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Should I Play Nioh Before Nioh 2? – [Answered]

Should you play Nioh before Nioh 2? We have the answers.

Should I Play Nioh before Nioh 2

The Nioh games have been a fan-favorite series for quite a few years now, and since the second game came out 2 years ago, new players might be wondering if they should play the first game before the much newer second one. Well, we’re here to answer your question as well as provide some additional background on the games and what makes them fun.

They are set in a fictional version of Japan in the 1600s. Their gameplay mostly revolves around the wartime the games are set in, with the added presence of supernatural elements to deepen the story. When it comes to the combat, it mostly resembles the famed Dark Souls series wherein it has stamina management, roll dodging with I-frames, and progressively more challenging enemies/bosses the further you get into the game.

Overall, they are a fantastic experience that you shouldn’t miss out on, especially if you’re a fan of Dark Souls and other soulslike games.

Should I Play Nioh Before Nioh 2?

Yes, you should. While the second game is actually a prequel to the first, it introduces more refined and complex mechanics that might be too difficult for a new player to grasp. Playing the first game is not only a great experience, but it also provides a foundation for continuing to Nioh 2.


The premise and character set for the original Nioh are quite interesting if you’re a history buff. The story follows Willam Adams, an Irish sailor who gets stranded in the land the game is set in. This origin story is reminiscent of a story of a famed Englishman who managed to travel to Japan to become one of the first non-Japanese samurai.

In this land, there is a war brewing where both sides are in heated conflict most of the time. The thing that gives the game a supernatural element is the yokai, dangerous spirits that come out to feast upon the carnage of war. They do this to get stronger. Your goal is to traverse the map and look for both human and yokai enemies to dispatch.

Credit: EpicGames

Doing this will give you experience points that you can use to level up and upgrade your gear. However, this is no easy feat as the enemies you encounter will become more and more deadly, drastically ramping up the difficulty of the game. It is a great representation of what soulslike games are all about!

Nioh 2

Nioh 2 is the second installment of the series and is actually a prequel to the story in general. The character you play as is a drastically different one because you play as Hide, a half-yokai warrior. Much like the previous game, you have to travel the land in search of yokai and enemies, all while trying to keep your yokai powers under wraps.

This game features a much more complex gameplay system with more weapons to choose from as well as some special abilities your character can use. They are able to tap into their yokai energy to deliver devastating attacks. The boss designs are better than ever, with horrid monstrosities waiting for you around every corner.

Credit: PlayStation

There is a way to make the road easier, however, since there is also a co-op multiplayer mode where you can summon either A.I.-controlled allies or real players. All of these things come together to create a fantastic experience worth playing many times over.

How Are They Connected?

Interestingly enough, Nioh 2 is a prequel to the original game. Both of the stories are set in different times, but through their events, they actually mesh together, with the ending of Nioh 2 happening after the final act of the first one. Some bosses are present in both games, but that is where the resemblance ends, aside from the setting, of course.

Wrapping Up

There we go! All of the information you need to decide which Nioh game you should start with! While both of the games are absolute joys to play, we sincerely hope that whichever decision you make, you end up enjoying both of them and go on to similar ones, like the Dark Souls series.

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Dario Andric
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