Sekiro is a third-person action and adventure game, published by Activision but developed by FromSoftware. So what does that mean? Well FromSoftware are the people who developed games like Dark Souls, Bloodborne and they tend to have pretty difficult in play mode or, in other words, they like to challenge their players to do something more if they like to complete tasks. However, Activision requested that FromSoftware should tone down their difficulty approach for this game.

Right from the start, we should analyse the title: Shadows Die Twice, which means that when you die in the game you immediately resurrect and attack the enemy that killed you. So that puts this game in the easy type games? Well no, as the director Hidetaka Miyazaki explains he wanted to create a game that is much tougher than their previous games. So, they focused on making it more challenging, forcing the players to kill their enemies more cleverly, rather than using their skill.

With this said, there hasn’t been a game that will test your anger management as Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will. Let’s jump into the details.

STORY

In this game, you play as a shinobi that is trying to keep a prince safe in Japan. The prince in question is descendant of the ancient clan that has been wiped out. At the start of the game, a commander from Ashina is kidnapping the prince you are trying to protect, followed by his beliefs that the prince is vital for protecting their lands from the enemies.

From the start the story is not so easy to understand, this is something that FromSoftware are known for. We sure hope that deeper in the game the story will be easier to grasp.

The storyline is followed by supernatural elements, like massive enemies vomiting on their swords to make it poisonous. As Miyazaki said: “We’re not 100% rooted in reality”.

All and all the story is amazing, setting your mind in the ancient era and it sure keep you engaged and eager to discover more.

GAMEPLAY

First of all this game is very different than their previous ones: there is no leveling up, character classes, stats. You have just straight melee combat with RPG elements. Sekiro has some incredible mechanics: attacking, jumping, revolving doors and swimming (although swimming is mainly used for stealthy movement).

The new feature stealth combat is brilliant. You can hide in plants and kill enemies, tuck up against a wall to kill around a corner and use grapple hook to eliminate enemies from above. They tried to challenge players and give them more ways to kill their target. Sekiro is all about figuring out a way to eliminate opponents more cleverly. If you jump straight in to combat, the chances of you dying are pretty high.

When you figured your way to kill your opponent and it is time to attack, you will have to use moves called Shinobi Death Blows, but before you do that you need to whittle down your opponent’s posture. This is the new mechanic that replaces stamina until it is suppressed by your appearance or executing a perfect parry, leaving them vulnerable for an amazing finisher. FromSoft says that in this game you will always feel on the edge of death, but if you think wisely and try to block or dodge attacks you will triumph.

SKILLS

The “Lone Wolf” – Sekiro has lost his arm in battle and now he has replaced it with ningshui, a prosthetic that allows you to attach equipment on it such as kaginawa (grapple hook). With the prosthetic, you can do a lot of things such as perform firecracker explosions, breaking opponents shields, make an umbrella-like shield for you and much more.

Unlike FromSoftware’s previous games, gathering souls and blood vials, in this game you are able to gather experience points from defeated enemies and spend them on “Sekiro Skill Trees” which you first need to find in the game’s world. This allows you to upgrade some passive and active abilities, make your character much more ready for your next battle.

VERDICT

This game will surely test your ability to stay calm, it is pretty difficult to play and not recommended for those ones who do not enjoy a challenge. You need to accept the fact that you may not ever finish Sekiro. Don’t try to step in like it’s a horse race, but take your time and enjoy the journey. Other than that the game is great, has stable mechanics, eye-catching combat and incredible visuals that put you in a set of mind, back in the ancient history. You should definitely try it out.