Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Release date22 Mar 2019
Carve your own clever path to vengeance in an all-new adventure from developer FromSoftware. In Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice you are the “one-armed wolf”, a disgraced and disfigured warrior rescued from the brink of death. Bound to protect a young lord who is the descendant of an ancient bloodline, you become the target of many vicious enemies, including the dangerous Ashina clan. When the young lord is captured, nothing will stop you on a perilous quest to regain your honour, not even death itself.Explore late 1500s Sengoku Japan, a brutal period of constant life and death conflict, as you come face to face with larger than life foes in a dark and twisted world. Unleash an arsenal of deadly prosthetic tools and powerful ninja abilities while you blend stealth, vertical traversal, and visceral head to head combat in a bloody confrontation. Take Revenge. Restore your honor. Kill Ingeniously.
About Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is released by Activision in 22 Mar 2019. The game is designed by FromSoftware. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a typical representative of the Adventure genre. Playing Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a pleasure. It does not matter whether it is the first or a millionth hour in Adventure, there will always be room for something new and interesting. Thrilling levels and gameplay Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will not leave anyone indifferent. The complexity of gameplay increases with each new level and does not let any player get bored.
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Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is versatile and does not stand still, but it is never too late to start playing. The game, like many Adventure games has a full immersion in gaming. AllGame staff continues to play it.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is perfect for playing alone or with friends.
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This section tells the history of the world of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Your death will not come so easily. Go back in time and discover Sengoku Japan from the end of the 16th century, a brutal, bloody period full of deadly conflicts. As the tension mounts, an exciting new story unfolds amidst the chaos: that of Sekiro ™: Shadows Die Twice, the new dark and tortured experience developed by renowned teams from FromSoftware, creators of Bloodborne and the Dark Souls series.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Analysis
Sekiro flees from dark and fantastic atmospheres to take us to Feudal Japan, presenting the story of a Shinobi who must avoid the shame of having lost his lord, a young nobleman who is said to be of the dragon's race. Together with him we will go through a series of scenarios of a wide and interconnected world in the purest Soulsborne style , while we discover the history of this character. That is the first big difference, that this time there are no classes, nor edition of the protagonist, since everything is much more traditional and cinematographic, although I also rely on explanations at many times, leaving us to interpret certain details of the plot.
This makes Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice more traditional in terms of narrative and, therefore, capable of engaging a less accustomed audience to the contextual narrative of the Soulsborne. Here the cut scenes are more common, frequent dialogues and, although not all the narrative drawing is painted, it is easy to interpret what we are told. There are blurry moments, such as our hero's past, that we will discover through memories, which lead us to a world separated from the main one, discovering more and more details of the history of this world (and finding improvements along the way). A good twist that has surprised us and serves to add an extra dose of variety to the history of the FromSoftware game. The fact is that Sekiro's story matters and hooks as much as its gameplay.
In playable terms, Sekiro's proposal is familiar to what is seen in the Soulsborne, but also radically different. Now there are no two types of hit, nor equipment loot, or improved character statistics. Everything is much more natural here, without losing the role sense at any time. On the one hand there are the fighting, more agile than in the Souls, and with a growing variety of possibilities. By killing enemies and advancing in the game we will gain experience and open up new possibilities, respectively. This means that we can buy the special skills available to Sekiro, expanding his attack movements, allowing him to dodge and in general, being more capable in combat. At the same time our mechanical arm will be gaining in functions, making our range of possibilities more and wider as the game hours pass.
All this, together with the real-time combat with the typical hardness of the Dark Souls, makes the skill mandatory, but it also takes ingenuity and inventiveness to discover new ways to kill enemies. For example, the combination of flammable oil with the tool of our arm that throws fire has worked wonders for us. However, this is not worth much with agile enemies, such as animals, which we must scare with explosions or firecrackers (another of the tools of our arm). That is, each type of enemy requires a specific skill or ability that will help us, if we are able to discover it, adding more layers of sophistication to the gameplay of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. That we can choose the skills to unlock, choosing between several trees, and that the additions of our arm are not found in a 'linear' way adds even more, if necessary.
All this configures a gameplay in which, as if it were a modern metroidvania, we go back to end enemies that seemed too powerful in the beginning, and we left forgotten in one of the many secondary roads that populate the world (something necessary, since only by eliminating these beings we will be able to expand our life and posture bar). This results in a much more marked variety in terms of playability than in the Dark Souls series, by allowing us to interpret each combat situation, but also giving us more alternatives than ever, for example, by making stealth a basic mechanic of the game.
To this we should add the importance of the system of postures that basically limits the defense so that we do not abuse it, while rewarding deviations and contractions, thus completing an intense proposal that requires all our attention, ingenuity, ability and patience. In this way, it is configured as a more complete title even than the Darks Souls, without sacrificing the difficulty of their fighting and many other characteristic elements of the FromSoftware series. In fact, thanks to the greater variety, when we find a way to end a single enemy, the feeling of satisfaction is much greater than if we had simply died and repeated until we managed to succeed in combat.
All this without having finished listing the details we like about Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. We could continue with the verticality of their scenarios , not only with the hook that allows us to perch on rooftops and others, but also by allowing us to 'platform', making the exploration of the different scenarios much more entertaining (and also facilitates our task of sneak into the backs of the enemies, of course). We should also name the character's evolutionary system, which is nothing traditional, but allows us to evolve in different ways as we play, either finding objects, or acquiring skills, or speaking with non-player characters to give us more or less important objects.
And by the end we have left Sekiro's resurrection system, which adds an extra dose of tension. On the one hand it allows us to have wide sleeves to be able to resume fighting just after we die. On the other hand, resuscitating too much makes things a little more difficult, by contaminating the world with a disease that can cause different characters to be affected and stop interacting with us, in addition to worsening the chances of losing money and XP after dying (here if we die, we lose part of the accumulated, but without the possibility of recovering it). That is to say, that dying a lot ends up infecting us with an extra tension that, in games like this, makes the controls fly out the window ... And at the same time the feeling of satisfaction is accentuated by overcoming the most complex situations.
In short, that all pieces of the gameplay of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice dance to it are , to multiply the variety of combat situations and possibilities and make us feel even more part of the equation proposed by FromSoftware, including history . There are small problems to put, yes, especially in the technical aspect. On the one hand there is the stability in the rate of images per second, quite unstable and with obvious pulls at certain times. We've noticed it on both Xbox One X and PS4 Pro, although we haven't been able to try the PC version. This is joined by a camera that leaves us sold in enclosed spaces , causing us to die from time to time too much, especially since the number of enemies that appears on the screen can be quite high (more than usual in Dark Souls).
On the other hand, the modeling is of great quality, the scenarios of extreme beauty and the care that has been given to almost every texture, visual effect or situation is overwhelming, making us not miss the careful aspect of the games of the Soulsborne series. Moreover, it surpasses them with amplitude, placing itself as a beautiful spectacle full of blood and death when it plays (and there are no dips in the image rate along the way).
As for the sound bill, we have nothing but beautiful words for FromSoftware's work in this regard. We could start by praising the decision to let us choose the language of the dialogues, with the native Japanese of the protagonists as the most recommended option (although it is dubbed into Spanish, among other languages). We would continue with the detail of the sound effects, with different footsteps depending on each surface, the clash of steel against enemy weapons, etc ... And we would end with the excellent soundtrack that bathes the action and accompanies the thousand wonders to In spite of the evident tension that we accumulate when we fight against the DIFFICULT HEADS of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (although it is somewhat easier in the 'day to day' than the Soulsborne).
We gathered the finest game reviews for you to have a better idea of the Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Brandin TyrrelSekiro : Shadows Die Twice - Critique
From the first minutes of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, it becomes clear that FromSoftware has built this new adventure, seeing you embody a Shinobi from the DNA o...
For any Souls veteran, Sekiro's combat system, based on timing and different types of attacks, turns out to be familiar, as well as evolving within tortuous levels, carefully thought out and interconnected, revealing shortcuts between the various bastions dedicated to supply. Functionally equivalent to Dark Souls' campfires and BloodBorne's lanterns, the sculptor's idols are the places where you can rest, refill your healing gourds, bring back previously killed enemies, improve your character, and, of course, teleport close to another idol thanks to a particularly efficient fast travel system.
Although I greatly appreciate punitive games that put my skills to the test and force myself to surpass myself (I have always managed to overcome the most demanding challenges offered by FromSoftware productions), I have felt a certain sense of security in browsing Sekiro, because of his more permissive approach. Here, the paths turn out to be shorter and more linear than in previous FromSoftware productions, renowned for their sprawling nature, and I never had the feeling of having to travel a long distance to reach the next idol and save my progress. This choice of design greatly reduces the fear of losing your progress before you can reach the next save point, and I have found myself on a few rare occasions to content myself with sprinting through an area, with the intimate conviction that 'an idol was at the other end, which is indeed verified. This feeling of security allowed me to appreciate the complex mechanics of Sekiro in a new way, which would probably have been inaccessible to me with the constant fear of being able to lose everything. This is not necessarily an approach that I would like to find in other games of the genre, but it is refreshing and has the merit of renewing the gaming experience.
Follow your own way
Although many of the mechanics and design philosophies adopted by this mystical vision of feudal Japan (and more particularly of the Sengoku period from 1467 to 1615) prove to be almost identical to those of previous FromSoftware productions, Sekiro immediately succeeds in game in terms of stealth, combat and movements thanks to the arm prosthesis that your shinobi has, resembling a real Swiss knife: it incorporates a grapple which has an impact on the gameplay at all levels by allowing you in particular to gain height. While all the previous characters from Souls and Bloodborne were firmly anchored to the ground and contented themselves with slowly climbing the scales, the level design of Sekiro is much more vertical. With the ability to jump and deploy your grapple, the fear of being cornered or being overwhelmed by enemies becomes almost nonexistent. By adopting the point of view of a ninja rather than a knight, I constantly had an exit when the troubles pointed the tip of their nose.
These new movement possibilities reinforce Sekiro's stealth-oriented approach, allowing you to reach advantageous positions to carry out silent assassinations, to quickly escape the vigilance of your enemies when the combat is badly engaged, or more simply to explore the varied and mythical environments that surround you. When I landed for the first time in Anor Londo (Dark Souls), or in Yharnam (Blooborne), I remember being amazed by the imposing size of these cities. I experienced the same feeling of wonder when I discovered Ashina Castle, and I was also dazzled by the possibility of moving from roof to roof and from building to building using my grappling hook, which offered me unprecedented freedom of movement compared to previous FromSoftware productions. Knowing that this novelty also deserves to speed up and greatly simplify the exploration process.
This same feeling of freedom extends to your trips in the misty forests of the depths of Ashina, and to your peregrinations in the cliffs of the Submerged Valley, which constitute a small part of the journey to undertake to complete Sekiro. With such a range of possibilities, complex environments like these can be explored as easily as in a platform game, and are no longer like particularly intimidating obstacles on your way. Obviously, these remain filled with creatures and enemies wishing to make you skin, but this liberating freedom of movement prevents your movements from one point to another becoming a chore.
Be reassured, however: the oppressive environments so dear to FromSoftware are always part of Sekiro: the bottomless pit, the poisoned pools in the depths of the Earth and the black dungeon nestled under the castle will satisfy regulars looking for a particularly consistent challenge. The moments spent walking these cursed underground places are counterbalanced by the sunny environments on the surface, where the possibility of swinging between trees and buildings is really invigorating.
As the caption "Shadows Die Twice" suggests, Sekiro gives you a second chance when you die. As a Shinobi from the Dragon line, you have the ability to return from the dead, but this possibility comes with a number of trade-offs that you must take into account when making your choice. To put it simply: if you die, you lose half the experience and the money you collected - and you no longer have the possibility of running to your body to recover your lost property (the only exception to this rule, which boils down to the mechanics called divine blessing, which is akin, as the name suggests, to divine intervention allowing you to resuscitate while preserving all of your possessions).
It is precisely here that things get complicated. Each time you rest near an idol, you get a single-use resurrection (knowing that you can normally only have one in your inventory) which you can choose to use once you have bitten dust - which will happen very often. Sekiro is primarily a FromSoftware game, and dying is an integral part of the learning process. However, if you die a second time before you can reach another idol, there is a good chance that the alteration of divine forces caused by this second resurrection will lead to the appearance of an affliction known as of Plague of the Dragon, which will affect all NPCs in the game and cause them to decompose. Thus, each new death the chance of enjoying the divine blessing will be reduced, from 30% at the start to a minimum of 5%.
This mechanism has the merit of reminding you that death is not without consequences, but since you have the means to secure the money gleaned and that you do not lose experience once you reach certain thresholds (where this- these will be transformed into skill points), the danger remains relatively slim. From the start of the adventure, I simply accepted that dying meant losing half of my unsaved experience and money, so I was never really bothered by this penalty. In my view, Sekiro's indulgent nature that usually allows you to get out of a bad way meant that if I had let myself die, I could probably have avoided it. Losing my resources was therefore entirely my fault, and the possibility that the divine blessing was unleashed was little more than a welcome bonus. As it is less a question of resource management than pure saber skill in Sekiro, I appreciated the fact that this handicap forces me to remain honest with myself without hindering my progress too much.
There are different ways you can use additional resurrections beyond the first, linked to triumphing over enemies or bosses with deadly attacks, proving to be particularly intuitive once you get to the heart of the game. subject, given the unusual tendency of Sekiro to clearly highlight these game mechanics, which largely distinguishes him from Dark Souls and Bloodborne.
In the end, the real issue when I had to decide whether to resuscitate or not boiled down to whether or not I thought I could finish the fight, depending on my resources and the state of my opponent. When the latter was near death, I resurrected to finish the job, but if I had used most of my healing gourds without causing much damage to the enemy, I had no valid reason to do so. In this second scenario, I took full responsibility for my death and tried the fight later, taking care not to repeat the same mistakes.
This is a first for a FromSoftware game of this type: Sekiro is only played solo, and this bias has both advantages and disadvantages. The most obvious positive is that in the absence of persistent multiplayer, you can take a break in the middle of a fight, which in a way is like a second chance. Have you missed your dodge and been hit hard with a poisonous weapon? No problem - hit the pause button, use an antidote and resume the fight without having to dig through your inventory as you try to save yourself by avoiding attacks from your opponent. Unfortunately, this possibility tends to break the rhythm of the confrontations and to remove a good part of the tension inherent in the most demanding battles.
In addition, I sometimes regret the little notes left by other players in different environments, who warned me of the immediate presence of a threat or put me on the track of certain secrets, as well as this vague feeling that the real danger was actually behind my back, in the form of wild PvP invaders. But Sekiro being a more simple and interventionist experience, the usefulness of the clues left by the players would have been all relative, and their absence was ultimately less harmful than I thought.
The real disappointment rather concerns the absence of PvP battles, which is very regrettable in view of the emphasis placed on mastering the handling of the sword. The gameplay associated with it is certainly not as deep as that of a For Honor, but I easily imagine multiplayer clashes based on the stone-leaf-scissors formula, with saber duels between Shinobis which can sometimes last several minutes .
Who lives by the sword will perish by the sword
When you are not walking through the levels in search of an advantageous position which will allow you to surprise your opponents and perform easy executions, characterized by animations rich in hemoglobin where the sprays of blood spurt out all directions in the same way 'a rotary garden sprinkler, Sekiro's combat system is based on the handling of the saber and the mastery of its excellent stone-leaf-scissor counter system. If parades and dodges always occupy a central place in Bloodborne and the Souls series, they prove to be absolutely crucial to hope to find the slightest opening against the different types of enemies of Sekiro, whether large or small.
Their attacks can for example take the form of bursts of blows, lateral sweeps or tankards, which it is difficult, if not impossible, to block or dodge. Fortunately, when this happens, a red indicator, synonymous with danger, appears above your character and gives you a fraction of a second to determine the specific type of attack used and how to counter it. Frontal attacks can be dodged or parried, you escape burst attacks by jumping, while steins must also be dodged. Once well mastered, the combat system offers thrilling confrontations requiring precise timing, where the blades collide and the tactics used are as pleasant to execute as to watch.
However, the learning curve is particularly steep here, since the time between the appearance of the indicator on the screen and the occurrence of the attack may differ depending on the enemy and is generally extremely short. But once you've got the hang of it well, and you're not just dodging heavy attacks (like you would in Dark Souls), you find yourself playing equally with any enemy . It will obviously take some time to forget your old reflexes. After having been occured dozens of times for having instinctively performed a rear dodge when my attack was blocked by the enemy, I finally began to realize the absolute necessity of using my saber to triumph. When a 5 meter tall monster repeatedly attacks you and you are not only able to counter this wave of attacks but also to counter them, you have the feeling of being the greatest swordsman who has ever lived.
Over time, this approach makes Sekiro more permissive and slightly easier than its predecessors, in part because doing the right counter against towering monsters and other deadly assassins almost always offers you an opportunity to attack them immediately after. When you get there, you have a guaranteed time window to punish them properly, which is quite reassuring when you first cross paths with an apparently invincible enemy.
Overcoming your enemies by increasing the damage is not the only possibility, however, since Sekiro introduces a posture system, which is roughly similar to a second health gauge. Whenever you place attacks or blocks, the opponent's posture bar tends to fill up. This also applies to yours when you chain saber displays, which means by extension that enemies that constantly block - and therefore do not allow you to start their life bar - can always be eliminated, since a once their posture gauge is filled, they are immediately exposed to a fatal blow.
This system reinforces the idea that standing in front of your opponent is the most appropriate way to fight. Suppose you hijack an attack, hit your opponent with an unblocked quick blow before launching a second attack that he blocks. Obviously, the damage caused by these three successive actions will be limited, but you will have increased its posture bar. Repeat these actions several times, and it will not be long before you send your head flying with a saber blow. Thanks to this bias, you never have the feeling that the fights drag on, and one way or another, a fight between two opponents of an equivalent level will have irreparably a winner.
However, not all enemies need to be defeated by multiplying martial prowess. From time to time, I came across a monster that struck too hard or too unpredictably for me to risk trying to counter its attacks - as was the case with a particularly painful giant headless monkey. When this happened, the good old technique of running in a circle around him so that he started spinning around and offered me opportunities to attack him repeatedly in the back proved to be quite indicated. Old habits definitely die.
The approach you take is less important when dealing with basic enemies - who die quickly when you chain attacks, generating a barrage of hemoglobin - but Sekiro constantly introduces unique and tough enemies that dramatically increase the complexity of the clashes. Whether it's a corrupt monk with an imposing halberd, a strange quadruped front-legged monster with impressive claws, expert fencers, penguin ninjas or supernatural threats, all demand the use of specific tactics to overcome it, and have their own peculiarities. Knowing their movements and their different techniques puts a strain on your adaptability, and although there are less than a dozen Bosses (with a capital B), the world of Sekiro is home to an impressive number of sub-bosses particularly twisted who have an additional gauge of health, obliging you to give the best of yourself and to redouble your concentration to hope to make them bite the dust.
Compared to previous FromSoftware productions, the progression of your character has been greatly simplified. You no longer amass Souls or Blood Echoes to improve your stats or gain new Abilities, nor do you increase your Strength to do more damage (since this characteristic is no longer used in Sekiro). Now your vitality (health) and attack power (damage) increase when you spend the key items (the number of which is limited, although there are ways to exceed this limit towards the end of the game) that you receive by defeating the toughest bosses and enemies. There are also no real weapons to find or armor to acquire, since with one or two rare exceptions (serving the plot), you will use the same katana over the age of fifty hours of play required to complete the adventure.
That way, you already have a solid foundation for success in Sekiro, which puts more emphasis on improving your skills rather than getting a new weapon or piece of armor to overcome challenges that available to you. But that doesn't mean that your arsenal improvement has been thrown into the background, since the fun and varied possibilities that new weapons and armor would add to gameplay here take the form of inventive prosthetic tools that you get at adventure thread.
In Sekiro, the experience that you glean is not used to obtain attribute points but skill points that you spend in the different trees available, which allow you to unlock passive skills such as increased stealth facilitating assassinations . You can also gain an ability to recover your health when you execute a death blow (which is undoubtedly one of the most valuable passive skills I have acquired in Sekiro) or increase the number of spiritual emblems you can wear, which allows you to use your prosthetic tools more frequently.
When it comes to active skills, you have access to a wide range of combat techniques (devastating heavy attacks, super-fast blows, secret techniques that kill your opponent in the blink of an eye and many others). The number of skills, abilities and combat techniques to unlock is simply staggering, and perhaps even more impressive, each of them seemed to me unique and particularly indicated in certain specific situations.
Similarly, your prosthetic arm can accommodate a number of different gadgets, scattered throughout environments, which can then be enhanced with precious materials. Like the skills mentioned above, these tools will widen your range of possibilities throughout the adventure, knowing that many of them have been thought of for a very specific purpose. Firecrackers can, for example, scare animals, which is useful when you are attacked by a pack of wolves, opposed to an enemy on horseback, or find yourself face to face with a flaming bull. The loaded lance is ideal for attracting weaker enemies towards you in order to keep them within katana range or destroy the loose armor of certain enemies (although this is rather rare). While the flame thrower is as effective as you can imagine, and is not only used to cause progressive damage. Some enemies struck by the plague fear only fire, and the use of this tool is essential to be able to place attacks that start their life bar.
Some of these tools, however, seem more useful than others: the shurikens are essential to cause constant damage while the raven feathers allow you to escape from enemy attacks and bypass the guard of your opponents by reappearing next to them, behind or above them (a possibility that saved me more than once). Others, such as the loaded umbrella, roughly akin to a shield for blocking projectiles, and the loaded ax, reducing the shields to crumbs, are also very useful, even vital in certain very specific situations.
These different tools have their own skill trees, and require the use of precious resources to be improved. If the basic loaded umbrella proves to be particularly effective, improving it will drastically change the game by allowing you to reverse damage caused by ghosts - which can kill you instantly when you take too much. Improving these tools to level 2, 3 or 4 is particularly costly, but experiencing the deadly synergies between tools, skills and abilities is particularly enjoyable and can result in combinations that are as devastating as they are enjoyable to use. .
A world torn apart by war
If the fantastical feudal Japan of Sekiro constitutes a pleasant setting and offers particularly varied atmospheres, I was not particularly excited by its intrigue. Mainly because it turns out to be much less complex than those of previous FromSoftware productions (the immortal Shinobi and penguin that you embody serves and protects Lord Kuro, divine heir with the power of immortality, and and also assassinates on his behalf ). On the other hand, the completion of tasks is much more linear in Sekiro, with characters expressing themselves clearly and clearly indicating the direction to follow, and the presence of many clues scattered within the environments prevent you from not lose sight of your goal. Unlike the other games of the editor, it is not necessary to stop regularly and embark on great reflections to see the end of the adventure.
This bias is nothing intrinsically bad - far from it even - but I found that I was content most of the time to follow the directives of the different NPCs. I didn't decide what to do or discover things for myself, since I just had to follow orders until the next NPC, and so on. Before the adventure allowed me to make key choices modifying the course of history and and its conclusion, I had the strange feeling of having no control over my destiny.
If Sekiro initially resembles a historical fiction set during a bloody as exciting period of Japanese history, he quickly adopts a much more mystical and supernatural tone, typical of FromSoftware productions (which remains quite logical, being given that the Japanese who lived in the 15th century did not, to my knowledge, have the capacity to resuscitate). I appreciated this approach combining history and mysticism, where the environments drawn from centenary myths and legends intelligently take precedence over historical reality without ever harming the coherence of its universe. The visual and sound atmosphere is not to be outdone, with vibrant and colorful panoramas, successful sound effects and an original soundtrack completely in tune with the era depicted, revealing in turn throbbing or soothing.
Although the universe of Sekiro proves on the whole a little less dense than that of previous FromSoftware productions and its more linear progression, its environments are full of mysteries encouraging exploration. You will get your hands on an item that apparently has no use, learn that a saber opens a portal to the beyond, or may spot a building built on the side of a cliff that at first glance seems inaccessible. While solving some of these puzzles, I felt a feeling similar to what I had experienced when discovering the invisible village of Bloodborne or helping Solaire d'Astora achieve enlightenment in Dark Souls. Knowing that the obscure clues that I discovered without being able to solve the puzzles associated with them is another reason to immerse myself in the New Game +.
Dimitry HalleySekiro: Shadows Die Twice in the test - and you thought Dark Souls was tough
Sekiro pushes us far beyond our limit in the test, but also exceeds our own limits: it breaks our expectations in many places. Except when it comes to quality.
But my eye is not bubbling because the game is frustrating or because, like in Dark Souls, every step is a potentially deadly one. No, I just haven't been able to get off the screen for days because Sekiro fascinates me so much, so immensely. Especially where it does things differently. Different from the Souls games, different from various action titles.
Anyone expecting a new Dark Souls may be disappointed by Sekiro's much narrower play focus. And all other players could also be annoyed about design mistakes, especially a rather lame skill system and game-mechanical dead ends. In return, Sekiro concentrates almost entirely on great strength - and that is exactly what you need. If you get involved, you will get an intense dance of death that I have never seen in any other action game.
What is the story good for?
But before I draw the sword, let's talk briefly about why: The story of Sekiro at least outlines the initial situation much more understandably than Dark Souls and Bloodborne - and that simply because we are dealing with a quasi-historical scenario. I am a Shinobi warrior in feudal Japan of the Sengoku era (roughly the 16th century).
In my childhood, a deadly samurai took me under his wing, I swore allegiance to a divine child, and a few years later everything got out of hand so that I had to save the baby. So much for the first five minutes of history.
However, Sekiro does not remain in our world for long , it quickly becomes supernatural, I come across numerous cryptic characters and connections. The old Dark Souls laws apply: Those who diligently roll over object descriptions, study the surroundings and draw time strands in their heads get significantly more story diversity out of the game world. However, it is not as necessary as in the other From Software games.
Since I embody a specific character in Sekiro and not just a self-made avatar, unlike in Dark Souls, my Shinobi also chats with me, asks questions, researches backgrounds. This leaves at least roughly clear until the finale what I'm actually doing here.
Some of you might miss the all-encompassing mystery of Bloodborne and Co., but that doesn't change the fact that Sekiro also offers a fascinatingly alien world that you can immerse yourself in for hours. On a scale between poetry and prose, the game may be closer to classic storytelling than previous Souls games, but compared to the competition it remains a vague but exciting mosaic of hints.
How does Sekiro work?
The extensive forests, swamps, valleys and castles contain numerous secrets, hidden objects, areas - and also some hidden boss fights. As a Shinobi, I swing myself from place to place with a grappling hook, bag as much loot as possible and kill everything that even looks at me crookedly. Swinging with the gripping hook works flawlessly, and thanks to this function, many level environments now play significantly more with ups and downs because not every cliff means the end of my freedom of movement and exploration.
Speaking of »Movement«: Unlike before, I can now sneak up sensibly . As a Shinobi, I scurry through the tall grass, careless enemies from behind, ideally without an alarm. Sneaking is a cool thing that can give me big advantages against smaller boss opponents.
Forget what you learned in Dark Souls or Bloodborne. The tricks from back then no longer work. That finding struck me like one ... well, like a blow, on one of the first mini bosses in Sekiro. I compete against an actually inconspicuous enemy in a kimono who is only armed with katana. "I'll get it," I think, and attack.
I dodge two or three attacks, place a few punches, but the guy's lifeline is reduced by a fraction. And he hits a single hit - I'm dead! This failure repeats itself for almost half an hour until I insult my screen and angrily take a pee break.
As so often in life, I rethink my strategy on the toilet . A mix of evasive attacks doesn't get me anywhere. But what about a parade? If someone attacks you in Sekiro, you have a fraction of a second to hammer the block button and parry that attack. Since the enemy kimono wearer always uses the same deadly double attack in principle - well, maybe I can actually counter the thing. After a few tries, the miracle happens.
Kimono-Karl (that's how I called him now) spams me again with his sword attack, but I have seen through his rhythm. With my blade I fight back every single attack. This completely upsets Karl, his posture collapses and I ram my katana into his neck with just a single push. The fight is over in less than 15 seconds . That's how Sekiro works.
The fascination of Sekiro
Sekiro's learning curve is brutal, even for a Souls game. Instead of just attacking enemies, I have to learn to break an opponent's stance in order to massively weaken him with a Shinobi execution. You weaken attitudes with parades, but just parrying hardly gets me anywhere. After Kimono-Karl, another boss fight is waiting : a much more powerful samurai, who also attacks with a bow in addition to the katana. If I parry his attacks, it does damage his posture (there is a separate groin for this), but if I do not maintain constant pressure through my own attacks, he recovers.
As a result, an incredibly fast dance of attacks and parades burns, the blades collide until I finally win. But the next enemy is overturning all of my strategies. In principle, Sekiro's campaign is a fairly linear path to mastering your own blade.
The katana remains my main weapon from start to finish , the game never becomes unfair, but it is extremely demanding. Whoever does not fathom every single tactical nuance of this ultra-intensive parade exchange loses. You have to develop the lightning-fast reflexes for the Parry system, accept the training, otherwise it will not go on.
This is sometimes very frustrating , but in reverse I look back on an unforgettable trip at the end of the campaign. At first I never thought what I could do in fights. I can counter attacks with ease, even though I actually only have a fraction of a second for every keystroke.
Boss opponents who seemed unbeatable at the beginning , I now mercilessly push against the wall. A bit like Son-Goku at Dragon Ball, with a similarly fast stroke rate. This experience will be experienced by everyone who holds out to Sekiro to the end. However, I can well imagine that many throw the shotgun in advance. In addition to the high degree of hardness, there are significantly fewer aids than in Dark Souls, with which you can make it easier for yourself.
Where Sekiro breaks with Dark Souls and Bloodborne
Yes, Dark Souls was a tricky thing, but you could always do things to make your life easier. If you didn't grab the legendary bosses Ornstein and Smough, you went leveling, increased your own health, found new weapons and armor, or grabbed a co-op partner. Almost all of this assistance is eliminated in Sekiro. You can only tackle the game solo, NPCs do not rush to help you in combat (with one exception) and with experience point grinding you achieve significantly less.
All of this has to do with the fact that Sekiro throws many role-playing properties overboard . Your character has neither a class nor umpteen attributes. I only increase my own attack power by killing boss opponents. My life points only grow when I find prayer beads in the game world. And where are they usually? With mini bosses. Sure, if I conquer optional areas and bosses, I will definitely gain advantages. But there are only a handful of them, and some of them open up really late in the game.
Whoever struggles with the duels can often only flee to the front. This is how »I can't get any further!« - dead ends that avoid other games in a much more elegant way. Sekiro has two or three nasty bottleneck bosses that you have to do before the game world opens up further. There is little that can be done about this.
Skills and prostheses are two exceptions . As with Bloodborne shotguns, you can unlock various special weapons in addition to the katana, which you attach to your prosthetic arm. New essays can be found all over the game world. For example, fire crackers, a lance or a giant ax. However, these utensils only function as a supplement to your sword, never as a replacement. So fire fighters stun briefly, axes destroy shields. These prostheses can also be upgraded with additional functions or bonuses.
A skill tree with room for improvement
The skill trees also allow some character customization. If I kill enough enemies, I can invest points in new maneuvers or passive buffs. Healing potions fill up more energy, enemies drop more gold and so on. The range of special maneuvers ranges from "vital" to "only useful in very specific situations".
An additional counter move, for example, lets me step on the opponent's weapons if he wants to impale me - very delicate! Or I pull my grappling hook at enemies to blow them off the air. This often helps, especially with big bosses.
But only real professionals will be able to do anything with many skills . At best, they only marginally improve survival for newbies. For example, vortex attacks do a lot of damage, but leave your cover open for miles - and depending on the opponent, a single hit sends you on the boards. So I don't get much net if I'm not a god in the parry anyway.
Many special skills are a nice addition if you want to stun a boss for a short time or if you want to use poison blades on him. But they do not replace mastering your own katana. If you stumble here, you won't find any training wheels in the skill tree. Even more than in Dark Souls, there is only the hard way in Sekiro, the relentless learning through constant failure.
After all, you can revive yourself once on the spot (this can also be expanded). And some snack items at least provide damage and defense bonuses. Nevertheless, the skills system remains a mixed affair. In addition to some really useful skills, many other maneuvers have hardly brought me any further.
Not what Souls fans hope for?
You won't find many things in Sekiro that Dark Souls fans might expect. The playing time is shorter, the last area can be reached after 25 to 30 hours . Sure, there is always the attraction of a second or third game run, but if you approach Dark Souls leisurely, you could easily estimate twice the game time on the first try. The boss and surrounding design doesn't show off with the same exoticism either.
There is no sudden step out of a swamp into an abandoned city like Anor Londo, I do not descend into the pitch-black ruins of a New Londo and my jaw does not open like I did in the fiery shallows of Izalith. Sekiro's world remains more earthed, with temples, pagodas, swamps or abandoned villages. Many of these landscapes still have their own cool accents and make other action scenarios look pretty old, but they do not reach the creative balance of previous From Software titles.
Instead of gigantic demon creatures, worms and beasts, you mostly fight against powerful samurai. Well, there are at least a few murderous animals. Both animals and samurai are also relentless, but not two stories tall. But if you only compare Sekiro with Dark Souls, you are doing the game wrong . Because it wants to be something else.
Sekiro sees itself as a rapid action experience, as a duel marathon. One sword master fights you after another because that is the essence of the game: I should master this weapon instead of choosing from 30 different ones. Every boss fight challenges these special features of Sekiro - sometimes in a very, very creative way apart from the exchange of blows.
Mastering Sekiros Katana feels absolutely great . A good combat system doesn't have to put one gun at a time to give me a sense of growth. Regardless of the Souls line of ancestors, completely detached from the weaknesses of the game, no sword dance has inspired me for so long as that of Sekiro. However, you should carefully consider whether such a ride suits you.
HedReview Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - a game more difficult than Dark Souls
The review was based on the PS4 version. Also applies to the PC version, XONE
Let me tell you a story. When I entered the battle arena with one of the last bosses in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice , I felt confident. After more than fifty hours spent in the game, I had to master the art of wielding a sword and I have already defeated hundreds of opponents in a fair fight. "Time for the final fight," I thought and reached for my weapon. And then the warrior standing in front of me made two light cuts with a blade and knocked me down in two seconds. TWO SECONDS! On the screen there was information that I had died and a question whether I want to use the option of immediate resurrection. Of course, I pressed the button that brought the hero back to life and threw himself into the attack ... This time the enemy needed seven seconds to raze me to the ground.
How to react to this situation? Throw the console out of the window? Switch to a hobby that doesn't require monkey dexterity? For almost every other game, I would choose one of these options. On the other hand, in Sekiro , a new production from From Software, you just take a few deep breaths and return to the arena of boss fight with one goal in your head: survive for more than seven seconds. Because Sekiro is not an action game - it is a study on the subject of human psyche and determination .
The perversion of immortality
What happens when we discover the secret of immortality? End of problems and times of prosperity? If you played any production from From Software, the authors of Dark Souls and Bloodborne , you know perfectly well that there can be no such idealistic speech scenario. In Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, we play the title shinobi named Wolf, who, following the code instilled by his father, is supposed to protect the dragon heir Kuro. This young man has the incredible power of marking people with immortality, which - as you can guess - everyone is striving for.
On the one hand, divine power explains the superior new game mechanics, i.e. the possibility of our hero's resurrection shortly after defeat, and on the other hand he perfectly fits into the favorite theme of the Japanese studio. Perversion, betrayal of one's beliefs, rot destroying people from the inside and an attempt to fabricate divinity - Sekiro's thematic scope is so similar to the flagship From Software series that I will not be surprised when fans start looking for evidence of the functioning of both games in the same universe. These theories may be favored by the fact that Sekiro has as many as four different endings. What's more, one of the choices I made somewhere at the end of the game defined what boss we'll face in a moment. So let's save the game at key moments to be able to check different variants of this story.
We play the role of the Wolf at the time of his fall - marked by a strange mark, the hero rests at the bottom of the well, when suddenly a voice from above rushes him into action. The classic mysterious souls beginning smoothly turns into a story told in a more transparent and coherent way. At Sekiro, we are able to tell what is going on, what we are fighting and what to do next, almost at every moment of the main storyline. Which is a really nice change after Dark Souls , where often integral elements of the story were buried in the descriptions of seemingly insignificant objects. This is partly related to our character, because as a shinobi we specialize not only in combat, but also in gathering information. In certain specific situations, we can eavesdrop on NPC conversations, ask questions of interest to us, and even treat people with other varieties of sake to encourage them to confess.
In the game world there are also a lot of scrolls and texts describing various techniques, secrets or elements of mythology. The overriding directive seems to be that every sentence in the game leads to a better understanding of this universe - and that's really great. The game did not lose anything in the atmosphere, because still many things turn out to be unsaid and require our intellectual work - so most often we use riddles, predictions and guesses. Somewhere under all this, of course, there are many hidden meanings and secondary threads, but here we return to reading the descriptions of the items and combining facts.
Don't be afraid to jump
It is hard not to like From Software studio for their waywardness, because this developer in each subsequent game tries to undermine and redefine the key aspects of his mechanics. In Dark Souls, jumping was terrible, falling meant death, and in the water we could only wade at the waist. Forget all these restrictions, because instead of a hand armed, instead of a hand, the hero Sekiro can quickly get between distant points thanks to the hook cable, jump from high altitude, climb like Nathan Drake and swim. Staying mobile and flexible - also in the context of quickly jumping from one part of the world to another - is the foundation at Sekiro .
Conviction of this system comes surprisingly natural and painless. To achieve this, From Software has reached for a few project simplifications: our character does not die immediately from falling into a bottomless abyss and sticks to some rock shelves. The hook attachment points themselves have also been precisely positioned in the game world. From the armored knight straight from Dark Souls, we transform into an agile ninja, for whom walking over the edge is a natural thing - and this metamorphosis occurs completely painlessly.
Instead of offering a multitude of places where we will only pass , Sekiro takes place largely in Ashina Castle, where we direct our first steps, but also return many times. From here, the roads diverge to other locations, here we are also witnessing the most important feature events. After unlocking the main part of the castle, we can venture out into the world and at the beginning of the game really visit a lot of spots to which the plot will direct us later. Thanks to the central position of the castle, however, we never feel lost, because we know where to return to develop the main plot.
The way the individual exploration sequences and locations themselves are designed is a real masterpiece - the introduction of the hook link opened them to vertical structures. So we jump on the roofs of multilevel buildings, fighting with killers; we storm the fortress carved out of the canyon wall alone, flying over the precipice under fire from snipers; or finally, we climb the mountain with a Buddhist temple, trying not to go crazy from prayer songs drilling into our heads. The world of Sekiro is fascinating, coherent and beautiful - it's one of the best trips that a Japanese producer has given us.
As a consequence, we get a game that may not offer such visually diverse lands, because we are more often wandering around the central segment of the castle. With all this, however, we have a lot of freedom in where we go and with whom we fight. As there are many more minibosses than in the previous games of the studio, at every moment of the game I knew that I had at least a few options that I can use. This comfort helped in the event of a jam on the main bosses or when I came across an opponent that I could not cope with - in such situations, you can just do something else for some time to relax, and perhaps find something useful.
How to kill a boss with one blow
We return to the topic of recalcitrant from From Software studio. In Dark Souls, the Japanese created a great combat system using a sword, armor and shield. And everyone used the sword, armor and shield. Seeing this, the shield was removed in Bloodborn and players were ordered to dodge. Fantasizing, I imagine a situation in which Sekiro producers ask themselves: "How else can we give a pin to the nose of insurance players?". The answer is simple: base the combat mechanics on the most difficult technique from previous games, i.e. parry blows.
In Sekiro, characters outside the standard life bar have a posture bar, i.e. a kind of resistance to breaking our blows. We fill this bar by performing attacks and bouncing the opponent's hits - with a good reflection, requiring the block button to be pressed at the right time, the opponent's posture level increases until he is finally thrown off balance and reveals a fatal blow. In the case of many bosses and miniboss, we must deal a certain number of deadly injuries, usually two or three, depicted in the interface as red balls above the life bar. And here it gets interesting, because to beat the opponent, we can zero his life as standard, but also fill his posture bar and kill him with one brutal cut. Even when it still has a lot of life.
This technique is not universal, because with bosses who have too strong a hit, we still have to dodge, but often it is a way to end the fight faster. For me, this system turned out to be a real revolution, the more that the game resigns from the main element of Dark Souls mechanics , i.e. stamina . We can run, jump and inflict as many blows as we want - all you have to do is do it at the right time.
It all sounds too beautiful - hit back a few blows and the matter is done. Of course, this is not the case, because during the fights we also need to watch out for our own stature, as well as other types of opponent's attacks . We react differently to tricks, undercuts or special techniques marked by the game with a big red kanji sign. The latter, for example, can be countered by stepping on the opponent's weapon, which also significantly affects his posture.
In practice, therefore, we have a game that from the brutal murder of not very clever soldiers from the beginning of the game transforms into a concentration of blows, reflections and counterattacks that require a lot of concentration. Hero arm prostheses, which we find in the game and later modify in the initial temple come with help in surprising the opponent. These are really ingenious toys, some of which have a very specific application - like a shield-piercing ax. Other tools, primarily shurikens and firecrackers, can help in any fight, knocking out bouncing opponents or distracting them for a moment. To make them not too powerful, they were limited by a container in the form of soul symbols that we collect or buy. For this reason, there is a bit of "wealth management" - that is, farms.
When chaos creeps into the game
One of the unusual ideas that From Software has put in place is the regular increase in the number of enemy armies. The game continues the theme of the passage of the day depending on the progress of the story, as it happened in Bloodborn . In the beginning, it is daylight at Ashina Castle. Later, when the night comes, the location literally turns into a war zone between two clans and almost all the castle branches fill up new sets of fighting opponents. A group of soldiers armed with flamethrowers burns enemies on the road, musketeers spit rockets at each other in control of the bridge, on the roofs of shinobi they spin in dance combat, facing the killers of the Raven Clan. In every corner that has been safe so far, there are also new minibosses, most often requiring cunning and perfect mastery of the weapon.
There has never been such an ambitious attempt to introduce uncontrollable chaos into the game world. However, these sequences, even if sometimes difficult to complete, make sense - after several dozen hours of play, we've gained access to many advanced special abilities, such as the ability to drag an opponent to our side, and the whole battle takes place in places we know well. So we have great room to maneuver and demonstrate tactical sense. Incidentally, in connection with these changes, the game has received a case in which important items missed in the "previous phase of the world" are sent.
Unfortunately, going through the same map one time in a row, even if it changes so much, sounds like cheap backtracking and From Software falls into this trap a bit. Minibosses added at the end of the game are often based on simple assumptions: there are two of them or they have a different color and slightly changed behavior. I did not quite like these forms of diversifying the game, but to defend the developer, it should be added that in most cases they are optional. Taking these challenges also requires total perfection - I confess that some of them are simply very difficult and I need more time to meet them.
Screenshots will help you evaluate the graphics and gameplay of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
If screenshots are not enough, you can enjoy creative videos from Activision
But that's not all! We also carefully prepared the best strips from Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
Choke7sekiro até cansar - VIDEO NOVO !video !audio !facinho
Eclair1408Ich möchte den ersten Boss schaffen! °^° | Sekiro: Shadows die twice
sutemouAll Bosses & Minibosses Unrestricted Speedrun
Bonfoni[RU/EN] я выбираю страдать🌺 | !animelist !gamelist
rakkyo_rk91All Bosses/Minibosses Glitchless Practice & Runs
KIYAR0El mejor Shinobi que has visto en los últimos 2 segundos | NO SPOILERS ❗❗❗ | !youtube !discord
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