Upcoming samurai game Nioh 2 has recently been announced as a prequel to the original and will feature an area called the Dark Realm enemies can drag the player into. Originally available as a limited PlayStation 4 exclusive in 2017 and developed by Team Ninja, creators of the Dead or Alive series of fighting and volleyball games, the first Nioh was a third-person action adventure title which was compared heavily to the Dark Souls series upon release thanks to its brutal combat and esoteric checkpoint system.
While Nioh may have sported some specific facets of the soulsborne genre, a deeper inventory/loot management system and the ability to switch between three weapon stances instantly in order to properly counter and attack enemies was enough to make the game stand out from the more medieval and European-focused Souls titles. Although somewhat overshadowed at the beginning of this year by the release of From Software's own shinobi simulator Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Team Ninja remains confident Nioh 2 is bringing in enough uniqueness to continue to distinguish itself from the pack of recent samurai titles which also includes Sucker Punch's upcoming PS4 exclusive Ghost of Tsushima.
According to a recent preview published on Game Informer, Nioh 2 will take place in the late 1500's, slightly before the events of the original game. Gone is the Irish sailor named William who players previously donned the armor of, and in his place Nioh 2 will feature a customizable character who is part famous warlord and part yokai, a demon spirit of Japanese folklore. Thanks to the yokai inside them, players will now be able to shift into demon form during combat and have access to special attacks.
Another added feature coming to Nioh 2 is a location called the Dark Realm, home to the yokai demons. At particular as-of-yet unknown points in the game, enemies will be able to drag the player into this area and fight on their own home turf, which gives dangerous yokai demons even more enhanced abilities and powers. Defeating these harder enemies is sometimes the best way to find high quality items, and it's mentioned that "some chests can't even be opened unless you take them down first."
Nioh 2's release date is set for early 2020, and while the exact day has not yet been nailed down the fact that the original title came out in February 2017 may give some indication of something similar occurring in the future. Lately there seems to be no shortage of Dark Souls-inspired games like Blasphemous and the gun-slinging shooter Remnant: From the Ashes, but Nioh 2 seems like it is purposefully adding more and more features in order to distance itself from such a description. Just don't expect those insanely hard Nioh bosses to be any easier.
Source: Game Informer