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Nioh Devs Say They Changed Co-Op So It Wouldn't Be 'Too Easy'

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The PS4's new action game Nioh gets a whole lot right, but a change to co-op between the most recent demo and the full game has some fans rankled. In a statement to Kotaku, the game’s creative director says the change was made to keep the game from being too easy.

Nioh, a Team Ninja-developed PS4 exclusive that came out on Tuesday, is best thought of as a singleplayer game with multiplayer elements. Similar to games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne, it’s possible to summon other players into your game to help you with a difficult level or a tricky boss. You can set a password and summon one of your friends for co-op, but there’s a catch: The person you’re summoning has to have beaten the level you’re on.

That means that you can’t just partner up with a friend and play the entire game in co-op, Diablo-style. That wouldn’t be an issue except that in the most recent pre-release demo, it was possible to have both players on a level for the first time.


A number of Nioh fans made plans with their friends to tackle the whole game together cooperatively for the first time. They were understandably bummed to find that the finished game won’t let them do that. I reached out to see if the developers could shed some light on why they made the change.

“You cannot co-op through the entire game because that would make it too easy for players to beat the game,” said Tom Lee, creative director at Team Ninja in an emailed statement. “We want players to experience Nioh in how it was intended to be. We allowed players to co-op anytime in the last trial demo only because of the limited stages and time to try out the demo.”


I understand why some players would want to play the game in co-op, but I also can see where Lee and his team are coming from. I’ve played a few levels in co-op and it really does entirely change the dynamic of the game, so I can understand why the developers would want to push people toward playing it through solo the first time. Sounds like the best way to go will be to brave those tricky bosses on your own, then team up for a second playthrough.