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Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Review (Xbox One)


FromSoftware and Activision will release Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice on March 22, 2019. Check out our thoughts now!

FromSoftware, well-known for their work on the Bloodborne and Dark Souls franchise, get ready to release a new adventure full of action and swordplay.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice focuses on the story of a deformed warrior who barely made it back from his own demise to become known as the "one-armed wolf." Our warrior takes on the mission to protect a young lord descended from an ancient bloodline targeted by a slew of enemies and even a vicious clan. After the young lord is kidnapped, it is up to the one-armed wolf to rescue him in order to keep his honor, even if it costs his life.

The game is viewed from the third person perspective and doesn't involve any kind of RPG or multiplayer elements. When you are attacking enemies, your focus is to whittle down their pose and balance in order to do a promising finish attack on them with your blade. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice's gameplay centers around the art of the stealth attack and utilizing valuable tools like your grappling hook to sneak around enemies undetected.

The environments and world of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice are beautifully drawn and allow you to fully immerse yourself in Sengoku, Japan during the late 1500s. The gameplay is focused on "up close and personal" combat, if you have any issues, then Hanbei the Undying can be found in the game to help you practice your skills. After you complete the Ashina Reservoir introduction, you can find him near the Sculptor’s Dilapidated Temple. The combat in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice involves planned attacks and perfect timing with the right weapons.

If you die you can either be taken back to your last checkpoint or Sekiro can use his power of resurrection. Resurrection can only be performed on a continuous basis by killing enemies or performing a deathblow to finish off your foes. As you take down enemies, you will gain skill experience and Sen (money) that help you receive skill points. These points can be taken to the Sculptor to unlock new skills. When you die, you manage to lose progress and Sen, but this can be avoided with Unseen Aid. However, the more you die, you will notice people around you coming down with Dragonrot. You can find out who is inflicted with Dragonrot by using Rot Essence but the quantity you have of this also impacts Unseen Aid. If you return to the Sculptor's Idol and offer up a Dragon's Blood Droplet then this can return health to those who are afflicted with Dragonrot.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice's immersive gameplay and combat will keep you entertained throughout the entire game. As you learn to master your abilities, you will notice there are a ton of ways to make it through each battle alive. Some of the tools available to you include prosthetic arm tools, sword attacks, deflect, combat arts, Shinobi martial arts, stealth and Ninjutsu techniques. Once you start to understand how to perfectly utilize all of your skills and tools, you will start to learn the importance of Vitality and Posture. If you land an attack, you gain vitality, and if an attack is unguarded then that adds to the amount of posture damage that will be inflicted as well. There is definitely a ying/yang connection to your fighting methods and the mechanics in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice have been planned exquisitely for the most immersive gameplay experience. As you progress through Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, you will be able to upgrade your tools and create some powerful tool & skill combinations. The ability to unlock new skills and mix & match those with powerful tools adds a great deal of replayability to the game. The enemies throughout the game are all diverse and come with their own challenges in taking them down. Some foes that you will come across include Samurai General, Chained Ogre, Juzou the Drunkard, Shinobi Hunter Enshin, Gyoubu Oniwa, and Lady Butterfly. The enemies get harder as you get further in the game and you will have to develop some key strategies to initiate your finishing blow.

In the end, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice features a powerfully told story that manages to capture your heart as you fight your way through life changing battles as the one-armed wolf. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is bloody entertaining from start to finish!

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a perfect example of the Japanese idiom, 起死回生. The saying in English means to "Wake from death and return to life." Throughout your adventure, sometimes you have to turn a bad or desperate situation into success, just like the one-armed wolf.

To learn more, visit the official Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice website.


Score: 9.5 out of 10
Reviewed for Xbox One


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