BY HARRISON BLUTO
Photo courtesy of The Chaparral. Staff Reporter Harrison Bluto poses with the True Corrupt Monk from Sekiro.
From Software, Inc. has released its new game, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice on March 22. The game has received a large amount of press due to what many consider to be its extreme amount of difficulty. Although at times, this high level of difficulty can be difficult to overcome, once past it, Sekiro is an amazing piece of video game art.
ART: The artistic elements of Sekiro are top notch. All of the environments you explore throughout the game are beautifully done as well as the music that accompanies it. Due to how beautiful the game looks, sometimes it suffers in frame rate dips thus affecting the gameplay experience. Regardless of this, the art elements of this game, although not the focus, are top notch for the time of its release.
STORY: From Softwares games as of late such as, Dark Souls and Bloodborne have not had a very present story involved in the game. You are simply given a task to do and are given the option to explore the background story of the places you’re in. Sekiro, on the other hand, has a very present story in comparison. You follow Wolf (given the nickname Sekiro later) in his journey to free his young master, Lord Kuro, from his captors who seek to use Lord Kuro’s sacred blood to gain immortality. The main story explores the concept of immortality and what people would be willing to do in order to gain it or do away with it. All in all, Sekrio has a rich backstory involved in its world and a good main story to guide you through it.
GAMEPLAY: Now that I have talked to you about the more art like elements of the game it’s time to talk about the bulk of Sekiro, which is the gameplay. Sekiro’s gameplay is tight and well polished. The combat revolves primarily around a posture system, where the objective is for the player to break the enemy’s posture to be able to go in and finish them. This is done through deflecting attacks and hitting in small windows. “Less is more in this game, instead of having a ton of different weapons they have a one really polished weapon that feels really good to play with,” says COD student and Plug & Play Co-host James Via.
“I really liked that certain bosses needed to be defeated in different ways, some aren’t affected by attacks, others can’t have their posture broken, it was really well done,” said Via. When it comes to fighting bosses, the game tests your mastery of its mechanics, making you observe the bosses attack patterns and decide whether to ship away at their health or deflect their attacks to make an opening. Due to this, most boss battles are a heavy trail and error period involving you to memorize bosses down to their specific animations in order to know when to deflect and when to go in for attacks.
Bosses, as well as casual enemies, are able to dispose of you very quickly (usually two to four hits) making the game fast paced and challenging. At times it is almost unfair how hard it is, but because of this, there is a tremendous level of satisfaction involved in taking down bosses after fighting them for more than an hour. The game is extremely well done and polished, I only found two issues that bogged it down for me.
The first issue I had with the game is that a number of mini-bosses have allies with them, making you fight not only a difficult mini-boss but also about five other normal enemies at the same time. Initially, I was fine when it occurred a few times at the start of the game but the trend continued throughout it and made some of the mini-bosses far more difficult due to overwhelming numbers than an actual challenge from the mini-boss. This doesn’t occur with any of the main bosses in the game which are most definitely the highlight of the experience.
My other issue with the game is that Sekiro is given a variety of special items that he can use in combat via his prosthetic arm. The issue with this, however, is that many of those tools are extremely situational to the area you find them in, meaning you will most likely never use them afterward. I ended up only using two tools (firecrackers and shurikens) on a frequent basis.
All in all Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a fantastic game that only has some minor issues in it making it a 9/10 game. If you are up for the challenge I highly recommend you pick up this game and give it a shot.