Game face-off: Nioh v For Honour
We put two new games, For Honor and Nioh, to the test
With Valentine's Day gone, we gamers can retreat to our consoles and show our true colours again.
The release of two swordfighting games earlier this month means some of us may have to choose between Nioh and For Honor.
I tried out both on the PlayStation 4 (PS4) and this is how they stack up.
In Nioh - made by Team Ninja, known for the Ninja Gaiden games -you control William, an Irishman who arrives in feudal Japan in search of someone.
You battle your way across Japan, which has been infested with demons known as Yokai.
Ubisoft's For Honor is set in mediaeval times, when a war erupts among the knight, samurai and Viking factions.
Its campaign feels shallow and like a warm-up for the multiplayer mode, which is where the game comes to life.
VERDICT: Nioh combines mystical and real historical figures, and the depth in its story helps it surpass For Honor.
Fans of the Dark Souls series will think of Nioh as a clone with slight variations.
For those who are not familiar, this is a game where mindless button mashing will get you killed, over and over again.
You need meticulousness and a strategy to scale through the levels - a slight error or even a mistimed attack can see your health bar wiped clean.
You revive each time - as does the enemy - but only at your last saved checkpoint, and the punishing grind restarts.
For Honor's combat also requires timing, skill and reflex.
In each spilt second, you have to decide whether to dole out heavy attacks, parry, block or unleash a combination of blows as you cut your way through the enemy to secure objectives.
Each character carries different weapons, making gameplay exhilarating with endless possibilities.
VERDICT: For Honor comes out tops as you always have to think of your next move while making sure you execute everything perfectly.
Getting through Nioh does not require as much thought, just patience.
Nioh works mostly on its single-player campaign, but if you ever have trouble getting past a certain level, you can rope in a human player for help via the game's co-op function.
For Honor features various multiplayer modes: capture the point, elimination, deathmatch, or 1v1 duel, which is the closest you get to reliving those swordfighting showdowns you see in the movies.
VERDICT: For Honor was made for multiplayer, so it scores another point.
Having played the Dark Souls series - although I confess I always give up halfway - Nioh is just as immersive.
One letdown is that you do not get to explore a vast world, just really a big map for each level.
While its co-op function is a welcome addition, it turns ridiculously tough bosses into manageable foes, making the contrast a bit too jarring.
In contrast, For Honor brings to life the beauty of swordfights with its gameplay mechanics, coupled with detailed environments and some impressive character models.
VERDICT: If you want an original swordfighting game and are looking for an engaging multiplayer experience, pick For Honor.
Nioh: $72.50 in the PlayStation Store (available only on PS4). For Honor: $77 in the PlayStation Store (available on PS4, PC and Xbox One).