+Runs extremely smooth on PC with minor to no frame rate hiccups
+Graphics are just as beautiful on PC as they are on consoles
+Steam is not required to play the game making the launcher a useful utility
+Controller support is a must-have for this game
-Lack of keyboard and mouse will be a drawback for some PC gamers
I’m not sure how many times I’ve seen this shrine. I’ve probably seen it half a dozen times. Half a dozen more than I cared to at this point. I’ve dodged, dodged, dodged, and unfortunately somehow I’ve still managed to get knocked into the bigger foe ahead of me only to somehow get an arrow in the back. Not even the small alley’s between these huts have saved me. I should know this well by now, I’ve played this plenty on PlayStation 4 with Nioh (you can read our PS4 review here), and somehow – I still. Manage. To. Freaking. Die. Every. Damned. Time.
I’m not even scared of the flames emerging around the building or the giant Oni lying in wait for me. I’m not even concerned about the fact I’m out of lure my enemies out anymore. I’ve learned that no matter my stance, somehow, one of these damn demons is bound to kill me in some stupid manner. A manner that I should be able to avoid by now, but somehow I don’t.
Motherboard: MSI Z270 Gaming M7
Video Card: MSI’s Nividia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Game Ready Plus
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB RAM
CPU: I7-7700K 3.6GHz| OCed to 4.2GHz
Cooling Unit: Thermal Take V8 GTS Radiator
Just like its console sibling, Nioh is a satisfying experience that’s about recognizing enemy attack patterns, managing your Ki (stamina), and evading, blocking, or attacking when you need to. Your tools of combat is a beautiful ensemble of samurai-themed weapons, ones that will help you fight through the gauntlets of enemies, the ambushes hidden around any corner, and the bosses that await your arrival.
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The environments you will experience are grim, some dank cave, or a storm-littered village. Each area is methodical in how you will explore it, how you will discover its secrets, and how you will take on the enemies within. Its enemies are something weirder than I’d expected for a game of its type. An action-RPG with horror elements. The enemies aren’t just rotting corpses. Some of them are demented bandits, spiders, and even gigantic demon-like creatures.
All of them seem uniquely pulled from Japanese mythology. Oddly, this isn’t my first foray into these lands. I’ve been here before, a few times, but not on the platform I’ve been presented a copy with. This is new to me, a once PlayStation 4 exclusive game having moved to PC, and playing just as it would on a PlayStation 4. If you’ve played games such as The Surge, Dark Souls, or Lords of the Fallen, then you have an idea of the game you are about to play, and the dangers that await you.
If so, then we need to discuss how the game plays and what you should expect when playing the PC port. So lets get down to it.
Is it Just a Port or Does it Manage to do the Job?
Just as you would expect from a port to PC, Nioh doesn’t support mouse and keyboard, which are vital for PC gamers, and general PC functionality. If you do want to spend some time adjusting to the game, then you will be right at home with a DualShock 4 Controller or Xbox One controller.
An issue I did have, when playing the game before our review started, was the lack of an initial launcher. We were stuck with the game having just launched with some major resolution issues, but fortunately, that problem was salvaged rather quickly on the games launch day. This launcher is vital for several reasons: it allows you to access resolution settings, graphic settings, and how you’d like the game play.
The options presented to you in the launcher are not available in-game and must be accessed via the launcher. Fortunately for us, the launcher is what loads first if you click “play” on Steam. Since I avoided Steam after the game was brought up-to-date, I’ve been able to use the games dedicated launcher to play, and avoid the need for Steam altogether. However, this could be fixed, and may need you to use Steam in order to play.
The Controller Settings for Keyboard and Not-Mouse can be Hard to Find.
If you do want to play the game with the keyboard controls, you may find yourself a bit frustrated in learning what the button commands are. They are only listed in a PDF manual, one where you need to go in, and find through the games launcher. Mostly because the game ONLY supports the keyboard (why not mouse as well? It’s 2017, not 1995). Fortunately, I decided to opt to the use of my Xbox One Elite controller, and actually found my quest through the game to be quite enjoyable.
But my preference may not be the same as everyone else. I prefer controllers for action oriented games of this type. Even with my time on Dark Souls and Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin, I opted for a controller over keyboard controls. If you aren’t a fan of the default control options available, which reflect the PlayStation 4 version perfectly, you may be a bit disgruntled with trying to make it through the game itself.
But this was only a minor nuisance for me. Since I was already using the Xbox One Elite’s back paddles, I found no problems with the subtle changes to the controls, and actually enjoyed my experience more than I thought I would. After all, I’d already remapped my controller quite a bit through the Elite Controller app and took advantage of making my own settings possible.
Performance Settings are the Same as PlayStation 4’s Version
The best news about this version? You can choose to bump your framerate settings between 30 or 60 fps. On our high-end system, I rarely saw my framerate dip below 60fps. Mostly dipped slightly during intense moments where there were 5-10 enemies taking me on, fire everywhere, and a plethora of particle effects being rendered. Luckily, these moments are far and few between, and I consistently saw the game strive for its 60fps goal.
Since all settings were maxed out, I did decide to see how the game would perform had I dropped it to 30 fps. Sadly this setting – to me – was not something I could suffer through. I’ve been spoiled by high frame rates, seeing games such as DOOM, Quake Champions, and even Crysis running an average of 100-150 fps without dropping below that 100 fps mark.
Even at the 30 fps setting, Nioh’s versatile and rhythmic combat action was still enjoyable in full 1080p and 4K resolutions. The game remained beautiful, smooth, and played just as one would have hoped, even on our lower end video card. Frame rates we are sure will run rock solid for many at 30fps and 60fps settings. While we’ve not officially been able to test this, we were still a bit taken back by the inability to play the game in Ultra-Widescreen settings.
This port didn’t just feature solid performances. It also featured a slightly-better-than-expected experience thanks to the wide array of PC hardware availability.
Nioh: Complete Edition – PC (Reviewed) and PlayStation 4
Developer: Team Ninja
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Release Date: Available Now
Nioh with all of its content on PC, proves that console gamers have had it great with the PC/PlayStation 4 exclusive title. One that remains just out of reach for Xbox One fans. Since this alternative way to play it does exist, it’s a great time to pick up the game. This game does offer a lot to it and hides some of its best portions for hardcore fans such as the games Twilight Missions (if you play Warframe, think Nightmare difficulty), clan battles, and even a Diablo 2-style loot grind that we enjoy, and can enjoy even more through the games new game plus mode in order to tackle missing items.
Even with the games sloppy mouse and keyboard support, we can admit that this wasn’t a game made for that, and strictly had controllers in mind. Even with that single disgruntlement, this is one of the biggest things we could ask for, and we couldn’t be any happier to see one such game land on PCs as it has. Even with its minor annoyances, this is a solid part of a game, one that will do quite well for itself over time.
Our review is based upon a retail version that was provided to us by the games publisher. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 9 out of 10
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.