Those who’ve played the barely one month old Nioh have probably already seen the Season Pass up for purchase. While the contents have remained a mystery up until now they have been clarified a bit now and some extras have been announced.
Up first is a duo of free updates for all players:
– End of March: New missions will be added, 10 in total. These are said to be of high difficulty, though if this is true remains to be seen after the game’s own lackluster difficulty up until this point.
– End of April: Player vs Player will be added to the game. In what form is not yet clear. Ninja Gaiden 3 showed players that a tacked on multiplayer romp in this beloved genre can work, but only if it is neatly balanced, has a stable set of servers and a strong player base. Here’s hoping Team Ninja learns from its past mistakes and provides a focused experience that they can balance a solid multiplayer around. With a lack of level-cap and the difference in gear and character-build being such a factor, multiplayer can become quite the unbalanced experience unless certain rules are set.
Afterwards, starting in April, the first downloadable content will be made available, called Dragon of The North. Features contained within are:
– New weapon types: guesses being a form of nun-chuck as used by Ryu in Ninja Gaiden like the Vigorian Flail or further variations on existing weapons like a Bō variant for the Spear moveset.
– New scenarios: probably a translation error, meaning new areas to explore.
– New characters: a vague one. Could mean new characters to interact with in the story and thus transform into via the Hidden Teahouse. It could also mean the introduction of multiple playable characters, a feature present in many of Team Ninja’s remakes of Ninja Gaiden titles.
Some rumors online are considering the idea of this being the introduction to female skins, which are currently absent from the game. This is doubtful, as this will probably be a separate purchase down the line. Asian breasts are a good separate seller.
– New Guardian Spirits: more abilities thrown into the mixture to unbalance the game further. Here’s hoping this will also include a set of balance changes around the full game itself.
– New Yokai: a welcome addition! One thing that sticks out is the use of the word “Yokai” and not “enemies”. Those hoping for more and newer humanoid foes to fight will probably have to wait.
– New stages: kind of confusing, same with the promise of “new scenarios”. Possibly meaning that they created a new set of stages that appear across several side-missions. Might imply that a few of the new main or side missions will reuse existing content.
After these are released the second downloadable content titled Japan’s Best Warrior and the third, Peaceful and Tranquil, will release later this year.
While exciting to see so much content being poured in the already content-rich game that is Nioh, just adding new toys to play with will not fix the problems of the game. The balance issue is bound to get worse instead of better with the addition of these new weapons and abilities. Will Team Ninja fix the existing problems or continue to blindly push out content? Here’s hoping the former!