I’ve been playing Sekiro since Friday and it has definitely taken A LOT of getting used to, but I really have started to come round on the game early yesterday after I started beating a bunch of the bosses.
I’m loving the speed of the game - the grappling hook is just great for getting around. I love how you can chain grapples altogether so your feet never hit the ground. I never thought a From Software game would have me feel like Spider-man.
The combat just feels savage and having the ability to break parries just feels awesome. I especially like the spear block you unlock, your enemy lunges you hit B and it’s just a one big ‘nope’ from there. The Shinobi Hunter after the bridge, was the first boss that I feel as if I had truly sussed. Like, I was actually doing the ninja thing of walking slowly towards him and deflecting every single attack. The rate in which you can take down bosses once you have them figured out just feels MEGA. It took me ages to beat the samurai captain in the first area. In the same way as the Souls games got progressively faster, Sekiro definitely feels like an evolution. I’ve already seen some videos of speedrunners cleaning up an area, and it looks insane.
Following all the Souls games and Bloodborne. It took me a while to realise that the game wasn’t punishing me as much for dying, where I would lose all my souls and only have one opportunity to get it all back. I feel this led to moments in which I’d be locked in this endless loop in which I was stuck on a boss and had to keep passing the fog gate to reclaim my lost souls. That experience bar definitely feels like more intuitive to my progress. If I get stuck I can safely just explore another area of the world like I could do in the other Souls games - just there isn’t as big a cost to dying.
I suppose the negative of this is that boss fights do still feel like brick walls. I got to Lady Butterfly last night. I got completely trounced and didn’t go back to it. On the other hand there’s a dude on horseback after snake pass and some weird headless dude down in a cave, who slows my movement so fuck that for the time being…
As always, I love the art direction in this game. I think Bloodborne still takes the biscuit with all the Lovecraftian stuff, but being less knowledgable about Japanese folklore - the game is definitely making me want to learn more. I feel like completely headless folk is going to be something of a theme. I know most of the bosses have been dudes with swords and giant dudes but I’m expecting the game is going to throw a dragon at me at some point.
I like how they’ve continued with their creepy bird motifs. Watching those giant cockerals strut about the burning buildings was giving me ‘raptor in the kitchen’ vibes. They must taste delicious. Similarly, the confrontation with the giant snake definitely had some Jurassic Park vibes to it. Which is always enough to endear me closer towards a game.
I think the only thing I’m missing is the ability to write and read messages. Did add into this feeling that the active community where all in this together.
** As is tradition, I’m finding myself playing this whilst waiting for EpicNameBro to show me how it’s done. For parrying he advised to watch the hands of your opponent. It’s definitely helped me make significant moves with the parry system.