Sekiro - Video Game Review


This game should be called “Suck Kiro

I wanted to love this game. It didn’t take long for me to see the signs that this wasn’t going to be the case.

The button configuration is vastly different from the other “Souls” games. When I finally quit playing this game, I launched the first DARK SOULS, and it took me an hour to unlearn the stupid button assignment from aforementioned game.

So yes, the first irritating thing about this game is the unlearning of the previous games.

When I played Bloodborne, I hated it because it had a gun. I love to use shields, but even if I didn’t, I hate the idea of a gun in a game like that. Still, the button configuration was familiar, and playing this second-rate Souls game made me better at two-handing weapons when I returned to the traditional Souls games.

Another difference is that you recover stamina by holding a guard position, which is the opposite of a souls game.

Some people have praised the combat, but playing this game is like playing Robotron – just shooting blindly. I tested this by just blindly hitting the R1 button repeatedly. How can a game be this bad? The predecessors were games in which there was some thought put into the combat, but this new installment is a button-masher.

The previous games allowed for a variety of playing styles, but this one modifies your behavior into a chaotic hit-the-button-repeatedly drone, This is not fun.

Boss battles are different in two ways. The first is that you have to perform two attacks that smell like backstabs and parries, but they are called “death blows” which is a stupid idea. You can hit all you want, but you have perform these actions, or so it seems.

This is well suited for an anally retentive player, but I like freedom in my games. The frustration is even greater when each boss seems to be conquered best in a specific way. I liked challenge-runs in previous games, defeating a Hydra, for example, with a dagger instead of the longest weapon possible. Good luck with that in this bad game.

The treasure items are meaningless. The first half out of the game felt like a Mario game, and after a few found items, I discovered that i didn’t care about them. In Dark Souls, it was like an episode of “Let’s Make A Deal” whenever a shiny thingy was seen. Does one risk death in order to obtain what can be behind the curtain?

In Sekiro. I didn’t care about any item, no matter which boost it gave.

I don’t like being forced to play with one weapon. I kept reminding myself that this is a Japanese game, not a medieval horror fantasy, but I hated the combat. There are animations that may impress a kid, or someone who likes stupid action movies, but the animations are random, not something that I choose, and even if I could choose specific attacks, the gameplay seems more like Mortal Combat than a Souls game.

Word of advice – turn auto-target off. Actually, scratch that. It turns on by itself anyway. This was endlessly annoying after I committed a sneak attack and then tried to get away. Instead of running to freedom, my character auto-targeted someone BEHIND me ten million miles away, and I stopped dead in my tracks.

The stealth is stupid. Sekiro doesn’t have artificial intelligence. It has artificial retardation. When I was in stealth mode, three stories high on a roof, enemies for far away detected me, yet when I WASN’T in stealth, I was as close as two feet away, almost facing the opponent, and I wasn’t noticed.

Sekiro is a fake-stealth game, and it copied an annoying part of those games. When combat starts, whether stealth was broken or I charged in, the same annoying music started. In Dark Souls, there is only special music for boss fights, and each one has a different theme.

This musical cue for any combat became so painful that I was like a Pavlovian dog – but instead of salivating at the sound, I cried tears of agony. I hated this so much that I went into the game options and turned the music down to volume zero. Same with the dialogue, but that didn’t work too well.

The game was a bit less annoying with the music off, but it was still a tedious experience.

Another silly aspect is the grappling hook, which makes the game into a wanna-be Spider Man. Why would I play something like that?

The character can fall 10,000 feet in some instances and bear not even a scratch, but in others a player can die by falling ten feet.

Another bad thing about combat is that some opponents have attacks that will succeed no matter what you do. I was twenty feet away from someone who tried to grab me. I jumped anyway, but the animation suddenly gliched into me being caught by the arms. Apparently, you have to be anal and press only ONE type of button at ONE possible moment, or you die.

I have played the Dark Souls games, and while some parts were frustrating, I ultimately enjoyed most of the experiences. In Sekiro, the reason why I continued playing despite never having enjoyed a single moment was because I didn’t want to admit that I lost $60, and I wanted to get SOME kind of feeling that I didn’t waste me time.

Stephen R. Donaldson wrote books in the “Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever” trilogies. I wanted to like them, but I ended up only reading them to say that I had read them. I even re-read the first book recently to see if maybe I would like them now that i am older. Nope. Sekiro is like Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever. Do it for bragging rights, but not for the experience.

Coincidentally, Stephen R. Donaldson wrote “Mirror of Her Dreams” and “A Man Rides Through” which were of a pleasurable writing style and were amazing stories, so they are like Dark Souls games, while Sekiro is bad.

In Dark Souls, when I died, I cared. This didn’t happen in Sekiro. I had absolutely no thrills or tension. It was a bad game that just kept getting worse. I didn’t finish it because I already feel stupid for having wasted time on it.

Sekiro is something to erase from your mind and from your hard drive. Don’t make the mistake that I did.

I fired up a game of Dark Souls to help erase the foul taste of Sekiro from my mouth.

Seriously, I have to state it again – I killed enemies simply by button-mashing, not caring at all what I did, and not blocking. Try that in any other Souls game and you will be toast. In Sekiro, I was victorious. A stupid game for stupid people.

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