Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Review

Sekiro was made by “From Software,” they’re well known for the Dark Souls series and Bloodborne. They’re renowned for creating challenging games where you die a lot. The only one of their games I’d tried previously was Bloodborne and I’ll admit I wasn’t a fan. So I was skeptical when I heard Sekiro was a great game, but eventually I decided to give it a try.

I’m really happy I did. If you go on YouTube you can find countless videos of people complaining or raging about this game and how hard it is. The game is difficult, but I like that. Most games these days are so easy, they have maps and minimaps to follow. If there are bosses they’re easily beaten, even on harder settings. But that is definitely not a problem with Sekiro.

Sekiro is like the games I used to play where you have to learn your way around without any maps or guides. There are secrets littered all over the place if you look carefully. Learning different skills isn’t just entertaining, sometimes it’s necessary to beat certain bosses (not required, but it makes them easier.) Best of all, there are a lot of challenging bosses and sub-bosses. Each one takes some skill, learning their moves and properly deflecting to find prime opportunities to attack.

The feudal Japan setting is fantastic, the game looks amazing. The story was okay, you’re a shinobi trying to protect your lord. Your lord has a power that others want, and that’s where the protagonist comes in. Frankly, I didn’t really care about the story that much. It was okay, but not riveting. That doesn’t detract from this game, as the graphics and gameplay are incredible.

My favorite part of the game is the replay value. Once you beat the game you can keep all of the skills you’ve earned, your vitality bar, items, attack power, and your prosthetic arm abilities you acquire. As tough as the game is, it rewards you with another play-through with everything you had in your previous play-through. I love it when games do this, otherwise you beat the game and that’s it. You can replay it again, but then you have to re-acquire everything and it loses its luster.

No game is perfect and Sekiro certainly has some flaws. My only major complaint is the camera. There are situations where you’re in a cave, or you get backed into a wall or corner where the camera goes nuts. When this happens you can’t really see what’s happening. Almost as if sensing this, the boss or enemy you’re fighting will wail on you dealing heavy damage before you can get away. This led to a lot of swearing on my part and it really gets frustrating at times. But in a way it adds another element to the fight. Don’t get yourself backed into a wall or corner where you don’t have room to move, the game will punish you for it.

Needless to say, if you aren’t looking to be challenged and you hate dying in video games, you’re going to despise this game. If you want to just power through a game with no trouble at all, Sekiro isn’t for you. However, if you like games that take a lot of skill and you’re willing to put up with some punishment, Sekiro is a fantastic game. I give this game a 9 out of 10 and definitely recommend buying it.