:43Z
2023-01-19T20:24:43Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
longestseason Nioh 2023-01-17T16:48:31Z
Windows
2023-01-17T16:48:31Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Ysbryd Nioh 2023-01-16T17:21:04Z
2023-01-16T17:21:04Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Samarama Nioh 2023-01-15T23:12:31Z
PS4 • XNA
2023-01-15T23:12:31Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Kaloyan_Stark Nioh 2023-01-15T10:40:19Z
2023-01-15T10:40:19Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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Comments

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  • Previous comments (4) Loading...
  • morvit 2021-07-07 05:48:49.807975+00
    This game is Ok. But if compared to any Dark Souls game, it’s significantly worse
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  • DavidthePearce 2021-12-18 21:21:37.394058+00
    I was very surprised by the looter shooter mechanics, I hadn't heard anything about that and it's the game's most standout quality so far (otherwise people are not exaggerating about the Dark Souls comparisons).
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  • dontwannaknow 2021-12-30 20:08:03.686135+00
    From soft saw how mid this game was then dropped Sekiro like it was nothin.
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  • yurelvis123 2022-01-08 03:34:18.775823+00
    they really just made every DLC boss one-shot you huh
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  • alliterativeAlpinist 2022-03-02 04:19:18.668494+00
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  • pp3088 2022-04-08 18:54:26.22429+00
    Looter shooter mechanics? Man the whole looter stuff started with the first diablo, arpg game. Years before anyone thought about using it in shooter.
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  • pp3088 2022-04-08 18:55:33.656652+00
    BTW perfect soulsike with enough orginality(fighting system mainly) that it shines without being carbone coby.
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  • TheHonorableMinisterBBG 2022-10-01 23:16:44.042282+00
    mf cant even swim
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