A few weeks back, everyone started talking about difficulty and accessibility from how hard Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is and we all had a nice laugh as the internet burned down around us. But we haven’t heard from how the lovelies within the Destructoid community thought about Sekiro and its difficulty.
Sekiro removes a lot of elements you might be used to in a From Software game, but offers things in return. Even though the health of some bosses can be much higher to compensate for the Shinobi Death Blow mechanic, you also have unlimited stamina and can even jump or grapple around. There are a lot of other little changes that can throw off the practice of dedicated FromSoftware players.
One of the most core elements of Sekiro’s combat is deflecting blows. Rather than trying to use iframes to get around attacks, Sekiro expects you to stand your ground and deflect or block attacks in order to break your opponent’s posture. Deflects and counters are typically the high risk/high reward option in games, so this reliance had me worried when getting into Sekiro, but then I found out that the window for a successful deflect is actually quite generous. It’s nowhere near the strictness of parrying in a game like Street Fighter III: Third Strike, or even the counter shot from Bloodborne. And unlike those previous examples, an unsuccessful deflect just turns into a block.
Personally, I think the difficulty issue was just a flavor of the week topic. When you did get into Sekiro, there are plenty of options available and even open to abuse in order to make the game easier for yourself, like spamming firecrackers, Ichimonji, or even just having meta-knowledge – like using the evade attack on Madame Butterfly.
So, what does the Destructoid community think of the game and its difficulty? We asked you and here is what a few of the members had to say:
Deediddle echoes the sentiment of how multiplayer is integrated or the lack thereof:
It’s made harder by being exclusively single player. The lack of an option to get bailed out if you’re stuck makes it more likely you’ll get stuck than in Dark Souls.
Of course, Pat Bateman17 replied with a mechanic I had trouble with in Bloodborne:
Counterpoint: No likelihood of getting invaded and griefed.
ScionVyse thinks the defensive options are up to snuff:
I think it’s far easier, since your defensive options are far stronger than anything else in any other From game. You can pretty easily bait away individual enemies, and in one on one fights, the only way to really lose is to mistime parries or press the wrong button for attacks you can’t parry.
It only really gets tough in multi-enemy fights that you can’t bait away from, since the system isn’t designed to be really usable without lock-on. Kinda like the old Assassin’s Creed games in that sense.
Kerrik52 compares to it to Bloodborne:
Harder to learn, but not as assholish as Bloodborne can be.
Sailor Zebes and lokhe both also think it’s about the same:
Still working through it. But I think it’s pretty much on par with the others in terms of difficulty.
Now that we’re a few weeks out of release and the firestorm, I’m still enjoying Sekiro. While it’s not quite as varied in terms of equipment (except for the prosthetic tools), the combat is laser-focused. I also totally love the sound of clashing steel that comes from good combat. What did you think of FromSoft’s latest adventure?