Big preface without pictures: I loved the original Dark Souls trilogy for many aspects, including the complexity. Moreover, the difficulty in the games was quite balanced, despite the large bias towards hardcore. You could be a warrior, a thief, a magician, or a combination of styles, but in any case, the game threw you an adequate challenge, only sometimes forcing you to rebuild in the classroom and endure new torments.
Let’s take bosses: I went through the whole trilogy with a shield and heavy armor, only occasionally taking something lighter for a more comfortable passage. The Smoke Knight as an example, which was never given to me with a shield. More precisely, only 1 phase was given. But in general, this situation is likely to apply to all classes. You can also go through the entire trilogy with a trickster, but some bosses are better to take with magic or a shield. Etc. There were, however, and unbalanced bosses, which, in my opinion, is Midir. But this is more an exception to the rule, the trilogy itself is heavy, but has a balance. As, by the way, and Bloodbourne.
This very balance is a very important component of hardcore games, so that there is no artificial increase in complexity, they say, just to be more complicated. Let me give you a reverse example: Nioh. The first third / quarter of the game was still a challenge for me, until I mastered magic. Then everything went smoothly and without a hitch. Those. the first third of the game was too difficult, the other two-thirds too easy. But Sekiro decided to go even further and alter herself, which will be discussed further.
Before I criticize the game step by step, I still want to note the pluses that the game definitely has, so that you don’t think that I simply and for no reason decided to throw mud at the game. So what I liked:
I’ve always liked the Japanese flavor and medieval atmosphere. This was one of the few reasons that kept me going through Nioh. Sekiro did not disappoint with this, and therefore I want to study everything in the game at once. This applies to both the stories of the characters in Japanese surroundings and purely visual perception when we see the castle, houses and other locations.
Nice, isn’t it?
I enjoyed being a shinobi-spider. This whole scheme between several vertical levels is done well, although I would like to have more of it. You can save time and fly half of the location on a rope without engaging in battles. It is very convenient when you have just studied these half of the location, and therefore there is no need to waste time. And in the battle with some bosses, such a system helps.
Using the hook on the boss in this location, you can safely skip phase 2.
Beautiful Japanese houses, of course, are good, but what about the graphics themselves? And with her, just the same, there are no problems. Everything looks beautiful and impressive. Moreover, it is beautiful both in cut scenes and in the game itself. In Sekiro you will definitely find something to admire, just take a look at the pictures above. Although it looks even cooler on the TV screen on the set-top box. Yes, I found only 3 pluses. For me personally, they are just pleasant additions to the game that do not allow to finish it prematurely.
There are also middle moments in the game, such as stealth… Primitive, sometimes stupid, but much needed and non-irritating. Or characters in the game, which do not seem to stand out much, but at the same time have a couple of interesting stories. I probably won’t mention the “middle” moments. Now let’s move on to the reason for my hatred of the game.
The first boss who can’t really be defeated.
My first huge gripe with the game is … balance! Well, it’s not for nothing that I crucified as much as 3 paragraphs about this. So, balance is such a global problem that I will try to divide into points. And I’ll start with …
– Combat system
The combat system is mostly parrying. Manage to block in time, dodge unblockable attacks and break the enemy’s concentration. If this system worked normally, there would be no questions. But the action works crookedly … Let’s analyze it also in stages. Look, parrying is not so easy at least in the sense that if the enemy does not have a sword, then the parry itself does not always work. For example, I was repeatedly dropped with a spear with ordinary blows with an active block. But this is still bearable, if we had a little more freedom in battle.
Dodges – hat. This is more objective than opinion. They are very short, and therefore when I dodged too often, I inevitably died. But it would be okay to just break the distance, it is also not always possible to dodge sideways from a blow. You can take damage even when you are not hit visually. Here’s an example. when the sword did not touch the hero, but still killed him.
And it just infuriates the wildest when you fight mini bosses (of which there are plenty) and bosses. For example, I always fell into the capture of a monster in the stocks, despite the fact that I dodged in time. And such nonsense is enough in battles all the time. The same applies to jumping, where already in the air you are struck by a direct blow of a katana somewhere from below. That’s horrible. Those. de facto, we should only fend off, because at least it works better than other techniques, but there are enough jambs with it. Yes, and this must be done for a very long time and without respite. Followed by camera… She often flies off too nimble opponents. When Lady Butterfly jumped off the wall, the camera flew off. When I dodged a huge monkey, the camera flew off. Not too often, but enough to define it as a minus of the game. Behind her in the combat system is … the lack of normal equipment. I am silent about the katana and clothing for the entire game. I’m not talking about beads and attack enhancements. But about prosthesis I will not be silent.
Actually, the prosthesis itself
We have a prosthesis that can hold 10 instruments. And for the whole game, I really needed only one – a firecracker. Sometimes I dabbled in shurikens and kunai, in battle with the headless I used an umbrella. Everything else is too unnecessary. Hit with fire is nice, but the attack animation is too long and will get you killed quickly. The whistle works only on animals, which are already killed pretty quickly. Well, etc. And in the end we were driven into a frame – better parry and throw a firecracker sometimes. All. Well, this is pure delirium in a cube.
Taking a break from the combat system, I want to talk about imbalance between bosses and minibosses. Let’s start with the first – most of them are too light. I only experienced difficulties on the first boss and the last. On the first one because of inexperience, on the last one because of “4 phases, a lot of attacks and great speed.” And you know what? On the last boss, I took and deleted the game with a sober mind. I’m just bored. I’m really tired of this game. And I’m not tired of it, as in the case of the Smoke Knight, where I was furious. Just adequate fatigue from a game as bad as for me. I also did not kill the Demon of Hatred, but the others had enough patience and I defeated them. But back to the bosses.
Mistress Butterfly flew away quickly, I spent one attempt on her and one cure. With her, by the way, dodges worked fine. Genichiro is also not difficult, only phase 3 is inconvenient due to the introduction of a new lightning mechanic. The Owl and the Monkeys were killed by a long but sure tactic “run in a circle and hit at the right moment.” The ghost nun also flew away quickly, because there was only one phase, but I had to fight with her living copy – but, in fact, there was nothing complicated. I generally keep quiet about the Dragon. And I can’t even remember the others, if there were any. Now to minibosses.
The most problematic boss of the game Miniboss in the game are made in the style of “make it fast and hard”. There are exceptions, like a shooter in the Valley or a nobleman in one of the houses. But in general they are all fast, dexterous, they hit painfully, fly fast, they don’t give a breath. And they … repeat themselves. And not once or twice, but very often they are repeated. Sometimes the developers were too lazy to change even the enemy model, and they only changed the name. And one of three words. And this game is called the game of the year? As a result, we get a bunch of monotonous minibosses with a monotonous combat system. (at least that’s what happened for me) Considering how much I have already scribbled, I will briefly note a couple more minuses. Music – in comparison with the 3 part of Souls, a complete zero, while it turns on sometimes chaotically and anywhere. Lack of interest in exploring locations – Throughout the game, you will only find balls of wealth / resurrection / trophies, or candy, which after defeating the Headless are not really needed. The most that you can find cool is a tool for a prosthesis (a great rarity), a bead for a rosary (a great rarity), a pumpkin seed (an even greater rarity). And for this I have to climb into every corner?
In general, Sekiro, as for me – a bad game. There are pleasant moments in it, but they are leveled by a terrible balance in battles, a minimum of game mechanics and just stupidity in the gameplay. The weakest, as for me, game from the studio and so far the worst game in the so-called SoulLike style.