With the passing of the old year and the dawning of the new comes renewed hopes and expectations for the year ahead. Lord Alfred Tennyson, Queen Victoria’s Poet Laureate, once wrote: Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier.’ Ah, but who cares about all that, a new year means new games!
2018 was a little disappointing for Xbox fans, so we’re hoping that 2019 proves to be a lot better. Over the next couple of weeks, we’re going to be highlighting a different game each day, giving you all the relevant details and salient talking points for big games of the year. With so many upcoming titles we’ve decided to do this in order of release date. Today, we’re talking about Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, the newest action experience from the masters of punishment, From Software.
Title: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Developer: From Software
Release Date: March 22nd, 2019
What is it?
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the latest From Software creation. Fans of the studio know that their games are tough as nails. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is shaping up to be another “controller throwing” experience that some people at Enthusiast Towers enjoy. Yes, we enjoy being punished. Unlike the Souls franchise, Sekiro does something different. It gets rid of the normalized enemy health meters and works with a new mechanic where foes must lose their posture before being killed. According to PC Gamer, here are a few of the changes.
While Kitao was unwilling to give too many specifics on combat systems, I can safely say that Sekiro is unlike anything we’ve seen in other From Software games. Instead of hacking away at an enemy’s health bar, Kitao says famed director Hidetaka Miyazaki wanted to capture the feel of “swords clashing.”
While there’s still HP, combat revolves around ‘posture.’ When you attack an enemy, they’ll easily block your attack but will lose posture each time. Once lowered enough, they’ll be open to a gory finishing move, but the same goes for you. As enemies attack, blocking lowers your posture unless you block perfectly (similar to parrying in Dark Souls). With a perfect block you’ll actually throw the enemy off balance and lower their posture instead.
What could go right?
From Software are masters of the action genre. The Dark Souls franchise and Bloodborne are some of the best action games to grace the video game industry. They require precision, dedication, patience, and fast reflexes. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is looking like another fantastic entry in the From Software catalog. With all of the changes in the combat and gameplay style, Sekiro is switching up the formula that fans have familiarized themselves with for almost a decade. Without reliance on customization and RPG elements, Sekiro is shaping up to be a more streamlined experience that might be more accessible to people turned off by Dark Souls. Plus, and while this might sound stupid, you can actually pause the game when playing Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. After dying countless times because of a constantly moving game, being allowed to rest in-between encounters is a very welcome function.
What could go wrong?
From Software’s track record with action games is pretty good. With that being said, it’s never safe to assume that every game in their catalog will be a surefire hit. What if the story isn’t fantastic? That’s a flaw of the Dark Souls games. What if the combat doesn’t land? Since this is a new IP, there’s a chance the gameplay isn’t as refined as people have come to expect? What if the universe isn’t fascinating? With a new franchise, there are a lot of unknown variables. While we don’t think Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will be a failure, it’s still too early to tell what’s in store for players.
That’s what we think about Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Are you a fan of From Software? What is your favorite game from the acclaimed studio? Are you excited about Sekiro? Leave a comment below.
Andrew Gonzalez is the Co-Editor-In-Chief of Xbox Enthusiast. When not writing about Xbox, he’s usually reading comics, talking about Taylor Swift, and dreaming of the perfect Jet Force Gemini Reboot. You can follow him on Twitter. @AJGVulture89