Sekiro -You’ll Likely Die More than Twice
A wide variety of video game developers have at least one video game series which they are known for. This doesn't mean that the developers are incapable of producing quality content outside the confines of that series, but it does mean that when a game under the umbrella of that series is released by the developer, the gaming community expects nothing short of excellence and greatness. Case in point: FromSoftware Inc., most renowned for the Armored Core and Dark Souls series, as well as the action/adventure game Bloodborne. The first series is great in its own way. The second is reminiscent of Dark Souls. It is the Dark Souls series itself, however, that has defined FromSoftware.
What defines the Dark Souls series? Its difficulty, of course. Let me tell you something: Dark Souls’ difficulty is glorious, intense and immense. It is a thing of beauty; video games nowadays cater to a casual audience that is perturbed by anything remotely resembling a challenge, especially if that something stands in the way of having fun (as if the two were mutually exclusive). I was born in an era of video gaming where developers developed games whose difficulty levels sent a strong message: adapt, improvise, overcome, or cheat, or quit. The Dark Souls games are refreshing in that they have no difficulty toggle; if it’s too much, too bad. I’m glad that Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the same way.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is based on feudal Japan, like Ghost of Tsushima. (Source: IGN.)
In fact, while Sekiro will clearly be separate and distinct from any Dark Souls title in terms of the experiences it will offer, Sekiro’s open world derives inspiration from, specifically, Dark Souls 1. Yasuhiro Kitao of FromSoftware explains, “If we were to make a comparison... the world structure is closest to Dark Souls 1, in that we have multiple interconnected environments that have all have multiple path to get to each other,” and continued that, "Additionally, there's not just one path to take. The player will find several areas, and get to make a choice of which one they want to go to first, and have agency on how they go through the game." Sekiro also contains two mechanics which I find compelling and which I want to discuss.
Death takes on a different characteristic in Sekiro; it’s not an automatic indicator of failure, or an occurrence to learn from. In fact, if I understand the mechanic correctly, it may even be advantageous; under certain conditions, the protagonist can immediately resurrect from the dead. This can lull enemies into a false sense of security and can be used as a stealth tactic. The number of times death can be exploited has not yet been disclosed, but the game’s title may give a clue: once, i.e. dying twice. The protagonist also has what director Hidetaka Miyazaki is calling a grappling hook “shinobi prosthetic.” Finally, a masterful display of action and violence for Sekiro may be found here.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is an Xbox One exclusive. If you’re gearing up to purchase it, or any other Xbox One title, may I suggest you visit U4Gold.com to take advantage of their discounted Xbox One Gift Cards. Also, once you buy them, your purchase will be processed in 15 minutes or less!