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Nioh 2 will add character customization, ‘more satisfying deaths’

Team Ninja talks about what’s changing and what’s staying the same

Team Ninja/Koei Tecmo
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Koei Tecmo teased the existence of Nioh 2 during Sony’s E3 2018 PlayStation showcase, but didn’t offer many details on what to expect for the hardcore action RPG. Now we know a little bit more about the sequel to Nioh, thanks to an interview with developer Team Ninja during today’s PlayStation Live From E3 stream.

Fumihiko Yasuda, director of the original Nioh, said at E3 today that he wants to create a “proper evolution” but “not [a] dramatic change” for Nioh 2. Though the first title was well-received, he said through a translator, there were certain things Team Ninja couldn’t accomplish during Nioh’s development. Yasuda hopes to fix that.

Yasuda didn’t divulge details on the story of Nioh 2, only hinting that it ties into the original game’s narrative; Team Ninja is still keeping its location and time period under wraps. Yasuda did say that the studio will be adding character customization for the sequel, based on player feedback, letting players choose their gender and race. That strongly suggests that we won’t be playing as William from the original game in Nioh 2.

Nioh 2 will still be a difficult game — “masocore,” to quote Yasuda — but the developer is hoping to create “more satisfying deaths for players.” Yasuda said that, as with the original game, Team Ninja plans to release at least one free demo for Nioh 2 to solicit player feedback.

Team Ninja creative director Tom Lee added that the studio feels more emboldened in its approach to Nioh 2, saying that the developer was “a little bit cautious and trepidatious” in creating the original game. “This time around,” Lee said, “the gloves are off. We’re gonna go in hard.

“The experience is going to be closer to what we really had in mind [the first time].”