Sekiro: Shadow's Die Twice is the newest FromSoftware game that released on March 22, 2019.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice starts with a forsaken shinobi, you, sitting in a well awaiting a purpose in life. Once a mysterious stranger drops him a letter, he starts his quest for severence. This soldier is named Wolf, son of Owl. He serves none other than the devine heir himself. This game is set in feudal Japan, durring the reign of the fictional Ashina dynasty. The game incorporates Japanese culture very well, and puts importance on things like loyalty and family.
What puts this apart from any medeval game set in Japan are the fatal themes and the scourge of immortality. In a world where imortality is more common, obviously there are those who hope to abuse its power, but in doing so, they corrupt and destroy their soul. This game does question the morality of immortality, and if you pay attention to the story, you will find it is quite a good one.
So once the Wolf exits the well, he then becomes reaquanted with fighting, but then faces a foe he cannot hope to beat, and his arm is cut off in the process of fighting him. He awakes a few days later, and then he is ready to truly begin his journey of redemption. With his new allies and his new left arm prostetic, he now can learn and adapt to the brutal world of feudal Japan.
Brutal is exactly the word I would use to describe this game. It is really, really hard. The gameplay is very smooth, but very hard to preform. You almost need split second reflexes just from the very begining of the game. There is also no way to make the game easier, you can only make it harder using an in game feature which is a bell you can ring to make enimies tougher, but the reward is increased. But to return to the point, the game being very difficult should not dissuade players from trying the game out. It is a solid game that deserves praise.
The game is hard, it will be hard for you, but the idea is that by the endgame, you are becoming more and more of a fierce warrior. You just have to learn to enjoy overcoming extreme difficulty. I have played and beaten all of Fromsoftware's games on Xbox, and I still had a very hard time with some parts. One of the bosses early in the game took about 12 hours off and on trying, for me to finaly beat him. Then the final boss took me about 3 days of off and on playing the game. Ask anyone when they first started playing either this or FromSoftware games, they had a hard time on certain parts.
The gameplay in this game is very fast paced, snappy, and smooth. There are a few different ways to take out most enemies, you can use prothetic tools, you can slash, stab, jump, or slam your way to victory. Stealth is also a big, but not necissary part of the game. Besides the very begining when you lack a sword, you don't really need stealth, but it can make some situations a lot more managable. The stealth gameplay is not really anything you've never seen before, but it is functional for the game. Where the hand to hand combat is crazy fun, and brutal. You will learn to adapt to how fast you have to react to avoid a katana through your back. You can also use your upgradable prostetic gadget advantage to beat some foes. There are also simple, but effective upgrade trees for sword abilities called "combat arts" passive abilities and activated skills. There is also resource collecting element that goes towards upgrading the Wolf's new arm. You can get anything from blade throwing tools to unbreakable umbrellas to explosive weapons of desruction. One negative is that you can't actually use anything but a katana as your primary, but in the case of this game, you become so used to the katana that you don't want to learn a whole new weapon. Two of the resources used to upgrade, skill points and sen, or money, are really just found by killing enemies. However, the catch is, when you die you will lose half of your progress towards you next skill point, and half of the sen you are carrying. Making the resources even harder to obtain.
There is a way you can avoid losing half of your stuff, through unseen aid. Which has a 30% chance of happening when you respawn at an alter, which acts as a checkpoint in this game. There is another catch though, the more you die and resurect, the more that percentage can go down, first to 15% then it just gets lower and lower. This is know as dragon rot, and the more you resurect, the more it spreads throughout the world. The resurection feature also adds interesting new ways to achieve your goal. When you die you get a chance to stand back up and keep fighting. But you must have enough resurective power, which is obtained by killing anything. This mechanic is so good, and it makes the game stand out in a really interesting way. Resurection also plays a big part in the story, so it really feels at home, and planned out. In other words, a welcome addition.
This games story design deserves to be seen as well. It does not shove it in your face, but if you are not paying attention, you can miss it. The story is not the best ever, don't get me wrong. But in a world where story seems to come second to most games, this one is solid. The world also deserves good praise, while it doesn't connect to itself as well as games like DarkSouls. The world is also beautiful to look at and really nails the dark, isolated feel that they were going for. The world is beautiful, but also sad and lonely. The world design is solid and it always supports the grappiling hook feature they have put in, making it so there are a few ways to traverse the world, and you can even use it to smite a few enemies. While I would liked to have seen the grappiling hook used more for combat, it is still a neat feature.
The game does use some mini bosses twice and it is kinda disapointing, when they could have come up with a few more crazy creatures to improve their roster. The game could have also used a few more bosses, making the game a bit longer. But depending on certain choices you make in the game, you can face enemies and bosses some players will miss. The boss combat is pretty good in the game though and some of the fights have such epic, cinematic feelings that really put a smile on your face as you face off against a deadly foe. The only real problem with some of the bosses is how common having two phases is, it almost feels like you should expect at least two phases to every boss fight, and that can hurt the suprise when the creature you just desroyed gets back up and keeps on going.
Overall, this game is worth playing. If you are really scared of big bad Sekiro, I would wait for a sale, but it is a good one, and it will take up a lot of time to get good at, but remember it is never impossible and anybody in the world could beat it if they really wanted to.