Fresh off releasing a new trailer at the Tokyo Game Show, developer Team Ninja has announced an open beta for the action-role playing game Nioh 2.
Scheduled to kick off on Nov. 1 and run until Nov. 10, the beta will only be available for PlayStation 4 via the PlayStation Store. As for the full release, publishers Sony and Koei Tecmo revealed last week that Nioh 2 is slated to drop sometime in early 2020 as a PlayStation 4 exclusive.
In Tweet straddling the announcement, Team Ninja said the beta features a new stage and a new Yōkai enemy to battle.
Team Ninja describes Nioh 2 as a prequel to 2017’s well-received original Nioh, which acted as a statement of intent for the studio. Having been responsible for the cult Ninja Gaiden series, Team Ninja has carried the heavy burden of fan calls to create a game that matches those same auspicious heights. Nioh did just that finding its roots in an abandoned Akira Kurosawa script despite a near 13-year development cycle.
With Nioh 2, Team Ninja looks to follow in those same footsteps – albeit cutting down significantly on the development process – and pits players against hordes of samurai phantoms and demonic animal-like beasts that draw heavily from the darker heritage of Japanese Yōkai folklore.
Swapping out the original’s Irish sailor, William (based off the historical figure and Engish navigator William Adams), for a player-created semi-Yōkai and semi-human protagonist, Nioh 2 returns to the tumultuous Sengoku period in Japanese history.
Although we’ve seen quite a bit of Nioh 2 courtesy of game play trailers and a 50,000 player closed Alpha that ran back in late May, we’re light on story details as of writing. Team Ninja says Nioh 2 will crutch on the mechanics and systems of the original while introducing a flurry of new features.
The Nioh series has been described as a merger between Ninja Gaiden and Dark Souls. It’s a tired comparison but one that nevertheless highlights Nioh’s difficulty and tight, methodical, almost choreographed combat.