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So I wanted to wait for my so called review (more like overall impressions) of this game after I finish all 4 endings. I did, so here goes.
Honestly, I have some mixed feelings about it.
First of all, I know it's a bit unfair but I will be comparing it to FromSoft's previous games, Soulsborne.
Before game was even released I think I took news about it pretty well, at least better than biggest fans out there. Yes, lack of RPG, character builds, multiplayer (this one I don't care about), character customization, different weapon types etc. was pretty heavy for those who are used to Miyazaki's previous games. But I understand how he wanted to expand his horizon and try different type of game.
Different doesn't mean better though.
Let's get heavy guns out of the way first...difficulty. Immediately after its premiere, journalists complained about high-level of difficulty, pointing at problem of accessibility for more casual gamers.
I'm casual gamer and all I can say, it shouldn't be our fucking business. I've learned to respect artistic view of various creators and if Miyazaki decided he wants his game to be hard then it's his choice.
With that being said..,I can't say I don't see problems with difficulty. Your health bar is so small it might as well not exist since most mini-bosses can kill you in 1-2 hits. Someone compared Sekiro to Rhythm game and I can see why. You have to learn opponent's moves, then pretty much press 4 different buttons in combat, if you make mistake you're pretty much fucked. Especially at the beginning of the game.
And I'm sorry, this's not fun for me at all. Whereas my reaction in Soulsborne after defeating Gwyn, Orphan or Orstein and Smough was "man, this was such an awesome fight", here it's more like "thank god it's over". Especially since mini-bosses like Chained Ogre can apparently bend space and time to reach you with his grabs.
Now tbh, Sekiro is difficult to learn but very easy to master. After I did subsequent playthroughs on NG+ (I think I did like 5/6 cycles) I think I died like two times (both against Headless), not even final boss was a problem anymore.
But is it good? Because of Soulsborne levelling system, bosses were scaled for your NG+ and you could even say that's where true game really takes place (I remember how I was locked on NG+ in Bloodborne: The Old Hunters with my 57lvl Hunter and it was nightmare...no pun intended). Meanwhile here you just drill through every encounter just to reach that few second ending you might as well watch on youtube (I'm not a completionist so I don't care about trophies and such). And because you can't play with different builds that's the only reason for replayability.
Next is story and I just couldn't give a fuck about this. This's definitely not a style Miyazaki is used to deliver. Soulsborne was extremely subtle in its storytelling, so much that without reading items description there was pretty much no story. But it was also very mysterious, forcing player to find the answers on their own, history was shown in such a non-linear way it would make Tarantino double flip with excitement.
Here we have typical kid with hidden potential that other characters wants to use for their own uninspired goals and main hero trying to protect him. Yawn. I heard jokes about "Anime Dark Souls", but this's quite correct.
Enemies and bosses. If there's one thing that Miyazaki always managed to deliver then it's designs of enemies and bosses. Sure, recycling was always in the veins of FromSoft (even today I can't forget how bad they did Lawrence, seriously, such an important figure reduced to flaming Cleric Beast?), but it takes new level here. Honestly, how much do I have to fight against Headless, Shichimen Warrior, Chained Ogre or even the fucking Genichiro Ashina?
Even regular enemies suffer from this. After huge black cocks at the beginning I thought "hell yeah, this's FromSoft I love", but for the most game you just have guys with swords and spears in all different flavors.
There's also far more flunky (mini)bosses, Juuzou and his clones are particularly irritating, because it's such a chore to kill them every time you die.
Now, one thing I absolutely can't forgive are linear locations. I know, Wolf is far more agile than Hunter, Ashen One and so on, but it pretty much removes need for exploration. If you will find some hidden path then you can be sure it won't connect with another location like in Soulsborne but will just lead to dead end with boss or mini-boss and I'm sorry, fights with them aren't very exciting. But then again, in a game with no RPG this's the only reward you can count on.
Sound is brilliant and without a doubt my favorite part of the game. Clashing swords, emerging sparks and almost cinematic feel of some fights is almost breathtaking. Same goes for music. Finally smth different from choirs and sometimes pretentious tone. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE Soulsborne music, but you have to admit how many pieces sounded alike.
I guess I will stop here. There's more I wanted to say (such as asinine skil progression) but I don't want to complain that much, because despite everything I said I think Sekiro was pretty good. Did I liked it more than Soulsborne? Definitely not. But did I had fun and do I think there's potential for series? Absolutely.
Now I'm waiting for Elden Ring.
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