Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - GOTY Edition Reviews

  • yourmomjokes69yourmomjokes69385,234
    31 Mar 2019 31 Mar 2019
    12 5 5
    Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Review

    From Software has a strong and widely known reputation for the punishing and brutal difficulty of their games. Whether it be the Souls series or Blood-borne, it always feels like you've truly accomplished something when you complete one, and that certainly hasn't changed with their most recent project. Sekiro feels very similar to it's predecessors, yet like a completely different animal at the same time. Dodging and rolling out of the way, then moving for a quick jab is almost useless here, now replaced with a much faster combat system focused on aggression, and accurately timing your deflects. This change in the combat will not only bring a sense of challenge to newcomers, but to souls veterans as well, and I think that's a great thing.

    Classic Gameplay With a Twist

    It's always surprising how From's games can be so similar in world structure and gameplay mechanics, and yet still feel like such a new and rewarding experience. The story of Sekiro has a more focused narrative structure, but still leaves plenty of lore for players to pick through and obsess over if they desire to do so. The setting starts off as something you'd see in a typical samurai game, before slowly going into a more mythical and nightmarish version of itself as you push forward. It controls just like it's predecessors, but the added grappling hook makes traversing the world an absolute blast, and gives more opportunities for exploration. The tweaking of all these things makes Sekiro feel like a familiar treat that still will manage to surprise you.

    Graphics/Performance

    The game looks great as well. Whether you're gazing from an Icy mountaintop, or walking through a forest outside a temple, the game always remains very solid visually. If I had to give a complaint from the technical side of things, it would be that when there's a lot of enemies or effects on screen, the games frame rate can dip significantly, which contributed to a couple irritating deaths for me. Other than that, it looks great, and runs quite well. No major technical issues, atleast not on the X.

    Boss fights and level of challenge. Is It Fair?

    The game only has a few true bosses, the rest are considered mini bosses. This doesn't stop from making some of the mini bosses far more of a challenge than the larger scale ones. For Example: Early on there's a mini boss in the opening hours that attacks you with a giant sword and poisonous breath. It took me several hours to beat him, and the challenge came completely out of nowhere. Yet just a few hours later when I got to a larger scale boss involving a soldier swinging a giant spear on horseback, I breezed through it after 3 attempts. This could just largely depend on my own skillset, but I imagine a lot of players will experience the same thing, which makes for some awkward shifts in difficulty. The last two bosses are highly challenging, and could take multiple hours if you don't have the reflexes, as they largely rely on killing you with cheap attacks that can literally rip away your entire health bar.

    Achievements and NG+

    The list of achievements is simple, and mainly consists of leveling up your character and gear completely, beating all bosses, and getting all four endings. (which will require four playthroughs, unless you find a way to cheese it through copying saves somehow.) NG+ is very similar to other From Software games. You keep all your upgrades, and enemies get a buff in their health and damage output. It's nothing major, but it helps encourage replay value to an already large game.

    The Verdict

    Sekiro is a brutally hard, but always engaging journey that manages to surprise the player with the next challenge every time.
    Pros

    •It looks great and sounds solid as well. The gameplay is fast, frantic, yet has a strong strategic edge to it.
    •The narrative is more straightforward, but still has plenty of lore for players to dig through.
    •Combat is fast, fun, and fluid.

    Cons

    •Some attacks from bosses, particularly towards the end, require extremely fast reaction time, and can lead to some deaths feeling cheap or undeserved.
    •The frame rate can dip significantly occasionally.
    •Some difficulty spikes are jarring and don't feel natural.
    4.0
    Showing all 5 comments.
    Galuda WingsI love how everyone who hasn't played the game at all (or at least most people, from my own personal experience) have just been saying "it's just another Souls game", as if they've never heard of the Tenchu series before (then again, they probably haven't). I haven't played this game yet (can't wait to get it though), so I can't really say much, but from what I've seen, it looks like they borrowed a lot from Tenchu (and obviously Souls). I honestly thought this was a new Tenchu game when they showed it off for the first time, because of how much the two look alike. Or at least to me it sure does.

    Nice review!
    Posted by Galuda Wings on 31 Mar 19 at 21:59
    B0WM4NXMaking a con because the end game requires fast reaction time and requires you to be on your game? What? Also don't understand the difficulty spikes you're speaking of. Can't agree with an 8/10.
    Posted by B0WM4NX on 10 Apr 19 at 22:32
    EarthboundXI'd disagree about the difficulty myself, it's totally challenging but fair. You just have to learn some of the fights.

    Well, other than that fight against the Lone Shadow miniboss in the well. That was just badly designed, the camera simply cannot keep up in such a tiny enclosed space.
    Posted by EarthboundX on 13 Feb 20 at 11:57
    xMANNY FRE5HxI have to strongly disagree with you regarding the bosses. They are perfectly designed for the type of game this is. Almost all the attacks they have a way for you to deflect or avoid. If I got creamed by an attack I knew i had to improve my timing. They only two bosses that I didn't really enjoy where Great Shinobi Owl because I had to cheap shot him due to him wrecking my posture and the Demon of Hatred because I sucked at it and it felt kinda out of place with the rest of the game. Regardless, I totally understand and respect your opinion. I can see how for some this game could feel cheap at times. Thanks for the read +1.
    Posted by xMANNY FRE5Hx on 27 May 20 at 17:58
    ImaginaryRuins"The last two bosses ... largely rely on killing you with cheap attacks that can literally rip away your entire health bar."

    Git gud.
    Posted by ImaginaryRuins on 08 Feb at 15:31