Famitsu_event_yukimura01_NZDadsIn February Nioh hit the ground running, catching many including myself off guard, providing a surprisingly good game, with a very Dark Souls Aesthetic, but gameplay that while being hard, felt fair and challenging as opposed to brutally punishing. Then came its first round of DLC, Dragon of the North, bringing new environments, enemies, and snow. Now only a few months later we have the second round of DLC for William’s adventure called Defiant Honor, and unsurprisingly, it’s brilliant again.

If you haven’t played Nioh yet, then don’t worry there won’t be spoilers for the main game here, but I highly recommend you go play it the first chance you get. Alongside its outstanding gameplay is an interesting story about an English man in Japan, as the English monarchy has tried to attain powerful resources called Amrita from Japan to beat the Spanish. Then in Dragon of the North we are introduced to Maria, a Spanish woman trying to do the same for the other side, as a conflict goes down around the historical conflicts with Date Masamune. Now Nioh takes William to Osaka castle, searching for Maria, and assisting in the Siege of Osaka Castle.

As the game and DLC before it, Defiant Honor is again based around real events happening in Japan, but with its usual dark magic, fantasy twist. You see a dark, gritty version of Osaka Castle, infested with Yokai, with new variants including explosive ones and mages to name a couple. Then there are the dogs, I can’t describe how frustrating the demon dogs in Defiant Honor are, but it’s a welcome new variation to the game. The new areas to explore are also surprisingly big, giving the impression a lot of work was put in to give this DLC as much value and variation as possible, without making the story longer for the sake of being longer.

There are also new additions such as an increased level cap, a new difficulty setting, which I won’t get near good enough to touch, and armour, but the most important addition is the Tonfa’s. For those unfamiliar, Tonfa’s are those cool weapons that are basically a stick with a handle a third of the way down. Using these weapons feels drastically different to the previous weapons in the game which is another fun change in case you feel the gameplay is a touch played out.

8/10 – Nioh: Defiant Honor is another great DLC package that doesn’t stray too far from what made Nioh great. You need to have beaten the other content to play. If you are rusty it will beat you down, but if you enjoyed Nioh and want more content, then it is perfect for you. One can’t help but respect Team Ninja’s decision to keep doing what made Nioh great, and it has me excited for the next round of DLC.

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