With Team Ninja’s Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty garnering mixed reviews across the board, it’s time to look at the game that heavily inspired it, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Released in 2019, Sekiro revolutionized the From Software formula drastically which shaped it into a single-player action-packed title managing to win many accolades.
Despite having Bloodborne and Dark Souls trilogy under their belt, Sekiro was the first game that won From Software their first Game of the Year award. So, let’s see what made this hack-n-slash adventure so fun and why you should try it even after 4 years of its release.
Sekiro maintains many of the From Software quirks from previous games. However, it comes with many unique twists and charms that keep the experience fairly fresh. There is a heavy focus on exploration and traversal with the help of a grappling hook tool, making the game feel much more vertical.
Some other mechanics that shape the combat, exploration, and NPC interactions are the Immortality mechanic, Dragonrot, and Shinobi Prosthetic. Although Sekiro doesn’t offer much build variety or the usual multiplayer mode, the mentioned mechanics are enough to compel you to spend dozens of hours in the game.
Sekiro Combat & Boss Fights
Sekiro has some very well-polished combat which poses a challenging but ultimately fun and immersive experience. It builds on the already well-established formula of From Software, combining the best mechanics of the Dark Souls trilogy and Bloodborne, with an introduction to entirely new systems like the posture bar and Shinobi prosthetics. It offers the most fast-paced fights in the series with the most satisfying sounds of clashing swords.
When it comes to bosses, Sekiro has some of the toughest and most exhilarating fights. Although the game only has a total of 12 main bosses, their thrilling battles, unique movesets, and heart-wrenching lore make them all memorable. In essence, Sekiro is the humanoid boss, and sword combat done right!
From Software is known for its cryptic and non-traditional stories where players must piece together the entire lore through NPC interactions, item descriptions, and environment. While Sekiro preserves many of these unconventional story-telling elements, it presents the most straightforward story in FromSoftware’s catalog, explained vastly through cutscenes and character dialogues.
The game is set in a fictional place named Ashina, following the Japanese Sengoku period, where players take the role of a Shinobi named Wolf. After failing to protect his Lord Kuro and having lost his will to live, Wolf is granted another chance at life with a new quest to help his Lord Kuro escape the grasp of the Ashina samurai clan, attempting to take advantage of Kuro’s divine abilities.
Another thing about Sekiro that stuck out to me for a long time after finishing the game was its environment and world-building. Ashina is a marvelous place showcasing 16th-century Japan in full glory. Each section of the game is unique, recognizable by its eye-catching visuals, enemy types, and soundtrack.
Sekiro is certainly one of the most unique and ambitious From Software games that expands on the Souls-like formula with its own unique twists. If you want to experience the best sword fights the medium has to offer, with a compelling story, immersive world, and to top it all off, an amazing OST, make sure you give this masterpiece a try!