I am no stranger to the Nioh series. Ever since its debut back in 2017, I fell in love with its unique take on the “souls” genre. If anything, it was dubbed as the Japanese Souls game of its time but over the years we have seen it grow into its own blend of Dark Souls and Ninja Gaiden. The original game was tough as it relied on fast-paced combat, quick thinking and mastering your build by utilizing the game’s deep loot system. The Nioh Collection aims to deliver it all in one stunning package.
Not to mention the core plot from the original game, which saw William travel to Japan to save his guardian spirit from the villainous Kelley, was fantastic. This was thanks to the game’s use of Amrita and how most of the enemies all stemmed from some sort of Japanese folklore. Anyone with a fraction of love for Japanese mythology would love it.
We then had Nioh 2 which acted as a prequel to the original game. It told the events of the wars that took place before we met William and in specific the corruption that was formed due to the misuse of the Amrita stones. Nioh 2 brought some new adjustments to the game but most of all, its Yokai Abilities and Burst Counters added new layers to the traditional combat system.
We then have the fantastic DLC which Team Ninja delivered throughout Nioh 2 that further expanded the game’s end-game grind. These chapters added new story elements to the game and at the same time, the toughest encounters anyone could face in the series. The Underworld and Depths of the Underworld rely on the best builds and the best players to get through. It is not your average walk in the park.
So it has been four years and we have had two Nioh games and hundreds of hours pumped into both. We are now on a new generation of hardware and the PS5 allows for both games to get some refined performance. The Nioh Collection is the definitive version of the series that packs all the content and game updates into one game. In addition, it boosts the game across a range of performance modes including 4K 60FPS and a high-end 120FPS mode which the reduction of some resolution.
It is important to note that while the original Nioh was a gorgeous game at the time, it does look a little dated in 2021. Textures can be a bit rough and object detail are not as refined as Nioh 2. With that being said, it is hard to not praise the game’s technical achievements that come in the form of flashy combat, fiery environments and the ability to have a busy scene and keep up with the engine.
Nioh and Nioh 2 also remain fantastic games to play thanks to their superb combat. The hack and slash moves combined with the Ki Pulse and in Nioh 2 managing the Yokai abilities successfully creates its own unique combat feel. While it is easy to compare these two games to other Souls entries on the market, Team Ninja actually built a rather impressive combat system across both of them.
Both games also manage to deliver the Japanese fantasy we all love. This includes the use of ninja tools, buffs and magic. This all comes in handy when facing off against massive bosses that again are all inspired by some fantastic folklore. It is especially magical when the cinematics come to life. Anyone who enjoys watching chanbara films can dive into the fantasy as sword collide, flashy moves are pulled off and the drama is all backed by superb Japanese voice work.
The Nioh Collection takes everything I have previously mentioned and delivers it at its best. The PS5 offers the ability to enjoy the game featuring the best frame rate, resolution and of course the almost-instant load times. However, most important of all is the frame rate because Nioh and Nioh 2’s combat shines the faster it looks. Playing the game is gorgeous at 60FPS and it means less latency and more control over your movements.
We then have the 120FPS mode which is enabled if you have an HDMI 2.1 TV or monitor. I played most of the first game using this mode and it feels fantastic. There’s just something thrilling about playing a PS5 game on a 65-inch TV at 120FPS. I will never look at Nioh the same again.
There are multiple graphical modes to choose from. One is the PS5 mode which targets 1080p at 60FPS. This mode also improves some in-game details and adds foliage to distant areas, improves draw distance and texture quality. This mode is sort of the Cinematic Mode. Then there’s the 4K 60FPS mode which maximizes resolution, decreases the little details mentioned before and delivers the high frame rate. Of course, the 120FPS mode lowers the resolution but drastically boosts the frame rate.
Other cool PS5 features include instant load times. No really, it is fast. It makes retrying those tough missions quick and easy. You die. You load in. There’s no-nonsense here. Luckily, the game has a load screen that requires you to press a button to load into the game. Else there would be no screen at all. The DualSense Controller also has some nice features such as the sound output of combat sound effects and some satisfying haptic feedback.
The Nioh Collection on PS5 lets you import your saves from both games. Those of you who own Nioh 2 will get the remaster for free but owners of the original game won’t get the free upgrade. You can also purchase the games separately so if you own one of them then you can get the other. Keep in mind that the price tags are quite close together so you may as well fork out the extra to get Nioh 2’s season pass as the remaster collection includes every piece of DLC.
The Nioh Collection Review Verdict
The Nioh Collection is the best way to experience the stunning series. The PS5 upgrades make the game feel and look better than ever. However, this package has been built for the hardcore fans who love the game enough to buy it all over again. Thankfully, the hundreds of hours of content will make it worthwhile.
This The Nioh Collection PS5 review was based on a code sent to us by Sony
Available On: PS5, PC | Reviewed On: PS5 | Release Date: 5 February 2021 | Price: R1369 – Collection / R1199 – Each Game