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Sekiro Game Review

Sekiro Shadows Die Twice

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Welcome to a gamer’s Sekiro Game Review. The full name of the game is Sekiro Shadows Die Twice, but when you’re actually playing, it’s more like Sekiro Shadows Die more than Twice. It is a very challenging game and definitely shows that it belongs in the From Software family.

Sometimes, I don’t know why I subject myself to this kind of torture, it can be extremely stressful, causing you to rage and scream at the screen, maybe even throw your controller at something, but I’m still addicted to it and would go back for a few more playthroughs. Maybe I’m secretly a masochist, along with those other gamers that enjoy this type of game, who knows. 

If you’re someone who is interested in this game, but aren’t really up for some crazy high blood pressure right now, then good for you, you’ll live longer. I’ll give you an overview of what it’s about and how it plays and then after that, you can decide if you want to jump on this messed up wagon along with the rest of us. 

What is Sekiro Shadows Die Twice About?

Sekiro Shadows Die Twice Story

I’m going to start off with a little overview of the story in Sekiro Shadows Die Twice. You are in control of a Shinobi who has the nickname wolf, hence the Wolven Shinobi. The world that is being focused on is a Japanese prefecture called Ashina that is controlled by a warlord who craves war until his dying breath. 

Your mission as a Shinobi is to protect your lord, who is in this case – the divine heir of the dragon heritage, whose blood is very precious. This blood makes one immortal and those bearing this burden cannot bleed or be otherwise hurt unless struck by one of the two Mortal Blades. 

Sounds great right? Who wouldn’t want to be immortal, you don’t have to worry about death or injury, well it’s also a curse as there are many out there that want this power and are going after the divine heir who wants to sever his immortal ties and live a normal, safe life. So begins your duty as his Shinobi, protect him and help him find a way to lift this “blessing” and “curse”.

There are many sub-plots as well that run in tandem with this main goal which makes this game that much more intricate, complex and engages you in a great story.

Each NPC you encounter has their own background that will help you reveal this interesting story and put the pieces of this puzzle together. It has some twists and interesting characters that is always a staple of any From Software game.

How Hard is Sekiro Shadows Die Twice?

Sekiro Shadows Die Twice Combat

It’s actually not that bad when compared to Bloodborne or the Dark Souls series, at least in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, still a very challenging game and will make you go mad at times, but it will still fill you with a sense of accomplishment.

The combat mechanics are different in that there is a lot more deflection/parrying and jumping. Yes, in this game, you can actually jump to avoid some attacks and then counterattack while you’re in the air, very different as there is less emphasis on dodging unlike in the previous games.

Here are the basics of combat; there is a health bar and a posture bar on yourself and all enemies. Health is pretty straightforward – you get hit, lose health and if you lose all of it, you “die”. The posture bar of enemies on the other hand is what you should focus on building up as this leads to deathblows or if it’s a boss/mini boss; fatality strikes. Just try to keep your own bar down or else you’ll stagger and that usually doesn’t end well for you.

Depending on what enemy you’re fighting, they will each have a different amount of deathblow marks that show above their health bar in the top left-hand corner. This lets you know how many strikes it takes to defeat the enemy. Usually, the regular mobs all have one mark and it’s easier to break their posture. Or, if you prefer, you can use stealth to instantly beat them or land at least one blow on a mini boss.

Personally, I find this system makes fighting easier which is fine because I don’t like stress and this game can be very stressful if you don’t get your timing right. The major boss fights are still as hard as the ones you’d find in its older siblings, and if you get cocky or arrogant, the regular mobs will kick you back in line.

Sekiro Shadows Die Twice Fighting Owl

Overall, the combat is very much like a dance of swords and other weaponry, you have to learn the flow and rhythm of your enemies, you have to keep your eyes peeled for those specific attacks that need you to have quick reflexes in order to counter them properly, or else get your butt handed to you.

Sekiro Shadows Die Twice definitely feels, looks and plays like a From Software title. It shows that it belongs next to their other games, this one just makes you feel less stupid and doesn’t stress you out as much, still challenging though, so don’t be greedy.

What Does the World of Sekiro Look Like?

Sekiro Shadows Die Twice Graphics

Let’s get into how the world of Sekiro Shadows Die Twice looks like. If you’ve played any of the games before it that were developed by the same company, then you can expect a very interesting and interconnected world map, full of shortcuts back to familiar places.

No one can make their gaming creations connect the way From Software does with its titles (not as masterfully done anyway). 

An interconnected semi open world with great graphics that lets you physically see your progress and changes world states as you move towards one of the 4 endings of the game. You’ll notice that the prefecture will begin to degrade into ruin due to its leader picking fights with the neighbors in order to incite another war. 

As you move through the world of Sekiro, you will encounter many doors that almost always come with the message “Door does not open from this side,” or some similar text. If you’re a big explorer when it comes to finding out all the little secrets and easter eggs hidden in games, then this will get you fired up and make you want to go looking for a way through.

There is always a benefit to this as well, once you find a way to unlock it, it could prove to be an extremely helpful shortcut back to a safe haven where you can rest, heal up and replenish your supplies which is absolutely crucial to your survival.

Also, if you take the time to pause and admire the scenery, which can be stunning, you’ll notice that you can see the places that you have been to already. This gives you a sense of how far you’ve come since you started this epic adventure and of how big the world you’re playing in is.

Is it Worth the Stress?

Sekiro Shadows Die Twice Stress

For many people, yes, myself included. It is truly a fantastic and challenging game, helping you focus, urging you to improve your skills, teaching you patience and also humbles you as a person, it’s like tough love.

I’ve mentioned before that this game isn’t as insanely tough and rage inducing as its predecessors, there is no Blight Town or Anor Londo-like areas from the original Dark Souls game (not the remastered), which is a blessing in my opinion, so that should lower the stress quite a bit.

If you’ve played the first one that came out way back in 2011, you know how frustrating and ridiculously hard those sections were. Those places made me feel like my heart was going to burst of stress and throw the controller out a window. I cannot properly express how much I absolutely loathed going through those parts of the game, I definitely did not replay that entry because of it.

Anyway, Sekiro Shadows Die Twice is well worth a playthrough and once you’ve gotten through it the first time, it becomes SO much more relaxing and you’ll finally feel like you can truly enjoy yourself.

You’ll really be able to admire the mechanics and design without having to worry about where you have to go next and what new enemies you’ll need to learn the move set of in order to beat them without the stress of dying so much.

Overall Rating = 9/10 Definitely Worth the Hassle

Sekiro Shadows Die Twice Divine Dragon

I give it a 9/10 because, unlike its siblings, there isn’t any customization and the character progression is linear. You get 1 default sword that you use all the time, one outfit and you don’t get to build out your character the way you want to.

Despite the lack of customization though, there are a lot of skill trees and secondary weapon upgrades, this by no means makes up for it, but it is an interesting mechanic. Sekiro Shadows Die Twice focuses a lot more on story and more aggressive combat that is true swordplay, it has definitely carved out an identity for itself and is unique in its own right.

A welcome addition to the Soulsborne family of games that would be a great starting point to get into the series for new players as it is much more forgiving. As for veteran players or gamers that are more familiar with From Software games, it will provide a refreshing and very different experience which might not be a bad thing.

Let me know what you thought of Sekiro Shadows Die Twice, have you played it? Or are you thinking of playing it?

Want to pick up the game and start playing? You can get it here.

You can also take a look at my other posts here for any other games that I have reviewed and would recommend.

Or if you’re looking for a more chill game to play that has no stress whatsoever, then this list will have a few great suggestions for you.

Thanks for reading this post, hope you all have a backlog of games to finish up to keep the boredom away and stay sane, until next time!

Ryzehn

6 Comments

  1. Hi another great review, i might give it a try.
    How long an average did it take you to finish the story line ? As i see the game could be pretty interesting with being the god of death/shinobi, i just wouldn’t want to get stuck for months trying to clear it.

    • Hey again Brian,

      If you DO decide to give it a try, just be prepared for some frustration and rage as this game can be quite challenging during the first run. On my first playthrough, it took me a solid 2 weeks or so to finish it as there is ALOT to learn and a lot of defeats, backtracking and exploring to do, all worth it mind you.

      It’s definitely a game that will keep you busy and might drive you crazy in a different way, but once you’re finished the first go around, you’ll probably want to play again and will most likely blow through the game in half the time (if not less) it took you the first run.

      I really appreciate you taking the time to check out my reviews and game recommendations and hope you have fun with this one if you decide to try it out.

  2. Hi
    Thanks for the quick reply, yeah 2 weeks seems like it fits my patience limit haha,
    i will try my best to get it as soon as possible it looks really interesting and engaing. I will make you sure to let you know my expierience of the game after i clear it.

    • Hey Brian,
      Thanks for getting back to me on that, I’m looking forward to hear your experience with it, though if you find it to be too stressful, you can check out my other post about chill games to play to help you relax after an intense battle or section of the game.

  3. Thanks for the thorough review! The storyline and graphics look really interesting but I’m glad I read your review as I will have to pass this one. I’ve tried the Dark Souls games a couple of times and watched my friend throw a controller through drywall playing them. I play games to relax and socialize. That means that I like single-player games with a good plot but not too much challenge, I always play on easy as my life is stressful enough as is. When I play multiplier games like PUBG I do it with friends. And I always drink beer at the same time to take the edge off, lol :D. Games can just be so infuriating, yet so relaxing, but you really need to know yourself and choose them accordingly.

    BTW I’m currently playing Half-Life: Alyx. Do you have experience with VR games? Alyx really feels like the next generation that the VR experience was meant for. Still stresfull and challenging at times 🙂

    • I’ve heard of Half-Life Alyx and plan on playing it sometime, I did recently invest in a VR headset and that game looks amazing and would probably be one of the coolest games to come to VR. I was playing through the Half-Life series as well since it was free and the devs recommended playing them before the VR experience.
      I am looking forward to that game for sure! Thanks for the suggestion and hope you keep on having fun gaming!

      Also, if you’re looking for some stress free relaxing games I’ve got another post here: https://livingthatgamerlife.com/chill-games-to-play/ that could help provide you with some options.

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