ís combat is so rhythmic and so deep that thereís a practically infinite number of ways to approach it. As far as Iím concerned, Team Ninja are absolutely right to focus on it with laser precision. So if you played Dragon of the North
(and if youíre considering Nioh: Defiant Honor
, you damn well better have), youíll probably have a good idea of what to expect. Though Iím afraid nothing will prepare you for the amazing sequence that opens this chapter.
I still have nightmares about those armored kunai-wielding canines from Ninja Gaiden II. Defiant Honor makes them worse. This takes me back to my original point: the new enemies introduced are the most significant changes introduced here, because they directly impact the dynamics that drive what is easily the strongest element in the core game. Itís still entirely a matter of positioning, timing, weapon choice, and situational awareness, but if the original gameís combat was a piece of music, consider Defiant Honor a shift in both key and meter. Itís not a fundamental game-changer, but it is undeniably a game-enricher.
When you compound the new enemy encounters with the other new elements, such as the snowbound setting of Osaka, youíve got an experience that feels fresh in all the ways it should, while retaining the familiarity that acts as connective tissue for the package as a whole. Additionally, the Tonfa might just be my favorite weapon in Nioh as a whole (again, as it was in Ninja Gaiden II). Itís a brutal, aggressive weapon that will be a godsend for warriors who are sick of overly-defensive enemies. Oh, and if you find pleasure in sticking bamboo shoots under your fingernails, Defiant Honor adds a difficulty level: "Way of the Enlightenment." Good luck.