Beyond violent, "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is a weird meditative, reflective gaming experience.
The coming action adventure game from From Software, creators of masterful difficult games like "Dark Souls" and "Bloodborne" brings much of the difficulty with its latest work, played from the third perspective and seems to be built around the spirit in Japanese sword champion Kendo.
Instead of hacking on enemies, trying to deliver death with a thousand cuts, "Sekiro" asks their players to focus on the enemy's attitude. Slow, meaningful, perfect timed kind or parries, eventually breaking the opponent's attitude so that you can deliver a single beautiful death stroke. The idea works in many ways from Kendo techniques that focus on weakening an opponent's spirit and landing simple, meaningful strokes.
In practice, the game asks for many of the players, especially those who may not be used to such a methodically reflective approach. During my time with the game earlier this month, I easily took down the guard levels found in gardens, on the perimeter, and among the squat buildings inside the walls of a beautifully detailed Japanese castle. Sekiro is a masterless samurai who uses a katana sword and his prosthetic arm on his way to revenge.
The prosthesis has a number of useful weapons and gadgets, including a massive ax that can be used to knock down a smaller opponent's shield. Gameplay in the short demo yielded a blend of gripping crossings, fights and standard combat, culminating in fights with more meaningful enemies, which required much more focus on strategy and timing.
Before I played, I saw a spokesman for the game working quickly through the demo, first taking down a number of guards and then gliding into a short cat and mouse battle with sword with a samurai general. These are the moments when the game's newly launched sword fighting comes into focus. Player and enemy attack, deflect, parry, jump out of the way of sudden upcoming death strokes and finally deliver their own death blow. Sverdkampen is fast, frenetic, visceral.
After taking down the genre, the player can save on some sort of checkpoint system and then continue to cope with a giant scum with remains of a broken stocking still on his throat and chains wrapped around his wrists. Ogre is more focused on melee attacks, delivering fragile body slams and grabs, instead of using a weapon.
When you run out of health in "Sekiro", the player can choose to either die or use a resurrection, although the other option is limited.
After shouting, the spokesman entered a massive canyon where they were confronted with a huge ice hose. Here the player must escape the attacks and sneak to survive. The game is told with the hidden areas when it is launched, including some in these rocky cliffs.
The demo ends with Sekiro crossing a bridge, thick freaks, Japanese maple trees, the red leaf carpets the bridge's wooden boards, delivers a kind of beautiful tableau. And then a massive, broken monk slowly slips out of heaven, landing on the bridge to give us a first look at one of the game's bosses.
My time playing the game did not include much of it because I simply could not get past the Samurai Generals, an enemy that constitutes essentially a mid base in the game. Initially, I found it frustrating to try and die and try to beat the general. But over my efforts, I began to learn their attacks and how they could defeat it. With maybe 30 minutes to play the demo, I could not finally overcome the enemy, but I found the process more convincing and aggravating.
Basically, I thought that the game was just ratcheted up to be incredibly difficult, but the reality was far more exciting, "Sekiro" expects players to adapt not only to the rhythm of a big enemy attack but to focus on it The core concept of a single (or double in this case) mortal blow.
Much like a battle game, the best of which is based on the core elements of distance, timing and focus found in most martial arts, "Sekiro" becomes the typical button-mashing hack-and-slash of an action game in one more strategic affair. Force players to slow down, respect the danger of their enemy and then melt out at the right moment to kill.
I found that 30 minutes was simply not long enough to learn the game's movements because they won in "Sekiro" Feels like it will require some sort of reviewer's understanding that makes movements, defense and attacking other nature.