‘Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice’ insanely difficult samurai sandbox

Hwan Lee, Impulse Editor

“Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” challenges both skilled and novice gamers in a dynamic samurai-era themed battlefield filled with revenge and chilling spikes in difficulty.

“Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” is a third-person action adventure game developed by FromSoftware and published by Activision. The player assumes control over Sekiro, a samurai left for dead who seeks vengeance over the man who kidnapped his master.

Inspired by sixteenth century old Japanese history, the world of “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” has landscapes ranging from autumn reed forests, haunted Japanese-themed temples and caves infested with abominations.

Despite the game’s realistic samurai soldiers lurking across these locations, the game surprisingly introduced mythical monstrosities such as massive disgusting bugs and a towering serpent seeking to devour anything it comes across.

Customization based on the character’s appearance is limited. It is a detail that I wished was implemented in order to include different costumes based on the old samurai era. Sekiro, the titular character, wears the same standard armor and same katana, which may feel dreary and dull for players who wish to appear different.

Instead, customization is emphasized on Sekiro’s abilities that branch off of a massive skill tree. These numerous abilities tie in with Sekiro’s strategies to defeat difficult boss battles, and abilities are unlocked by discovering items from the world or loot drops from enemies.

The game’s combat system combines strategic swordplay action with Sekiro’s katana and prosthetic arm and a tactical stealth mechanic leading to brutal execution and assassination attacks.

Sekiro can use a grappling hook and other bombastic abilities with his prosthetic to eliminate his targets. Enemies have a posture mechanic that can be exploited to throw them off guard, which leads to some gory finishing moves.

As the title suggests, death is a heavy part of the game’s mechanics solely based on its frustrating difficulty and struggling learning curves. However, after overcoming the obstacles or boss battles that strike you down, you are rewarded with new unlockable abilities and an intense feeling of accomplishment.

“Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” is an absolute Japanese-themed masterpiece that kicks off the year as one of the greatest difficult inducing action games. It’s definitely worth a buy alone for its intense combat style, but just prepare to die.