Nioh was first announced as Oni back in 2004 as a PS3 game. Since then it’s undergone changes in direction, production, and style. Originally Koei was building the game to be more of a historical battle sim, but the team wasn’t too excited by the way the game appeared and played. That’s when Team Ninja of Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive fame was brought to the forefront and asked to breathe new life into the game. Nioh’s producer Hisashi Koinuma rejected an early protoype, stating that it was too similar to Ninja Gaiden , and wanted more of a happy medium, which they’ve now apparently achieved.
Watching gameplay footage and reading about the various mechanics, it seems like Team Ninja and Koei have taken note on what makes the Souls games so popular, and there are many similarities here. You’ll see messages left by players throughout the game world, you save and level up at various shrines (instead of bonfires), a stamina bar dictates how much you can attack and dodge in a given time, and the game expects that you’ll do plenty of dying. Many of you are looking forward to this game, and it sounds like we’ll be able to get our hands on an alpha demo on April 26 to May 5. Team Ninja is hoping you’ll play the demo and then hop online to take a survey and give your feedback. Players who complete the demo will also get the “Mark of the Conqueror” when the full game comes out, so if this is on your radar you’ll definitely want to mark your calendar.