In a front heavy year, that saw many outstanding releases in the first few months, Nioh was a game that was only on the fringes of many radars, and many were blown away at how fantastic it was. Dark, beautiful, and tough as nails, Nioh carved its way into many minds as a game worth every second in its feudal Japan setting. With controls and gameplay that were hard but satisfying, Nioh became a must play for many. A few months later its first DLC pack has dropped, Nioh: Dragon of the North.
Peace only lasts so long as Masamune Date a.k.a. The One-Eyed Dragon starts his plans for a new war from the Tohoku region. This means William must travel to the snowy region of Tohoku to beat this new threat. The story, liken to Nioh’s main game is interesting and fun, but this time shorter, in the few hours’ range, which to be fair is fine, as the original game provided us with significantly more than $100 worth of content.
The real star of the new DLC is the new region, which as mentioned above, is a snowy region. It’s a nice stark difference which makes the DLC region feel different enough to the original to make it a fresh change from where we have already spent many hours. It also brings new enemies, as well as ice variants of old enemies but there isn’t too much more to that, as expected there is going to be a lot of killing. Fortunately for the killing, you are also equipped with new gear, notably a giant sword called the Odachi which has been built from the ground up as a new weapon, as opposed to a glorified skin, making it as worthwhile as any other weapons in the game, and well worth the time mastering.
Interestingly you must beat the original game Nioh before tackling the DLC, which while it makes sense chronologically, it is an interesting choice. It does stop people jumping into it without experiencing the reasons the DC is great, but what it does mean is if you accidentally deleted your save when you were tidying your console or cloud storage, you will need to beat the game again to start the DLC, so make sure you are protective of that save if you plan to tackle the DLC now or in the future.
8.5/10 – Looking back on Nioh: Dragon of the North it’s a worthwhile expansion. A new short story, a new region, a new weapon, some armour and new enemies, it doesn’t rely on milking more money from what was already made. Instead Ninja Theory has opted to make a worthwhile short little sequel that any fans of the main game would be crazy to miss, and hopefully, the next DLC packs can live up the bar that Nioh: Dragon of the North set.