4K Loot Souls
It’s safe to say we’re now properly in the “next gen” with PS5 and XBox Series consoles becoming far more available to the average punter, providing a lifeline to shiny new video game gems in these gloomy times. But one of the key attractions of this new generation of videogame consoles isn’t just what new titles will make use of the speedier hardware, but how old favourites will perform with better tech behind them.
At the launch of the PS5, Ben put in some stellar work to do some comparison videos to look at frame rate and resolution boosts to older games – two of our most requested titles for these were the loot-em-up souls like’s, Nioh and its 2020 sequel, Nioh 2. Both performed really well on PS5 hitting solid 60fps in their unlocked 1080p modes and Nioh 2 was a game I gleefully revisited once I got my PS5 plugged into my TV. But the day after we posted our comparison video, publishers Koei Tecmo dropped the bombshell news that both games would be getting full on remaster treatments on Sony’s new console.
The “next gen updates” for games are providing some of the more compelling reasons to dip back into that backlog of titles in our libraries, from the stunning work that Turn 10 has done on Forza Horizon 4 for Series X, to the incredible updates that have recently hit for the likes of No Man’s Sky, Destiny 2 and God Of War, even something as simple as introducing 4K resolutions with an unwavering 60fps can lift an older game into feeling like something new and exciting.
Koei Tecmo and Team Ninja’s Nioh Remastered Collection on PS5 sort of straddles that line between being a generational update and a stand alone title in its own right. Both games are available separately for purchase on the PlayStation Store, or as part of the superbly good value Collection, and feature the full gamut of DLC they got for their original releases on PS4. Owners of Nioh 2 on PS4, however, are in for a treat as they’ll be able to upgrade to the respective version of the sequel for free – unfortunately there is no upgrade path for the original, but at £70 for both games in their remastered forms, this collection is also a steal for those wanting the full whammy.
I’ve talked at great length about Nioh and its sequel in our respective reviews so tl; dr, these games are action RPGs set in feudal Japan in which the player has to venture through hostile levels facing off against a bevvy of samurai and demons before tackling big-ass bosses. They’re kind of a blend of Soulslike combat with a faster, more arcade-like edge and a dungeon crawler style loot system that has you constantly swapping out gear for newly found items with better stats. They’re great games, both well deserving of their 9/10 scores and these remastered versions allow them to shine even more brightly.
Both of the new PS5 editions sport dynamic 4K and 120fps modes, with the former keeping to a pretty much locked 60fps throughout – if there were drops they barely registered. The 120fps mode I sadly didn’t get a chance to try, what with not owning a screen that could take advantage of it, but for those who do they can look forward to even more silky smoothness. What this crisper version of the games do bring for all, at least in the case of Nioh 2, is a larger appreciation of just how damn good they are.
The high resolution textures on the character models and locations shine; I felt like I was seeing detail on the armour my hardy ninja was wearing for the first time and spent the first 20 minutes of so of my playtime in photo mode, zooming around and looking over all the little flourishes in the way smoke emitted from urns, or sparks played off swords. It’s not as striking an update as, say Forza Horizon 4 or Destiny 2 is on the new consoles, but it’s a level of clarity that was missing from the last gen releases.
The original Nioh perhaps benefits a little less than its sequel in this remaster, however, with its 2017 visuals and lower poly models showing through more in the higher resolution. Going back to the original I’d forgotten how much stiffer it felt in comparison to its more free flowing sequel, as well as how dismal the opening tutorial is. It is, by no means, a bad game however, and its very worth picking up as part of the collection if not as a standalone title.
Owners of the original games will benefit in the new cross save support, as well – simply upload your save from the PS4 version of the game (you do this in a menu item that’s been added in a recent update) and you can carry on in the PS5 version as if no time at all had passed. The high level weapons you get at the start of new games, thanks to the “Complete Edition” status of these remasters, will also help new characters melt through the early stages, and the faster loading provided by the PS5 means that getting to new areas is almost instantaneous. In addition, online multiplayer also supports cross play, matchmaking players across both the PS4 and PS5 versions of the games, meaning there’s more opportunity for that ever fun jolly co-operation.
Whether owners of Nioh 2, who are getting their free upgrades, want to double dip for the remaster of the original is entirely subjective, but for those who have had an interest in the franchise, this is an excellent way to pick up what is the best versions of these games for your PS5.