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Diminishing difficulty: ‘Nioh’ update adds the ability to pause the game

Why it matters to you

The inability to pause in games like these are a big reason why they are notoriously difficult. This lessens the challenge a bit.

The latest update to the Dark Souls-like Nioh lets players pause the game, which as fans of this challenging game genre know is a big deal.

Nioh released in January to critical accolades, drawing praise from players who enjoy the style made popular by From Software’s Dark Souls series. Nioh shared plenty with those games, including an inability to pause — unlike in most video games opening the menu didn’t stop the action going on around you, creating unique challenges. That changed in the update released on Friday.

Now when players press the “options” button on the PlayStation 4’s DualShock 4 controller, Nioh‘s menu will open and the game will pause. You will be able to rifle through your inventory, change equipment and settings, and more without getting constantly ganked by demonic yokai and ninjas while you’re not looking. Or you can just go make a sandwich in the middle of a mission, which many players will no doubt appreciate.

The exception will be during multiplayer gameplay, such as when you’ve summoned another player into your game for co-op.

Polygon posted the full notes for the patch, which brings Nioh up to version 1.06. In addition to the ability to pause the game, the patch added new missions, titles and smithing texts, a variety of new settings including some geared toward colorblind players, a huge number of balance tweaks, and numerous bug fixes and improvements. Overall, it’s a massive patch that should reward both existing and new players.

Although the notes list a bunch of changes to various talismans, it seems developer Team Ninja has yet to alter the “sloth talisman” magic, which is so hilariously effective at slowing down fast-moving bosses that it practically breaks the game. So if you’re planning to pick Nioh up for the first time now — it’s currently 33 percent off on the PlayStation Store — take advantage of that while you still can.