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Nioh's co-op has changed since the beta, much to fans' chagrin

Dev says regular co-op “would make it too easy”.

Team Ninja's latest samurai action epic Nioh is a fantastic blend of Dark Souls and Ninja Gaiden, but there's one major feature that's been altered since the game's two beta tests to contentious results: the way co-op works.

The Ogress boss could be tackled with a friend in the Last Chance beta, but one of you will have to defeat her first in order to team up in the full game.

In the beta, players could summon in another player to help them tackle one of Nioh's many fiercely challenging bosses. In the full game that's true too, only there's one catch: the person being summoned must have beaten the level first.

If you're just looking for help from a stranger (just a friend you haven't met), this tweak won't be particularly bothersome. But if you intend to play through Nioh with a friend as you progress together, you won't be able to do this - despite that being an option in the beta. Many fans were not pleased about this.

"While it's not literally false advertising, I definitely feel like I've been deceived," said Redditor amisterfister69.

"We just want this fixed like the way it was before. What they changed doesn't make sense, it was last minute, and 99 per cent of people obviously are unhappy with this backwards take on co-op," added Redditor midpyro.

Creative director at Team Ninja Tom Lee told Kotaku that this feature was changed "because that would make it too easy for players to beat the game."

"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."

It's an interesting reason, as playing with a stranger who's beaten the boss you're struggling on would technically mean that you're partnering up with a more advanced (and probably leveled up) companion than you would get from co-oping the whole game with a friend. On the other hand, this cumbersome criteria encourages players to learn the ropes themselves and not rely on their friends doing the heavy-lifting.

Admittedly, this change is not something I noticed when testing the game's co-op for review purposes, as my experiments with Digital Foundry's John Linneman had us going back to levels we'd already completed. We had a great time doing that though, and controversial co-op implementation aside, Nioh came highly recommended.