Speed runs have seemingly been around since video games first began, but one Twitch streamer goes above and beyond, completing Nioh in just over an hour and a half.
From developer Team Ninja and publisher Sony, the PS4-exclusive action-RPG Nioh has rightfully garnered a ton of positive critical response and a rapidly-growing fanbase in equal measure. Since Nioh launched just a few weeks ago on February 7, players have been eagerly blazing through the game’s hack-and-slash combat across varied environments in hopes of reaching that final fated mission. And some have done it more quickly than others – much, much more quickly.
Twitch streamer Distortion2 set out to the demon-ridden lands of Nioh‘s gritty Japan in an all-mains mission as protagonist William Adams. Thankfully for him, he managed to accomplish his goal, but along the way he surpassed an impressive benchmark: he beat Nioh in a touch over an hour and a half – one hour, 36 minutes, and 51 seconds be exact. This marks Distortion2 as the first player to complete the intense action title in record time.
Given the complexities of Nioh‘s gameplay, from learning how to level William to perfecting the balance of strength and stamina, many players would view Distortion2’s speed run as an incredible feat (which it technically is, as he set a new world standard), but he simply describes it as “decent.” The lightning-quick Twitch streamer died six times during his gameplay, a figure he views as impacting the overall quality of the speed run. Distortion2 stated that if he can have another stab at a Nioh speed run and avoid death altogether – or at least pare down the time he spends inactive – he may very well set another record and complete the game in under 90 minutes.
While this is an undoubtedly noteworthy accomplishment, and should at least be checked out by anyone even slightly interested in taking Nioh for a personal spin, players should be aware that Distortion2’s speed run doesn’t mean that he experienced the game in all its over-the-top glory. As it was main mission-focused, and it seems the now-legendary Nioh player went into the run with a laser focus on that target, no side missions or more nuanced gameplay is shown in all of the 96 minutes. Though the execution is very well done and definitely commendable, anyone looking to get a clear indication of what the full Nioh experience is like might want to do a little digging past Distortion2’s run.
This isn’t the first time players have punched, sword-swung, and brawled to the brutal end of a game at neck-break speeds, but it certainly appears applause-worthy. Gamers have long used time to best FPS titles (one player beat DOOM in just under an hour and a half) and creativity to combat survival horrors (the most recent record shows a fan completing Resident Evil 7 using only a knife). But what’s interesting about Distortion2’s speed run is the context.
Many have compared Nioh to the thunderous third-person shooter series Dark Souls, what with its powerful enemy bosses like Hino-enma and Onryoki, and the two games’ difficulties have been stacked against one another time and again. For some, it seems the Team Ninja title sits many rungs higher in arduousness and intensity than Dark Souls, causing them to rely on the co-op functionality to get by and even question how to make Nioh easier. Some players have even fallen prey to rage-quitting following a particularly nefarious boss battle. But for others, Nioh isn’t totally unconquerable – Distortion2 included.
Though the record-setter himself may only view his run as average and just “fairly good,” it seems likely that it will spawn a group of Nioh fans to attempt speed runs of their own, possibly even beating out Distortion2’s time. After all, competition is the best motivation, something gamers are oh-so familiar with.
Nioh released on February 7, 2017 for the PlayStation 4.