When Team Ninja’s latest video game project, Nioh, released on the PlayStation 4 in February, many players quickly found themselves falling in love with its fast-paced samurai combat and detailed skill system that allowed you to craft your perfect character. Thanks to a series of repeating missions and epic rewards for completing them, Nioh’s Diablo-like loot system kept players interested in the game’s grind for weeks as they collected the best gear for their characters, complementing it with the required skills to dominate the battlefield.
With a deep skill system, ninja equipment, and a wide variety of weapons and magical abilities, you’d think Nioh’s newly-added, player-versus-player battles would be fun activities to participate in. But, with many overpowered character builds and shoddy connections between players, it’s quite the opposite.
Released this week alongside the game’s first DLC, Dragon of the North, Nioh’s PvP mode is a free update that allows you to compete in 1v1 duels and 2v2 battles against other players. Since Nioh’s combat system is all about carefully executed movements and actively managing stamina, it sounds like an intriguing concept to dive into. Instead, you’ll be met with teleporting opponents, hits that won’t land when you clearly connected them, and death that comes within seconds due to the connection not being able to keep up. There are players who are capable of one-shotting you with ease, others that are able to gun you down from afar with a single bullet, and even more that can consistently throw ninja stars at you until you’re lying dead on the ground. Sounds like fun, right?
Occasionally, when you find a well-balanced match where the connection is stable, you’ll start to see hints of what Nioh’s PvP could have been: a complicated battle of timing your attacks perfectly and learning when you should use your abilities against your opponent, but those engagements are a rarity.
Hopefully, we’ll start to see something similar to how players in the Dark Souls 3 community set a maximum soul level of 120 on builds designed for PvP battles within the Nioh community. Until then, Nioh’s PvP is going to remain a frustrating mess for players who were eagerly anticipating its arrival — unless, of course, you’ve already got an overpowered character.