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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Sabo

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

From Software is a studio with a long legacy of making fantastic games, and Sekiro is no different. From the beginning, every fan of Miyazaki will be happy to hear that he continues to progress and broaden himself as a director of video games. Every title, something new is brought, and Miyazaki is now diving into the stealth and action genre. The moment the game starts, the direction is meant to be respectable and honorable. A lot of care was taken in the art design, the cutscenes, and the world that is created in Sekiro.

Gameplay is very simple, as the player plays a character known as Wolf, and in the beginning, the player is fighting hand-to-hand combat with a Katana. Very soon, the player is presented with the Prosthetic Arm, which through finding parts, can be given different upgrades during the playthrough of the game. Very quickly, the player become very equipped to take on the battles that will be faced, but equipment is not enough. The games main mechanics are its Vitality and Posture meters. Vitality is simple, it is the health of the characters, and the health of enemies plays a very important role when in combat and fighting enemies. Posture is the characters strength and stance, and can be withered down. If a character loses their posture, they will be vulnerable to a deathblow. These mechanics are vital in every battle, from the first enemy to the final boss.

The world of Sekiro feels real and alive, and a lot of it has to do with how connected the world and how natural the world feels. It becomes awe-inspiring when traversing the planes, only to look over the horizon and view the area the player was a few hours ago, and on the other said, the area the player will be in a a few hours. Running through the world does not feel over-bearing, and there is never a moment of truly being lost. The conveyance in the world is strong, and will leave the player wandering the world like an adventurer.

It also helps that, at a certain point, the world opens up with multiple different paths. During the playthrough, there were moments where it was easy to get stuck, but when going back on wanting to go on a different route, it left the player is more accessibility. Every road is a different form of difficulty, and every player will consider each road different. A lot of that has to do with the mechanics, and the variety offered leads to many different playstyles. It is hard to type into words, but there is a lot offered in mechanics so simple, and the game tries to showcase it all.

That said, the game is not perfect. Every enemy feels like a puzzle, to find their openings and strike when right. The problem though is some enemies are a lot easier to read than others. Even when it comes to bosses, some enemies have clear openings, while others will take a good hour to figure out because it is not as clear. Also, some of the mechanics are not as well coded as the game wants to be. When it comes to traversing, the character can use a grappling hook and run up along walls, and while for the most part it works, there are moments where the player is correct, but the game does not work. Sometimes when hanging on a ledge and trying to climb up, the game will glitch and the player will fall to his death. When trying to perform a silent attack, sometimes it works, but even if the red dot is visible, if the player is to far, the character will perform a regular attack.

Sekiro is well designed, and is a masterful work of art, but there are problems with the code that make the game an imperfection. As well, there are moments where the game is unfair, not because it is difficult to play, but difficult to read. However, a few blemishes are nothing compared to everything else the game has to offer. It runs well, it plays well, and it is an experience worth playing because very few games are like it.

9 out 0f 10.



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