Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice – Xbox One Review
Our Xbox One Review of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. You know, something that incredibly stood out for me last year when the game was revealed, and yes, it looked fantastic, and yes, I was excited to for it to come around, but the thing that stood out for me, was the team that were behind the game. From Software. The team who have brought the Dark Souls franchise to gamers and with that many tears and broken controllers, were releasing their newest addition to their Arsenal, away from the Dark Souls franchise, and that was in the form of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, which is described as an action and adventure title. How was it going to fare? Well, if you`ve played any of the Dark Souls titles, you know exactly what you`re going to be in for. At times, pure torture would be the words I`d use. But, it is a game that is excellent in what it does, and if you can master and have patience throughout, you do get your hands on an excellent new title.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice launched just over a week ago and is developed by From Software and published by Activision. It is set in the 16th Century Sengoku period of Japan, and follows the story of the main protagonist, Sekiro, or Wolf as he is known later to be called, who sets out to hunt down a samurai that had launched a savage attack and kidnapped his lord.
From the beginning of the game, you`re given the option of how you want to play. But that first point comes in the form of the language throughout. You can play through with the English language being spoken or played through with Japanese language with English subtitles. It`s completely down to you, and how you wish to play the game. I personally went for the English Language being spoken option, however, I bet that playing through in Japanese with subtitles given the setting for the game probably is a better option, but it is down to personal preference. I like having that option.
Please remember early in the game that this is a From Software title, and they are notorious for their difficulty settings. They love to give the gamer a challenge, and that`s apparent early in the game. It`s going to take some serious practice before you`ve even mastered the basics of the game, and the ability to fight against opposition and wipe out enemies. You do have the option of how you want to play through certain areas of the game, as the game offers both chances to have a full-on approach rushing into sword fights and blood galore, or the option to sneak around your enemies and use stealth, from pulling yourself from roof to roof or from sneaking through the bushes, certain scenes are going to have the better effect of the two, and that`s down to you how you wish to play. Personally I`m very full-on when it comes to these styles of games, and sometimes that`s my downfall – but the fighting combat feels good, and yes it can be incredibly challenging, it`s what makes the game. Just be prepared for a lot of practice and a lot of dying. Because it`s going to come thick and fast, and you`ll know that if you`ve played any of the Dark Souls titles. If you die it`s not all doom and gloom, as you`ll get the option to respawn straight away at the same point, or “resurrect” from the dead to carry on the right. But be prepared for a tough combat system. It`s designed to really test you as a gamer, both to play and learn the controls to crack through Sekiro, and probably mentally too. Do take breaks because I did, and you`re going to need them. A lot of frustration is going to go into fighting enemies and dying and repeating that process repeatedly. But, that`s what Sekiro is set out to do.
I mentioned earlier about approaches, and either being quite full on or quite stealthy and you`ll find out which one is the right one for you. But, the other thing to consider is not only how you play but how others approach their style. Your enemies. Oh yes, there`s more to Sekiro than working out your own style. You`re going to have to pinpoint moves and be quite strategic when it comes to wiping out enemies. There were times where I`d be sitting there for a good few minutes working out where to move to, how I was going to wipe out the horde of enemies that were camped out below, including some big nasty guys that could wipe me out with one shot. Strategically, Sekiro is a game that you`re not going to be able to rush in full blown without thinking what you`re doing. Yes, you can go in like I did and preferred to by swinging the sword around but working out who you were going to wipe out, and then who you were going to wipe out after. Strategic planning is apparent throughout and is going to be quite frankly needed. Because if you don’t, you`re going to find yourself dying a hell lot more than you want to be.
The game feels expansive throughout, and although not an open-world style game, and admittedly it does follow a narrative and story that sometimes can be a bit misleading, there feels like a lot to explore and collect throughout. Walking around corners and finding wolves or enemies there with a box of loot to collect, means that like Open-world style game, it`s very easy to get distracted and into the world of exploration and combat with enemies. However, I personally quite like that.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a game that truly is going to test your limits when it comes to gaming. It offers a very complex and challenging experience, and that is something that From Software really do push on with their titles. It`s a game that`s going to push boundaries, but now I`m really enjoying. The combat system is good, it feels good, and although you`re going to need a hell of a lot of practice, it is a game that offer a very good experience. Please don’t be put off by the difficulty straight away (Although you`ve probably gathered if you`ve played a Dark Souls game what you`re going to be on for) because Sekiro offers a very good experience and an extremely difficult challenge, and one that I personally am quite relishing.
Review code supplied by Activision