Snap Judgment: Sekiro Shadows Die Twice


Welcome to Snap Judgment, a new feature to Home Button where I play a game for a few hours, and give you a quick impression of what I think thus far. Today I’m giving you my impressions of that most difficult ninja game–Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

I’ve not really sunk a lot of time into Dark Souls or any of the From Software brand of super difficult experiences. I don’t really have a ton of time to game, and replaying huge chunks of games while beating my head against a hard-as-nails boss character just doesn’t appeal to me.

Then I saw Sekiro. Seeing as it heavily features ninjas and looked incredibly cool I found myself looking more closely at the game. After a ton of research, positive previews, and great video coverage via YouTube I decided to take the plunge.


  • Game: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  • Playing On: PS4
  • Length Played: 10 hours
  • Snap Judgement: This game has incredible atmosphere and a cool protagonist that has a bevy of combat moves I love. Stealth is done well, as is combat, but difficulty is all over the place and inconsistent. When it does choose to be difficult it is insanely so, and may leave a lot of people out in the cold. For a select few gamers this is a must buy, but only if you want an incredibly difficult challenge.

Let us get this out of the way right now–I love Sekiro–or, at least, I want to. The characters, the setting, the story, animation, stealth–all of it seems custom targeted at my gaming predilections. That being said the inconsistent and mind numbing difficulty pushes back on me with monstrous force, making me wonder if I’ll ever finish the game.

Stealth is done pretty well in the game, and it is undoubtedly how the developer wants you to approach most situations as multiple combatants is basically a death sentence for your protagonist. This ratchets up a problem with inconsistent difficulty though as you’ll breeze through one area where stealth is required and then be asked to face a horde of enemies you cannot stealth kill in the next area. It is an approach to the combat that makes you feel constantly rusty instead of steadily improving, and from the ten hours I’ve played never seems to get easier.

The difficulty seems to be wildly inconsistent as well. I took out a giant Ogre and a big boss drunk guy no problem, but some randomly named spear guy handed me my ass consistently about 11 times in a row. This wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but because I was set so far back each time I had to make my way to him over and over again. I just about put the controller through the TV before finally besting him.

Before this turns into a long winded review I’ll close with this–if you love the challenge of Dark Souls and want to experience a faster version of that based around parries, then Sekiro might be the game for you.

If you just love the setting, story, characters, and look of the combat maybe wait for a while to purchase the game. I can only recommend it to the most hardcore and masochistic among us.

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