The review embargo for Souls-style action-RPG Nioh lifted overnight, and the verdict so far is that it's an uncompromising but extremely enjoyable experience.

I say "so far" because fewer outlets than usual have reviews up right now – something that can be put down to a short embargo lead-in and the game's ruthless difficulty.

"Nioh is an extremely long and incredibly challenging game," Polygon wrote in an effort to explain why its review isn't up yet.

"This isn’t shocking for a title that has happily embraced comparisons to Dark Souls, but even our experience with From Software’s series couldn’t quite prepare us for how much Nioh demands of its players.

"This is almost certainly the most difficult game we’ve ever had to review in our decade-plus of writing about games."

"almost certainly the most difficult game we’ve ever had to review in our decade-plus of writing about games"
polygon, noobs of great renown

Chris is the brave soul tackling Nioh for us. He received his key four days ago, and expects to have a thorough review for you all early next week. That, or the game's demons will devour his soul.

Regardless, Nioh is currently sitting pretty with an OpenCritic score of 87.

"While Dark Souls is a methodical action-RPG that expects players to take it slow, Nioh is a faster and more aggressive experience, rewarding those who press the attack and pull back only at the last possible moment," writes Jim Sterling in his 10/10 review.

"While it would be tempting to liken Team Ninja’s work more closely to Bloodborne, even that comparison seems insufficient given Nioh's sometimes vicious encounters."

Elsewhere, Eurogamer's Jeffrey Matulef calls Nioh "a refreshing reminder of just how thrilling a solid Team Ninja combat encounter can be", while friend of Gameplanet Steve Wright heralds it as "the Dark Souls for those of us who hate Dark Souls".

In Nioh, you traverse war-torn Japan as William, a blonde-haired swordsman whose background as a fierce warrior and seasoned knowledge of the blade allows him to survive in the demon-plagued land of the samurai.

Nioh launches for PS4 on Wednesday February 8, and you can pre-order it to receive an exclusive Nioh poster right now at at Mighty Ape.