The Game of the Year Award’s winner, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a third-person, RPG action-adventure. It follows in footsteps of the successful Souls series developed by FromSoftware. The Souls series has evolved over the course of many years and gained a massive fan-following and numerous awards. Sekiro, released in 2019, not only retains the original hallmark features of the Souls series, but it also provides a much better gameplay that you will truly come to appreciate as a videogame masterpiece. So, if you are a diehard fan of Demon’s Souls and the Dark Souls trilogy, you are going to be all hyped up after reading this Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice review.

GameplaySekiro: Shadow's Die Twice Gameplay

Where do I even begin?

Building on the same shinobi-action gameplay of its past series, this action-adventure game features an intricate combat system. The game mechanics are just as hard to master as the Dark Souls series but fairly enjoyable and rewarding for those that want to learn it.

The gameplay is primarily focused on a fast-paced skillful combat system that requires concentration to the fullest. You will be punished for making the slightest mistakes, and may find yourself stuck on levels for hours. Unlike Dark Souls, Sekiro has a feature to resurrect yourself, giving you an edge in some fights that you are close to winning. However, it is more of a double-edged sword because if you die after resurrection, a sickness is spread throughout the world meaning you must be careful about choosing resurrection or death.

Your character’s upgradable prosthetic arm acts as part gadget kit, part grappling hook and part weapon which proves useful in both combat and exploration of Sekiro’s mythical world. The game also introduces all-new stealth features that let you execute enemies in a split-second or escape dangerous situations. Your progress truly depends on your mastery of swordsmanship and understanding the many rhythms and patterns of bosses. There are also multiple paths for you to choose in Sekiro. As there is no fixed place for you to travel to advance the game’s progress, you will have to explore the world and the game will progress differently. You will cut down different kinds of enemies with your katana throughout your journey and end up with one out of the four beautiful endings.

All in all, Sekiro’s new features blended with Dark Souls’ old features will provide you an exciting experience. There is an excellent learning curve if you are planning on mastering the game. You will come to truly appreciate the fluidity of the katana battles once you hone your skills to the fullest.

Story

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is set in the 16th century Sengoku period of Japan in the land of Ashina. We follow the story of a man named Wolf, who is a full-fledged assassin and the appointed bodyguard for a royal child named Kuro.

The child is kidnapped by a warlord who wants to seize control of Ashina. Wolf loses one of his arms and gets it replaced by a prosthetic one. Then starts the journey of Sekiro ‘the one-armed wolf’ through ancient Japan in an effort to seek vengeance against his enemies and to rescue his lord.

The story is pretty diverse, interesting, and straightforward. There are also a lot of mysteries left for the player to explore. There are not so many characters, but each one has an indulging story. Even the bosses have pretty insightful lore which is another nice aspect to it. You can learn more about Sekiro’s world by reading different item descriptions, talking to the NPCs, and hunting down artefacts

Visuals

The game’s visuals and overall aesthetic are just as superb as its combat and narrative story. Sekiro provides stunning visuals of 16th century Japan, beautifully portraying its traditional castles and temples, and detailed characters. You will often find yourself exploring Sekiro’s exceptional landscapes in rhythm with the music.

Conclusion

While I did mention a lot of stuff from Dark Souls Trilogy in this Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Review, this is not to say that the game is not enjoyable for completely new players. In fact, it might be quite the opposite. The fresh new experience of Sekiro’s katana fights, interesting Japanese mythology lore, and the gorgeous visuals from Sengoku period make Sekiro a worthy game that is enjoyable for all kind of players, and it rightfully deserves the Game of the Year Award.