Sekiro Shadows Die Twice is a gorgeous game. But players might want to consider these pointers before playing.
By Jerrad Wyche
Published May 09, 2021
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice did a lot to shake up what people expected from a FromSoftware title. Despite fans being worried that Activision was publishing the game, those worries quickly disappeared as it was evident Sekiro kept the same level of quality expected from the prolific Japanese developer.
RELATED: Sekiro: 10 Secrets You Likely Missed
It’s unclear if the game will ever get a sequel, but with Elden Ring nowhere to be seen plenty of players are hopping into the newest title from FromSoftware. It’s a punishing game that rewards players, which can be said of every FromSoftware release.
With FromSoftware partnering with Activision to publish Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice it was clear something about the game’s design was going to be different. The difference ending up being FromSoftware telling their most traditional narrative they ever have.
Their games have a story that unfolds through mostly item description flavor text and environmental story-telling. Sekiro manages to tell a story in a way most gamers are used to and is the easiest to digest without having to watch several Youtube videos explaining the lore and backstory of the game.
As cliche, as it sounds knowing, is half the battle. Information gathering is a key part of human existence and should be fully utilized in video games, especially ones as brutal and unforgiving as the titles from FromSoftware. Since Sekiro has a grappling hook and a parry, the approach to fights is going to be different than something like Dark Souls.
Knowing enemy attacks is very important in Sekiro because of the inclusion of perilous attacks. These will be discussed at length in another entry and why they can make or break having a successful combat encounter.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has a surprising number of twists, turns, and surprises that shake up the perception of the narrative and the bosses existing in this awful reality. Some things on the internet are simply unavoidable, but if someone goes out looking for spoilers they’re going to find them.
RELATED: Sekiro: 10 Boss Lore Facts You Missed Your First Time Through
Thankfully with the game being a couple of years old at this point social media and the internet at large have moved on to talk about the latest releases. It might be the easiest time since its release to avoid getting spoiled on the most recent release from FromSoftware.
It’d be hard to find anyone who’s beaten Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice to describe the game as a stealth experience. It does have moments of stealth and provides the player with scenarios and tools, which if utilized correctly, can result in a chain of enemies being eliminated through stealth-oriented gameplay.
Every enemy doesn’t need to be taken out head-on, and by using the stealth mechanics players can give themselves plenty of chances to inflict powerful deathblows on the unsuspecting.
It may sound redundant to say that a final boss of a game developed by FromSoftware is difficult, but many veterans and diehards of the studio will admit that Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice’s stands above the rest.
It’s a grueling engagement that forces the player to deplete 3 separate health bars. Each form has a new set of skills and abilities which in turn make the player find a new strategy to overcome the resulting form. Players need to head into that final encounter understanding that it’s a marathon race and not a sprint.
In Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice players can parry almost every attack that enemies throw at them. That is except for the special perilous attacks that have a red indicator letting the player know that the attack is unblockable. They can however be Mikiri countered which will result in massive damage.
Most of Sekiro’s combat is based on a risk and reward system where players must manage their poise while also knowing when to strike, block, or parry. Perilous attacks were designed to force the player into learning more skills beyond slashing and blocking.
With many Bloodborne and Dark Souls veterans hopping into Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice it’s no surprise that the grapple hook Sekiro wields gets lost in the mix. Most players aren’t used to being able to fly across an arena and/or pull themselves towards an enemy or boss.
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The grappling hook adds another dimension to the combat and makes players think about the entire space their fighting in. The moment the grapple hook starts to feel like a fluid part of the overall combat players can start to gain an added level of strategy to their fighting style.
Every mini-boss and boss in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has several red circles about their health bar during a combat encounter. These signify how many deathblows it will take to defeat said, enemy. That means that players can either deplete the health bar of the enemy or break their poise enough to land enough fatal blows to overcome them.
Giving the player agency and choice makes it so players can decide which way feels more comfortable to them and will give them the highest chance to succeed and defeat said mini-boss or boss.
Those who hope into Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice after completing or playing Bloodborne will find the act of parrying to come naturally to them. Most of the fights in Sekiro against bosses almost rely on the player knowing how to effectively parry.
Not only can it protect the player’s health and lengthen an engagement, but it can pay big when it comes to unleashing deathblows and bigger swings on bosses with multiple health bars and phases. The sound design is so well done that the feedback from a perfect parry will be enough to incentivize using it more and more.
Instead of having a stamina meter, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice gives the player a poise bar to manage. This makes encounters interesting because the enemy is actively trying to break the player’s poise while they’re in the middle of trying to do the same.
In a way, poise can be viewed as currency in Sekiro as the player must budget their actions without going bankrupt, so every decision must be carefully thought out. Sometimes it’s worth maxing out and using everything available to overcome the substantial challenge sitting in Sekiro’s way.
NEXT: Sekiro 2: 10 Things We Need FromSoftware To Include In The Sequel
10 Things You Can Miss By Accident In Dark Souls 3
sekiro: shadows die twice
About The Author
(739 Articles Published)
Jerrad Wyche is a writer, designer, and producer hailing from Albuquerque, New Mexico. His favorite video games include Mass Effect 2, Inside, Pokémon Soul Silver, Spelunky, and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. He hosts his own weekly video game podcast at Controlled Interests and is a dedicated writer for TheGamer.
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