Video Game Review: “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice”

From Software Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice was released in March 2019. I bought it immediately because it was From Software ’s newest release. From Software also created the popular Dark Souls games that are notorious for their challenging gameplay. Sekiro does resemble Dark Souls a lot in structure, but […]

The plot takes patience to understand while playing, because the developers throw the player right into the fire. The player learns they are a shinobi named “Wolf.” A shinobi is a warrior who uses stealth as a combat tool, so basically, a ninja. In feudal Japan, ninjas were seen as dishonorable because Samurai culture dominated the political and ideological landscape. What makes Wolf unique from a ninja or regular shinobi is that he fights for his master’s life as if it was his own, and not for personal gain or money. The game starts with you attempting to save a boy named Kuro, who is “the Divine heir,” from Genichiro Ashina. Genichiro wants to use Kuro’s bloodline to create an infinite army and essentially rule forever. So, as Kuro’s shinobi, Wolf has to do everything he can to stop that from happening.

In terms of gameplay, there is a very steep learning curve. Learning the timing to parry the enemy attacks is definitely the most time-consuming component —mostly because there’s a high variety in enemy types all with varying attack timings. Every time you die, you respawn at various statues along the way in the area. So, there’s a linear progression that protects your sanity slightly, but every time you sit at a shrine, all the enemies in the area respawn (except for bosses). The difficulty of the game creates an interesting dynamic with the players. Most players will enjoy the game regardless of their completion, and others don’t like the challenge and label it “too hard.” The latter is known to demand things like “easy mode”, which in my opinion, completely defeats the purpose of the game.

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