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Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Are you a fan of Katanas? If yes, then Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the game for you. This game is another masterpiece from FromSoftware, the makers of the famous Dark Souls series. As you would’ve probably guessed, Sekiro takes place in a setting to that of medieval Japan. And just like the Souls franchise, this game is one of the toughest you’ll ever play. It was published by Activision for PS4, PC and Xbox One in March this year. 

Combat and stealth are the two strong suits of this game in combination with superb boss battles. Filled with blood and gore, Sekiro will appeal strongly to the strong-hearted gamers. The game takes place mostly in fictional locations, but there are many inspirations from real places in Japan. A firm reference to Buddhist mythology is also present. All this mixed up with a great story, sounds like a complete package. So, would you buy it? Confused? Let us help you. We have prepared an analysis that will help you make an informed decision. 

I think the reason that I like so many different games is that I like the way my brain works when I’m playing games. It’s more fun.”

-John Romero

Plot

You will play as the orphaned shinobi who trains in the ways of the ninja and goes on his quest to free Japan from tyranny. The events of the game take place in fictional Japan during the Sengoku period, around the 16th century. Sekiro begins with a bloody coup that was arranged by a warlord named Isshin Ashina. He manages to seize power from ministry and begins his reign of terror. Amidst all this chaos, a shinobi named Ukonzaemon Usui adopts a nameless orphan, trains him and calls him the wolf. Wolf learns the ways of the shinobi from Usui and prepares hard for 20 years. As the game progresses, you will face tough choices that will eventually shape the outcome of the game.

Gameplay

If you were a fan of Dark Souls or Bloodborne, then there’s a pretty good chance that you will love this game. Although there a few differences between the two franchises, you can still make out that both of them have been developed by the same outfit. The aspects of character building and role-playing are less prominent in Sekiro. Sekiro is played from the third-person perspective where you need to face your enemies in a Katana battle. 

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The grappling hook is one of the most exciting features of this game. You can use it to grapple and move to your desired location at a much faster pace. The path of the game is more or less linear, where your choices will not impact the final outcome significantly. If you die at some point, you can always revive yourself on the spot if you have resurrection power. This power is restored by defeating your foes, instead of respawning at earlier checkpoints. You will lose half of the experience and currency you have collected. 

The thing that bummed me most about this game is that there is no multiplayer option. 

Combat and Stealth

The most appealing aspect of any game from FromSoftware is the combat. They are the masters of fight mechanics and action moves. And Sekiro is no exception. The combat is somewhat unique but still world-class. You need to attack the posture and balance of the enemies using the Katana, which eventually leads to an opening that allows for a single killing blow. Your enemies will strike you with different types of attacks such as thrusts, sweeps, and grapples. Each of these attacks has a unique defensive strategy like evading or blocking. Some attacks must be jumped-over and some need to be deflected.

The developers have really focused on the element of stealth. You can always kill your opponent in a single blow if you manage to get in close range undetected. The grappling hook reinforces the stealth element. Using the hook, you can quickly get into advantageous positions and kill your target with a single strike. The hook also enables you to escape dangerous situations with ease. Combat and stealth are the strongest suits of this game. Katana is an elegant weapon, and you will adore the way it operates. 

The Final Verdict

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a unique game, to say the least. But I must admit, this game is not for everyone. If you don’t like hack and slash games, then you probably won’t like this one either. However, if you do like stealth games and occasionally slicing up your foes, then you shouldn’t think twice before buying Sekiro. More so, if you are a history buff and like to play with sharp swords. FromSoftware is a reliable name when it comes to slasher games. 

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