‘Nioh’: Team Ninja Talks Upcoming Samurai Title And Development Process

Difficulty is the name of the game with Nioh, Team Ninja’s latest project set to hit the PlayStation 4.

It looks as though hacking and slashing won’t be enough this time around. With Nioh being said to be a difficult game, players will need to fight their battles carefully. Some are calling it homage to the Dark Souls series. Some are saying that it compares to Ninja Gaiden. Though you wouldn’t be wrong in feeling like Nioh is in the ballpark of either, the game seems to set itself apart with Team Ninja’s attention to detail.

The challenge in video games is nowhere near what it used to be, and Team Ninja went into discussion about Nioh and other titles that were a distance away from their vision. According to a report by GameSpot, Team Ninja had trouble finding their identity, with the growing demand of easier games. It’s no secret that their games are set to punish a player in terms of challenge. Ninja Gaiden is one such example, being responsible for a few broken controllers and growls of rage.

Nioh creative director Tom Lee discussed the hardship of previous years, namely the desire for players to have easier games than what Team Ninja was known for.

“It was a tough time for us; we don’t come from that school of design,” Lee said.

“We felt lost because that’s not who we are. The majority of our team are fine-tuned craftsman, and our directors have a very specific vision about gaming, so it was difficult to adjust to in those years.”

Criticism existed for titles developed by Team Ninja during this time. Perhaps one of the most noticeable is the 2014 title Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z. It’s easy to see that fans had an influence on such a title, given its purpose and the overall gameplay experience.

Tom Lee had this to say in regards to the team’s decision during this time.

“During that time, we made some bad choices by trying to do certain things, thinking we could accommodate a particular playstyle,” Lee began. “We lost ourselves.”

Still, the Dark Souls series has been widely received as one of the more popular games in recent releases. Dark Souls 3 is certainly one such case, with positive reception toward the game and its anticipated difficulty. With that in mind, Nioh was given life.

“We didn’t really know anything about Nioh until the head of Koei presented it to us,” Lee said.

“At first, I had reservations about the project: why is this western protagonist in this Japanese setting? Are we making a historic period Samurai simulator? Is this another Dynasty Warriors-like game?”

If you’ve played the demo, then it’s clear that Nioh is its own game. Polygon reports that Nioh is more than a Dark Souls clone, going into detail about the game’s mechanics and how it stands on its own as a challenging title. Players have a chance to play one final demo before the game’s release, granting newcomers a small taste of what they can expect from the game’s final build.

With Nioh having the potential to do well, Team Ninja has high hopes in revisiting what made them the developer they are.

“It took us so long to feel a sense of pride in our games,” Tom said.

“But we’re back in the sense that we know who we are. These are our strengths and this is a universe that we understand. That’s why we’re doing everything we can to present it in its best light.”

Nioh is set to release on February 7 of this year. If you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day gift that will prove both sweet and sour, this would undoubtedly leave an impression.

What are your thoughts on Nioh and its difficulty? Do you believe that it’s a good move by developers to make games this hard? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

[Featured Image by Team Ninja]