Nioh and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice are created by two different developers but they have a lot in common, to the point that they are both considered a Soulslike game despite only the latter being officially a part of that spectrum.
Both of the games are created with fast-paced action and progression in mind and are set in the same time period of 16th century Japan too. So, when two games from different franchises are that similar to each other, gamers begin drawing comparisons and wish to know which game is better.
That’s not an easy question to answer here because both games are excellent in different ways – so the only way to reach a conclusion here is to draw a thorough comparison of the important aspects of what makes a game amazing.
So, with a side-by-side comparison – let’s decide which game you should play between Nioh and Sekiro!
Nioh vs Sekiro: The Graphics
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The graphics of Nioh and Sekiro are both pretty good and almost on the same level too since they’re both AAA games that came out in the same generation of gaming. However, even with the sequel being out, Nioh’s graphics just don’t seem to hold a candle to the excellent visuals and art style that we have in Sekiro.
Of course, it all comes down to preference and some people might prefer the graphics and art style of the two Nioh games instead – but we personally feel that Sekiro just looks much better.
The majority of the sceneries in the game are amazing and it is reflected beautifully within the art style, making it an immaculately designed experience that makes every drop of water feel personal.
Nioh’s graphics look pretty good and there are definitely some good-looking areas here and there – but it just does not feel as big or heavily detailed as Sekiro’s due to its focus on providing a more RPG-centered experience while Sekiro took liberties with its visual design.
Nioh vs Sekiro: The Story
Nioh has a decent story and tons of lore to pick up on, which is something that you’d come to expect from Souls-like games as they have always been something that feels like creating your own adventure.
However, this takes away the appeal from being able to build a narrative for players to follow which is something that many people prefer.
Sekiro, on the other hand, has a complete narrative built for the players to experience since the creator of the game wanted it to feel different from the other Souls-like video games that he had created thus far in the franchise. So, we have a protagonist with a complete personality and struggles, and we see his journey to the end.
In general, this is again more of a preference than an objective comparison because some people prefer Nioh’s story for the way it allows players to create their own role-playing adventure.
However, for some people, which includes us, we really enjoyed the fresh take at providing a pre-written narrative in a Souls-like game because we already have far too many games with silent protagonists in the genre otherwise.
Nioh vs Sekiro: The Gameplay
This is the most divisive factor between the two games because Nioh focuses on providing a broad list of gameplay elements that make it a full-fledged role-playing game – whereas Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a bit of a straight-forward hack ‘n’ slash game in comparison.
In Nioh, the loot system is very well-made and it allows you to collect items for tons of customization. You can change your weapons, armor, gear, and so on. The leveling up in Nioh is far more relevant too since a lot of the enemies that you fight throughout the later parts of the game are higher in level and taking away their health is measured in numbers rather than traditional health bars.
The number of skills that Nioh offers to the players is bigger too due to the game’s variety in everything in general.
Now, on the other hand, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is more polished due to its focus on a smaller number of skill sets and fewer customizations available. Since it’s a part of the larger Dark Souls franchise, the developers decided to have a more grounded approach and drop most of the role-playing aspects as a result.
It’s not to say that Sekiro doesn’t have things of its own too, of course. The boss fights are amazing, the level design is pretty good, and there are other small touches that make the game feel unique such as the grappling hook for example.
Ultimately, it depends on what you as a gamer wish to play because both games offer two different types of experiences. So, we can’t give a point to either game in this context.
Nioh vs Sekiro: Additional Content
Sekiro is only repayable to people who wish to break their own records and try the game with harder circumstances. Besides that, the game does not offer much to keep you playing after the endgame and as a result, can be seen as a fairly short action game.
Nioh, on the other hand, features a very well-made online co-op mode which adds a lot of life to the game. The mode in general is meant for getting a little bit of help from another player, but it can also be used to practice just invite your friends over, and allows you to replay the game in a vastly different way – which is definitely worth your time.
So, with Nioh, you get the single-player experience and an online mode to mess around with at the same time which allows it to be far longer than Sekiro in terms of playability.
Not only that, but there is also the fact that Nioh is more of a full-fledged role-playing adventure, so it’s just naturally capable of lasting you a long time. And we’d like also to mention the fact it only has two games in the franchise – so you won’t have to catch up too much to have a better understanding of the universe.
While Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a standalone adventure, it can be hard to shake off the itch of wishing to play other games in the franchise first before you get around to Sekiro. And as weird as it may sound, it almost requires you to play them to truly appreciate Sekiro because one of its strongest points includes being unique to other Souls-like games.
Last but not least, if we add Nioh 2 to the mix, the co-op mode has been expanded to allow three players at the same time. So, an already replayable mode has been upgraded to allow even more fun and that’s just something that we can’t ignore.
Nioh vs Sekiro: The Winner
In the end, there can only be one game to rule them all. So, let’s count down the total points both games have earned.
We have to give this one to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice for taking the liberty with its art style and allowing for better visuals altogether. Nioh feels a little overcrowded and not nearly as personal. Point for Sekiro.
While Nioh allows players to have a proper role-playing experience with a lack of a properly developed protagonist – Sekiro swam against the tide by providing a personality and a voice to the protagonist. Personally, for us, we prefer Sekiro’s approach to the narrative. Point for Sekiro.
We truly can’t pick a favorite here because both of the games offer a different experience which can be appreciated by fans of the individual approaches. So, point for neither.
Nioh wins this aspect easily as both the first game and its sequel offer a fleshed-out co-op mode that allows you to sink in many hours of fun into the game aside from the main adventure. Point for Nioh.
Ultimately, for us, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a better experience and something that the Souls-like genre truly needed even though Nioh offers more replayability. However, it’s more of a subjective preference than an easy win for the game because both are excellent adventures that will satisfy fans of the two franchises without a doubt.
If you liked this article, make sure to check out some of our other helpful guides as well! We hope that this comparison helped you out in choosing which game to try out first.