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Sekiro Shadows Die Twice Review

(Image from Steam Game Page)

Sekiro is a breath of fresh air that From Software’s projects have desperately needed. The oriental ambience blends wonderfully with the Souls series’ contemporary technologies. The production deviates from the patterns set by the studio’s previous games. We now have a lot more dynamic and fascinating gameplay, as well as no mobility constraints, owing to the removal of the energy bar. This is not to say that it is not difficult. Sekiro may be challenging. In the game, we take on the character of a warrior who wants to rescue his master from kidnappers and exact revenge on the torturers. The tale is formed more by the player’s actions; there were no cutscenes in the demo, we just went to a huge area throughout a 30 minute talk. The area was packed with multiple groups of lesser foes and bosses, which, as in From Software games, are rather difficult to defeat.

To begin, Sekiro can be played in the manner of a traditional stealth game. When we approach the guard unseen, we will kill him with a single hit. There is also the possibility of jumping on the adversary and performing an aerial kill, similar to the Assassin’s Creed series. Unlike Ubisoft’s franchise, however, the user must “manually” timing the jump and then click the attack button at the appropriate moment to deliver the lethal blow. Quick kills, of course, only work on the most basic foes. Sneaking is facilitated by the occasional thick grass, which totally conceals the hero from the guards’ eyes. Sekiro can also “stick” to walls to avoid discovery, as well as accomplish a kill from around the corner. These are solutions we’ve seen before in many classic stealth games, but they’re utterly novel in From Software’s work. The location’s architecture also encourages opponents to be eliminated silently. When approaching a new location, it’s recommended looking about and trying to get the guards from behind, such as by moving on the roofs and away from the adversaries’ sight. Surprisingly, the makers created an adversary whose sole purpose is to hinder the player from approaching the combat stealthily. When he sees us, he yells and cries loudly with a metal tool, drawing the attention of everyone around him. However, sneaking is simply an alternative. The developers made certain that the fighting system of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice differed from the studio’s past works, yet there are no obvious influences.

(Image from Steam Game Page)

As in the Souls series, each extra adversary on the battlefield significantly raises the difficulty of the skirmish, therefore limit the risk to a minimal. Death can occur even from a “normal” enemy’s attack, and the tougher ones can be difficult to discern from bosses because they have many health bars. Skirmishes are difficult and tiring. We must always be on the lookout for the opponent and know the animations that precede certain assaults. Sekiro is nimble and can dodge after dodge by not using his energy bar. A sword can parry any blow, no matter how powerful. This may appear to be a significant simplification, but the complexity of skirmishes has merely been relocated to another area of warfare. Opponents frequently strike in succession, and if you want to survive the battle, you must parry all attacks thrown at the hero. It is worth noting that assaults arrive from different directions and at varying speeds throughout such a single phase. When we get adjusted to the new fighting concept, though, the fights appear really stunning, almost like actual samurai skirmishes. Because enemies may quickly deflect Sekiro’s normal assaults, the exchange only lasts a few seconds.

The hero mostly utilizes the prosthetic hand for mobility, although it is also used in fighting. A variety of gadget-weapons have been allocated to the arm, opening up additional offensive options. In the demo, Sekiro is armed with an axe, a type of flamethrower, and shuriken, which are throwing stars. However, each weapon has drawbacks, and gadgets may only be used a certain number of times.
The huge blade and flaming strike are exceedingly sluggish, and shuriken are typically ineffectual because adversaries wielding katanas quickly deflect projectiles. A successful assault using these tools, paired with a conventional sword swing, delivers greater damage and causes foes’ health bars to drop considerably quicker. The game universe is a mix of historical and fantasy elements, reimagining 15th-century Japan. It was easy to spot distinctive structures or decorations in the area we visited. There were also magnificent sights, such as a plaza filled with wind-borne flower petals. It revealed out to be the boss battle area a few seconds later.

(Image from Steam Game Page)

It’s worth noting that Sekiro: Shadow Die Twice is also influenced by Bloodborne, a From Software production that was exclusively available on PS4. Although the majority of the opponents are versions of samurai or monk pictures, we also got the chance to face a horrifying, big troll as well as a headless ghost lurking in a dark tunnel in the demo. The monstrous, bloated apparition quickly conjures up images of the aforementioned production’s executives. However, several Souls series solutions remain nearly unchanged. We’re talking about bonfires, which in the new game have been converted into statues. A checkpoint saves the game and replenishes healing supplies, but it also spawns all monsters. The globe is also gone.

Fans of the Souls cycle and Bloodborne will undoubtedly like Sekiro. While plainly different, the combat is still difficult, and the action is additionally expanded by the ability of stealth. Regardless of the variations, the essence of From Software’s creation can still be sensed here.

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