Alpha Demo Available Now for Team Ninja’s Dark Souls-like Samurai RPG Nioh

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Over a decade in the making, Koei Tecmo has finally launched a playable build for the samurai action RPG Nioh, Team Ninja’s PlayStation 4-exclusive attempt at the popular Dark Souls niche of the genre.

With the full game supposedly scheduled to launch this year, the alpha demo contains two stages of brutal samurai combat and–as I can attest to from my half hour with the trial so far–lots and lots of dying. There are some differences to the locomotion of things that I need to adjust to as an avid Souls player, but the similarities between the games run very deep.

The demo is only available to download from the PlayStation Store for a limited time, until May 5th, at which point it will disappear from the network and hopefully not return to the shadows as potential vaporware. Players who are able to finish a stage in the demo will even be treated to bonus downloadable content one the full game launches.

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From the official press release:

Between April 26 and May 5, gamers have a rare chance to experience the dark setting and intense samurai combat of Nioh via access to two diverse stages. Upon coming ashore a small island near the village of Usuki, in the first stage the player encounters the remains of a fishing village set aflame by a mysterious invasion. In the following stage, demonic beings from the Yokai realm run rampant in Dazaifu, which has controlled western regions since ancient times.

Throughout the demo, the player will be challenged in a unique way guaranteed to heighten their sense of accomplishment. To overcome the brutal foes that lie in wait, players are able to test out three close-combat weapon classes—the spear, axe, and the trusty katana—allowing them to find the armament that best suits their play style. A symbol of the samurai, the katana excels in attacking and defensive maneuvers, and allows for powerful and varied special moves. The spear—the weapon of choice on the battlefields of the Warring States period of Japanese history—not only allows for a variety of long-range thrust attacks, but can also knock down surrounding enemies. And while the massive weight and long handle of the axe may be difficult to wield, the damage caused is greater than other weapons.

All players who complete a stage of the demo will be rewarded with ‘The Mark of the Conqueror’ DLC from the PlayStation®Store, which will contain exclusive in-game content for Nioh at launch. In addition, an online survey will be launched with today’s demo release where players are welcomed and encouraged to leave their feedback on the game. An original wallpaper for smartphones will be available exclusively to those who complete the survey to thank them for their time. Players can access the survey here: http://www.gamecity.ne.jp/form/nioh_us

In Nioh, players will traverse war-torn Japan as William, a blonde-haired swordsman whose background as a fierce warrior and seasoned knowledge of the blade allows him to survive in the demon-plagued land of the samurai. Players will also face off with other samurai in supernatural sword battles and intense, multi-target engagements offering a level of difficulty that will truly test even the most hardened samurai’s skills, patience, and strategy. Under the direction of Kou Shibusawa, Hisashi Koinuma, and the team that defined brutal action games, Team NINJA, Nioh is being created—as Kou Shibusawa put it—“with the entire power of Koei Tecmo,” and is guaranteed to challenge players in a way that makes every mission and accomplishment feel earned and worthwhile.

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