The shinobi way of life has been something I’ve been interested in since, well, Shinobi as well as Ninja Gaiden. Those games have held a special place in my heart for a long time, and now it looks like they’ll be getting company! Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a beautiful game that meshes ancient Japan with supernatural aspects, and I can’t wait for it.
FromSoftware has been making games for a long time, and its games have pretty much always been considered not just beloved by many gamers, but also extremely difficult. The Demon’s Souls series alone set a high standard for how difficult a game can be. While Sekiro is clearly in the same style as Bloodborne and the Dark Souls series, it does have aspects to make sure it stands out on its own.
What are the similarities? The entire look of the game screams FromSoftware from the items to the menus and even the art style and enemies. It has the same kind of gritty feel to it, and the larger enemies are lanky, reminding me of enemies from other FromSoftware titles. As in the Dark Souls the healing and saving mechanic are the same: drinking from a healing gourd and praying to a Sculptor’s Idol.
There is one major difference that helps the title of the game make a lot more sense - the resurrection mechanic. This is something I am very eager to use to exploit enemies. I love stealth in games and this takes it to a new level. So an enemy kills you, let’s say it’s one of the amazing-looking huge samurai. Unlike some games with respawn or resurrection mechanics, these enemies are programmed to move on. Therefore the samurai decides you’re done and dusted and starts to walk away, leaving your body behind. You have around seven seconds to resurrect yourself, the ultimate possum game. If you wait for the most opportune moment, you can bounce back and get a badass stealth kill as well as some awesome revenge. This does come with a catch: if that same enemy kills you a second time, you’re officially dead.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice takes place during the Sengoku period in Japan, around the late 1500s. Some history is in place here as the most dangerous group in the game is one that actually existed, the Ashina Clan. I sincerely hope they didn’t happen to have the giant trolls they do in the game! The addition of magic and supernatural elements is done well and don’t at all feel like we’re recreating ancient Japan including a giant crab. The character you play is known as the “one-armed wolf” and he does indeed have only one real arm. The other is a prosthetic that comes with wonderful bells and whistles such as a grappling hook, blades, and a flame vent. Yes, flame vent, perfect to set your enemies on fire. All in all, the flaws in the game are kind of hard to find just yet.
We all expect a lot from FromSoftware, and it looks like its more than willing to give it. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is slated for release the 22nd of March, 2019. So far it looks like March is shaping up to be a great month! Considering that FromSoftware is still adjusting the game, it appears, there may be delays in the future. For a game that looks as stunning and feels as fun as this one, I’m more than happy to wait a little longer for what will hopefully be a masterpiece.