Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (PS4/XBO/PC)



  • The branching paths really get me. I always want to complete everything before moving on. I've now discovered three different entrances to the Abandoned Dungeon. The third one I found was releiving because its clearly the proper entrance and I just missed it. I took a back route that opened up after fighting a mini-boss that was standing guard in the cave where you first start the game. After entering that path, I was quickly dismantled by "Fear" damage which works the same as Curse did in Dark Souls - instant death but without the half health.

    Point being, its really cool how well everything loops, twists, and turns, and its cool that there is a clear "right" way if you eventually find it. Reminds me of the Catacombs in Dark SOuls. Sure, you can run right in there, but you prob don't wanna start there out the gate.



  • By far one of my favourite aspects in video games is thoughtful world design and sense of scale, growth, and progression within that world. In Batman Arkham Asylum, you slowly unlock new parts of the asylum as you progress and find secret connecting paths to old ones. In God of War, you progress though the labyrinth on Kronos' back unlocking areas that eventually loop back around to familiar locations you fought through hours before.

    No game has done this to the degree in which I appreciate Dark Souls. You'd see a distant area that seems so far and unreachable but you will eventually get there and conquer it. Once you conquer the Gargoyles you can look around the Undead Berg and see all of these areas you just fought through, overcoming so much. If you look down you'll see the Forbidden Forrest. You'd think it's just background decoration until you discover you can actually go down there and look back up at the Undead Berg. It was unbelievable to me playing for the first time! Eventually, you'll end up in Anor Londo and the 20-40 hours beforehand feel so small and insignificant when they felt so big up to that point.

    My point is that playing Dark Souls for the first time really brought a lot of emotion out of me and a large part of that emotion was from the visual guide of triumph and exploration you receive by championing a new area and visually looking back at the old ones like they are ancient history.

    I'm happy to say that as I play through Sekiro, I am getting a lot of those same joyous feelings I had playing Dark Souls in 2011. Nothing in all of gaming has really scratched this itch for me since I first played Souls but Sekiro is getting there. For example, seeing the smoke signals in the distance then eventually sneaking around the same roof tops they come from. The entire beginning area of the game feels so large and detailed. I've spent around 15 hours in the beginning of the game up to the end of Ashina Castle, but now that I've made it ahead, I can take a moment to...

    Spoiler...look back at Ashina Castle in the far far distance as it makes me feel rewarded and accomplished. It also makes those early areas feel so small when they look so far away now.

    Spoileralt text

    My anecdote is meant to show just how much I value this type of feeling from a video game. It's so hard to achieve and I don't know how to properly articulate what a studio did to actually give me this type of satisfaction but these are the types of memories that stick with me better than anything else in video games.



  • How do you do the charged downward slash move? I only know the charged stab move.

    update: nevermind, i got it



  • @dipset said in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (PS4/XBO/PC):

    By far one of my favourite aspects in video games is thoughtful world design and sense of scale, growth, and progression within that world. In Batman Arkham Asylum, you slowly unlock new parts of the asylum as you progress and find secret connecting paths to old ones. In God of War, you progress though the labyrinth on Kronos' back unlocking areas that eventually loop back around to familiar locations you fought through hours before.

    No game has done this to the degree in which I appreciate Dark Souls. You'd see a distant area that seems so far and unreachable but you will eventually get there and conquer it. Once you conquer the Gargoyles you can look around the Undead Berg and see all of these areas you just fought through, overcoming so much. If you look down you'll see the Forbidden Forrest. You'd think it's just background decoration until you discover you can actually go down there and look back up at the Undead Berg. It was unbelievable to me playing for the first time! Eventually, you'll end up in Anor Londo and the 20-40 hours beforehand feel so small and insignificant when they felt so big up to that point.

    It was Ico that first really did that for me.



  • @sheria

    I still need to try Ico since I loved TLG and SotC so much. I think the first game where I realized I loved world connectivity was God of War. I only played it in 2006 or 2007 so Bioshock happened right around the same time and gave me that same feeling. I think I also tried The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay when the remaster released in 2009 and that had some of those elements too.

    I never get tired of it.



  • I just beat the game! The final boss was tough but satisfying.

    Overall, I'm not sure what I think about the game on this initial play-through. I like it, but I don't think it measures up to either Dark Souls 3 or Bloodborne.



  • I haven't played since I beat the guy. I'm going to make a concerted effort to get back into the game this weekend.



  • @tokyoslim After beating the game, and starting up another playthrough, I was surprised at how challenging that guy still was. The mini-bosses in this game can be just as hard, if not harder, than some of the actual bosses. I'm pretty sure I spent more time trying to defeat the rifle mini-boss than with the Corrupted Monk.



  • What's considered to be the ending? Is it earning the trophy?



  • @iboshow I am not sure what you mean exactly. Here is what happened for me:

    Spoiler: After beating the Sword Saint, you get the "Immortal Severance" trophy and the credits roll. From what I have researched, there are a few different endings to get. After you beat the final boss, you have the choice to return to the game world until you are ready to go into new-game plus mode, which allows you to keep all of the health/posture that you have gained from the prayer beads as well as all of your prosthetics.



  • I think the second phase of this monkey boss is where I quit FromSoftware games. It's too much. In the time it will take me to beat this boss, I could do many other things more worth my time. I rather liked the game until now, but I'm just not doing this. I really believe the git gud crap and the stupid reaction videos went to FromSoftware's heads. I don't feel like being overwhelmingly difficult was Demon's Souls aim. The fandom made these games worse.



  • @ezekiel

    You make everything sound so doom and gloom. I completely understand why you'd want to put the game down and move onto other things, but there isn't some conspiracy that From Software is flippantly creating difficulty for the sake of it. You make it seem like the player experience has cheapened and I can tell you that most people playing this game are fans of it. I have friends who couldn't beat Dark Souls who are pushing through this and loving it.

    You mentioned Demon's Souls but that game is by far the most obtuse and difficult game of theirs in the past decade. For example, if you are stuck on a boss, you might end up having to spend 2 hours farming health herbs just to even attempt that boss again. Or the one boss who physically removes your Soul level so every time you lose, the game becomes irreparably harder since leveling up costs more souls and he's removing levels from you.. If that isn't overwhelmingly difficult, then I don't know what is. I'm not saying they sought to make the Demon's Souls so intentionally difficult, I think they were just making a unique and challenging game as they have with Sekiro.

    You don't like it - but don't act like From Software is riding a wave until it comes crashing down.



  • @dipset said in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (PS4/XBO/PC):

    @ezekiel

    You make everything sound so doom and gloom. I completely understand why you'd want to put the game down and move onto other things, but there isn't some conspiracy that From Software is flippantly creating difficulty for the sake of it.

    Then it's coincidence that right after Dark Souls exploded in popularity, they went with the title "Prepare to Die Edition." They know that difficulty sells their games. Demon's Souls was easy compared to this.



  • I feel like this game is much harder for fans of the Souls games. I never got very far in those, and I think I'm doing much better in Sekiro because of that. Muscle memory works against you.



  • @ezekiel

    God forbid they market their game. It's an awesome name, fans like it. Prepare to die has an amazing ring. Also keep in mind that Sony marketed and published Demon's Souls and Bloodborne. Bandai Namco marketed and published Dark Souls. Now Activision marketed and published Sekiro.

    From Software was the development team NOT the publisher. I'd even agree with you that elements of the series got a bit drawn out under the Bandai Namco and From Software relationship. Dark Souls 2 was a mediocre game in my opinion that should not have been released so quickly. Bandai Namco also released tons of spoilers for Dark Souls 3 in their marketing materials. These weren't decisions that From Software made. Sony didn't do that with Demon's and BB. Activision hasn't done that with Sekiro.

    I think we'll have to agree to disagree on the difficulty between Demon's and Sekiro. I think that Sekiro is by far the most streamlined and simplified From Software game of the past decade. It tutorializes you a lot, there is a practice dummy, all systems in the game are explained, there are no complicated mechanics, and most of all - progression is straightforward and road blocks come strictly from your inability to defeat a boss. In their other games, you could spend hours grinding for Soul-levels, grinding for upgrade materials in loot drops, grinding for healing items, etc, just to progress forward on a part you're already getting mopped up in.

    Sekiro always places you at the proper area at the proper time because you can only progress forward by defeating bosses which brings up your attack level. This means, you can't grind for 7 hours to level up waaaaay to high for an area, but you also can't make it too far ahead on skill alone. There isn't any grinding for weapon upgrades or anything like that which means the game is streamlined, simpler, and more casual compared to Souls in my opinion.

    We totally disagree here and neither of us are right or wrong, but From Software is certainly not just slapping a game together on a difficulty gimmick. People like it because people like it.



  • @dipset I didn't have to grind any of the Souls games or Bloodborne. Maybe some healing items on my first Demon's Souls playthrough, and vials in BB, but not levels. They were still easier.



  • @ezekiel

    Well, both Capn and my friends have experiences where Sekiro is more approachable than Souls was. That is undeniably anecdotal, however.

    I’ll say in a final argument that Dark/Demon’s Souls/ Bloodborne/Sekiro offer a value point that anybody needs to appreciate. I don’t know what the business term for this is but essentially, Sekiro/Souls offers us a service where hardcore games sometimes feel neglected in a AAA market.

    I know in the “gamer” realm that Souls is nothing new, but in general, what From Software has done was make a certain audience feel heard where a one-size-fits-all difficulty made a specific set of gamers feel heard and satisfyied. I understand we disagree about Sekiro, but please don’t suggest From Software doesn’t care about games, fans, or quality.



  • About Sekiro's difficulty when compared with Souls/BBorne I think it's neither more or less. Mostly is different. There were core mechanics that made past games easier that are completely gone from Sekiro. You no longer can summon other players to help you, you can't recover your losses after being killed and with most enemies you can't just hit and run your way through the game. So while there's stuff that's makes Sekiro easier the reverse it's also true.

    The game drives the narrative much more effectively than previous games. That's the only thing that definitely is easier in Sekiro. The game is built to be more engaging hoping to grab players that otherwise might give up. As an example, I have a couple of friends that gave up on BB just because that at a certain point they had no idea of what was going on, or what to do next. They loved the combat and art but didn't felt engaged (or directed) by the narrative.

    Then of course there's the personal experience. I believe people will debate for some time about how difficult is Sekiro compared to SoulsBorne games because some styles of play will naturally fit better one game or other.

    But should Sekiro have an easy mode? I don't know. Ask the creator, he's the only person that matters. People were concerned about Activision interfering with Sekiro but in the end some players are the ones doing it. I would be fine with Sekiro having an easy mode, if that was Miyazaki's vision.



  • @ezekiel Have you thought about a different approach? You can run circles around it and wait for it to do the leaping sword dive, jump over it and get a few hits in. Rinse and repeat. I found that many of the bosses in this game have moves you can bait if you're patient.



  • @phbz said:

    People were concerned about Activision interfering with Sekiro but in the end some players are the ones doing it.

    That's so well put that it belongs in an article.