Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: On the Rocks with a Bitch and a Bottle
Re: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (March 22nd, 2019) - "its nothing like a souls game"
This shit is outrageously good. When Nioh came out a couple years ago I absolutely flipped because a Souls-ish game with fuckin Samurais and feudal Japan AESTHETICS~ was pretty much my ideal sort of game. It was tremendous and I loved it more than all the Souls/Bloodborne games bar maybe Dark Souls 2. I might end up liking this more than all of them.
You can clearly see the similarities between this and the Souls/Bloodborne series. It's a From game and the formula is there in the broad sense (NPCs, lore, etc.), but it's less like a Souls game than even Nioh was. This isn't Souls with Samurais; it's Souls with motherfucking NINJAS! The combat is so good and the stealth aspect is amazing. The latter is way more prominent than I was expecting, actually. You can bumrush everyone (assuming you're good enough) and it's great, or you can pick folk off using stealth, or you can sneak past everyone, or you can do a bit of everything. The grappling hook is the absolute business. Just flipping around from point to point is stupid fun on its own, but then you incorporate it into the combat and it's even better. The VERTICALITY is such a welcome addition to the gameplay and it's great being able to jump more than a foot off the ground without having to fiddle around with L3 while praying to god your character isn't a moron who will fall off a cliff to his death rather than, you know, step over that gap there like a normal cunt with basic motor functions.
The actual swordplay was giving me major grief for the first ~10 hours because, as is the case with every From game, I was total dogshit and kept getting wrecked. Even the wee bald scrubs you can button mash on were causing bother. Don't even get me started on the mini-bosses like that fucking Shinobi Hunter in the Hirata Estate. But when it clicked it clicked. I mean I'm still not great, but that moment in a Souls game where you stop and realise you might actually be halfway competent is quite something and when it happened here everything just fell into place. I can actually PARRY, fer fucks sake! Or deflect, whatever. But sometimes several times in a row! No turtles here, boys! The first main boss fight I did (Gyoubu) was suuuper awesome and it felt like I got through it by using a modicum of skill as opposed to frantically dodging and blocking and slashing every which way and shouting FFFFFUUUUUUCCCCCCKKKKK YYYYOOOOOOUUUUU at the TV. The eavesdropping mechanic is cool as fuck as well and I didn't even realise until after the Gyoubu fight that they give you a big old hint that the firecracker tool will help with it (startles the horse, obv). One of my favourite boss fights in any of the Souls/Bloodborne/Nioh/whatever games.
That shit with the big snake was so great. I guess it's almost the Sekiro take on that lame dragon fight from Demon's Souls or I guess Wolnir from Dark Souls 3. It actually felt more like something you'd have gotten from God of War or whatever. It ruled either way.
Level design is great. I will never not love a setting like this and it's gorgeous. I've spent a bunch of time exploring and getting to the highest points possible just to look around at the scenery like a wee old senile ninja bastard. It has the connectedness of Dark Souls 1/Bloodborne where lots of it loops around on itself and you can clearly see later areas that you need to go to, but also a sort of Demon's Souls vibe with the Dilapidated Temple half serving as the Nexus (at least in that it can take you to the Hirata Estate).
I don't really have any gripes at this point. Initially I wasn't feeling the combat THAT much because I sucked at it and figured I was just going to be continually murdered, but when I got it I GOT it. I guess enemies can sometimes be stupid as they don't react to bodies and such, but like, I'm not playing this for Metal Gear Solid AI so whaaaatevah.