I'm not sure that any game has handed me my own arse quite as comprehensively as Nioh. When Team Ninja's samurai role-player came out in 2017, I'd put hours enough into the Souls series to think that I had a chance against its punishing combat. Cut to: me crying like a baby as I was battered, and battered, and battered again by bosses that proved that I either needed to spend several hours perfecting my poise in this singularly testing experience, or just put the game down and play something else.
Reader, I chose the second option. Alas, unless a game is on Switch these days, I don't have the time to really focus my all into learning what I need to progress in tough-nut titles (which is probably why I've got deeper into Cuphead on Nintendo's platform than I ever did when it was a Microsoft exclusive). But Nioh did really well - it earned a swathe of superb reviews, and sold over 2.5 million copies. So it wasn't that much of a surprise when a sequel was announced at E3 2018.
Fast-forward almost a year, and it's time for some testing to commence. Tomorrow, 24 May, a closed alpha for Nioh 2 will start, running until 2 June (on PlayStation 4 only). Before we get into the details on that, here's a new trailer, for your eyeballs and earholes.
Looks alright, eh? Unless you're me, and terrified of it. And now, certain players can actually get their hands on Nioh 2, in the aforementioned closed alpha. How they do so, though, we're not super clear on. It seems that if you're invited, you're invited; and if you've not been, tough luck.
The original Nioh went through both alpha and beta testing prior to its release, so there's a solid chance that its sequel will follow the same model. Meaning that if you're not set to go on this tomorrow, you could have a chance in the not-so-distant future.
Immediately obvious changes from the first game to this second one include the ability for the player's character to shift into various (we've seen three, so far) demon modes, and a host of new fighting styles to wholly flummox idiots like me. There's also a healthy dollop of character customisation, which is great news for anyone who likes to spend three hours refining their avatar's style before ultimately dying horribly five minutes into actually playing the damn game.
Nioh 2 doesn't have a release date yet, but we wouldn't be surprised to see it get one at either E3 in June (50-50, as PlayStation aren't there) or Gamescom in August (more likely, as they are).
Featured Image Credit: Team Ninja/Koei Tecmo