Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - The Review

There is a lot to be said about Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Simply put, it is a difficult game. For those that are buying this title because of a love for the Souls series or Bloodborne, you are not getting the same type of game here. While there are some familiar elements, Sekiro is clearly a different kind of beast.

The basics of combat seems pretty straightforward, but it becomes a more complex learning curve and the need for strategy soon ensues as you move forward in the game. Trying to predict the enemies next move is simple for average enemies, but mini boss fights are trial and error as you figure out how to handle their techniques. Let's not even get started on the not so mini bosses.

As you progress, you can purchase/unlock combat skills that are both passive and aggressive. Choosing the skills you want or need, should be based on necessity and not limited to what’s available at the time you decide you purchase your upgrades. Just because something sounds good, doesn’t mean it’s what you need.

With each successful killing of an enemy, you receive some upgrade points that need to accumulate through levels, in order to spend them. Level 1, 2, 3, so on and so forth. If you die, you lose some of those points and will need to earn them back. The same goes for sen (coins). You earn sen with kills and lose a little (or a lot) upon death. Dying a lot, entails a major grind. Just saying.

One thing to keep in mind, you can resurrect yourself upon death, if you have a resurrection available to you. This can be good or bad for you. Without spoiling the details on that, let’s just say you will want to figure out quickly how resurrection works and what you might gain or lose when using this powerful technique. If you end up playing this game, you’ll know exactly what I mean when the time comes.

On top of learning new skills, you also get the use of a pretty sweet grappling hook. The grappling hook is used to get to out of reach or hard to reach places. You can’t just grapple anything, but there is an icon that will appear if you are close to a grapple area. It can also be used on some enemies. Mainly, boss fights, but the game isn’t littered with enemies you grapple ahold of. How you use the grapple is up to you, but I would advise you be aware of your surroundings. The grapple can save your life, help win a battle, and allow you to somewhat secret areas around the game.

Another tool that is at your disposal, is the prosthetic arm. Wolf (the main character you control) lost an arm in battle and wound up with a specially made prosthetic arm that can be customized with a slew of tools. It can be quite useful if you’re using the right tools for the job, so keep that in mind when considering your loadout. Of course, you’ll have to locate the tools needed for the prosthetic, so keep that in mind as well.

I found the storyline to be quite decent. One similarity this game has with the souls series, is the fact that the story unfolds as you progress and leaves you wondering what the hell is going on. You’ll have to progress and complete the game to fully understand everything you want through. There are 4 endings, I believe, so if you’re up for it, you have your work cut out for you.

This isn’t a simple hack n’ slash title. You can’t just run in and take on hordes of enemies. Even encountering a single enemy can alert several more and things can get a little out control, fairly quick. Personally, I found it difficult to take on more than 2 enemies at a time and even 2 could be challenging in itself. Part of being a Shinobi, is the art of silence. Sneaking around and figuring out where enemies lay, is probably a good strategy to follow as you begin the long journey.

This is definitely a hardcore rpg title and it seems rather evident that it is a game created by FromSoftware. I can’t honesty say who I would recommend this game to. I don’t think every souls/bloodborne fan out there, will enjoy the challenge this game offers and they will need to forget everything they learned from those past titles. If you go into like it’s a should game, you aren’t going to get very far. Maybe you will, but I doubt it.

Sekiro looks like a game that anyone might enjoy, but it isn’t for the faint of heart. It seems to get a little easier with time, but at the same time, it can take a while to figure things out. If you are the type of person that just hates dying in a video game or gets easily frustrated when challenged, you should probably skip this one. If you’re looking for a challenging game that offers a cool storyline, beautiful graphics, and a slew of things to do and learn, then give this one a try. Just don’t give up. Keep on pushing through and you will be highly satisfied with yourself and the experience this game has to offer.

On a rating scale of 1-10, I give Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, a solid 10 out of 10. There really isn’t anything bad about this game, it’s just a little more challenging than most.