In Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice you are the “one-armed wolf”, a disgraced and disfigured warrior rescued from the brink of death. Bound to protect a young lord who is the descendant of an ancient bloodline, you become the target of many vicious enemies, including the dangerous Ashina clan. When the young lord is captured, nothing will stop you on a perilous quest to regain your honor, not even death itself.
Explore late 1500s Sengoku Japan, a brutal period of constant life and death conflict, as you come face to face with larger than life foes in a dark and twisted world. Unleash an arsenal of deadly prosthetic tools and powerful ninja abilities while you blend stealth, vertical traversal, and visceral head to head combat in a bloody confrontation.
Take Revenge. Restore your honor. Kill Ingeniously.
Command a powerful ninja through a bloody tour of Sengoku-period Japan, using deception, cunning, and rigorous combat to take your enemies down
A healthy variety of environments keeps things interesting as you proceed, with especially larger-than-life boss encounters
An excellent score highlights the intensity and tension during battle and adds additional life to each of the major zones
This is an extremely difficult game for those looking for a serious challenge. Not everyone will be able to complete or enjoy this title
Sekiro is a wild ride through narrative twists and shocking boss battles, and an amazing triumph or crushing defeat is only ever seconds away
From Software's success with the combat-oriented Souls-like subgenre takes a new shape in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. While the game is still all about big bosses and precise conflict like the studio's previous high-profile titles, Sekiro plays differently than previous works. In addition to mastering a new style of fierce and unforgiving combat, you also have to start thinking like a ninja, using every tool in your arsenal to tip the scales against opponents with tricky movesets and multiple phases. Despite having no traditional level-ups, you have many ways to advance your character by finding items in the world, acquiring new skills, and discovering vendors.
Using Sekiro's ninja arsenal is a joy. Grappling around the environment to find secret areas or set up a deathblow from above feels wonderful and snappy. Sekiro has access to a host of Shinobi prosthetics tailored to a variety of situations, including firecrackers to stun and scare beasts and an umbrella to deflect incoming attacks. You also obtain a wide variety of combat arts and ninjutsu that allows for special deathblow effects, giving you a plethora of combinations and skills to approach each encounter with. These abilities can often have both story and combat functionality, utilizing them in interesting ways to complete quest objectives or open up windows of opportunity during bosses – but to say more about this aspect would spoil some serious surprises. And you need all the awesome combinations and applications, because Sekiro is a fascinating, frenetic dance of death at its best, and a frustrating exercise in futility at its worst.
Sekiro's intense boss battles are the absolute crux of the game. You must know your opponent's every move, plan your timing, and practice it to perfection, because a single error can mean instant death. Many opponents can annihilate you in seconds, even with the resurrection mechanic to give you extra chances should you fall to an enemy blow or blade. The moment your mind snaps under pressure is the moment the fight ends, leaving you to exhale and wonder what went wrong. When things sync up, you amaze yourself by the sheer wonder of it all as you counter your opponents' every move and hammer them down, flowing like a waterfall of masterfully timed excellence. In those moments, you become the ninja. It's a hell of a rush when it happens, but be prepared to spend hours on fights perfecting your rhythm and craft. The feeling when you get so close and make a critical mistake at the very end is soul-crushing. The death penalty adds to this, slicing off resources upon your demise and crippling friendly characters you meet along the way with a malignant illness. While it is psychologically damaging to see your friends waste away, the disease has gameplay consequences as well; characters afflicted with the rot may not have their questlines available until healed through the use of rare items.