Is Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice More Difficult Than Dark Souls? [Part One]


Hello everyone! So I recently got a chance to play through Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, at least four to five hours of it, and I believe I’m far enough in to start this write up in regards to what I’m about to talk about here.

Is Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice harder than Dark Souls?

For that matter, how does it match up to the sequels, Bloodborne and even Demon’s Souls? Certainly this game is very different from the usual, and much beloved, formula that FromSoftware has given us. but to that end it’s still very much a new addition to the “SoulsBorne” fiscal world, merely by similar items and strategies and mainly by looks and challenging tasks.

This is part one of a two part write up, so I hope y’all enjoy…


First Off, The Similarities…

Right off the bat there are similar elements to prior games worth mentioning. The world itself is surprisingly filled with many array of creatures and monsters among the usual human enemies. What’s even more fitting is that a lot of these creatures are bizarre and oddly placed in the world, such as the giant roosters and that gremlin baby under the bridge. There is even items in the world that act and homage to previously well-known items. For example, the “homeward idol” is exactly like the “homeward bone” from Dark Souls and the healing gourd is very much the estus flasks. Among other things, there are even unique enemy types, otherwise known as mini bosses, that are forever absent upon defeating them which holds true to nearly all SoulsBorne games.


Secondly, the world map of Sekiro is apparently an intricately- connected world where all areas are intertwined. The only other game to do this is, indeed, the original Dark Souls. All other sequels and spin-offs resulted in a more varied path with a lesser complex and more narrow directional pathway (sometimes areas will eventually connect cleverly, but it hasn’t been as monumental as Dark Souls). I have seen signs of this already, but not enough to fully appreciate this, I’ll certainly expand on this feature in a post as I get further into the game…


Note: this image is used in almost every review I’ve seen…

Da Combat!

Let’s have a little walk down memory lane in order to detail the battle systems for each entry.

Demon’s Souls was the first game to fully showcase the elemental style and difficulty of what was to come with its successor. While the game was not perfect, being filled with buggy and broken annoyances, it was still a fun a unique perspective that hasn’t been seen on the RPG front, at least not for some time. This combat style was eventually brought over to Dark Souls, where it was tweaked and used in a more proper manner. Dark Souls II was pretty much the same, with only changes to other mechanics, and Dark Souls III is honestly the most perfected of this system.

The system of these four games all has to do with patience, waiting for a moment to strategize and eventually find the opportune moment to strike or evade your opponent. This made sense in a world where you have shields and swords. You could also use your shield to time a parry maneuver in order to get a brutal strike on your enemy. Among other things, the game required you to keep track of your stamina bar, which would dwindle upon use of rolling, running, attacking, and taking hits with your shield. It would obviously replenish in a quickish manner, but as everyone knows having your shield up would make the time it replenishes longer. Other classes such as sorcerers had to deal with the similar strategy, while also keeping watch of their “magic” gauges.

Bloodborne was the first true spin-off game that is very much its own thing. Instead of a medieval world with dragons and knights, it was a victorian world with beasts and cthulhu-like monstrosities. The combat, while still using the typical stamina gauge, was different from the usual in that you had to be fast and agile. Instead of shields you had guns which meant you had to quickly dodge out of the way lest you get shot and staggered. And while there is not a huge assortment of weapons compared to Dark Souls, the weapons you do have all include secondary forms which can completely change there play style in terms of moves and speed. So yeah, Bloodborne was strangely an opposite to the usual formula but one we adored.

And with Sekiro? Well what’s interesting is that Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice seems to implement all the other elements into its own combat system! There are a lot of people that compare Sekiro’s style of combat to that of the Royal Guard style from the Devil May Cry series, it’s a system where you need to precisely block your opponent’s strikes until you break their posture, at which point you are given a chance to perform what the game refers to as deathblows. The timing of blocking is similar to the parry system, and blocking normally is similar to having a shield. The quick and timed nature of attacking and evading is similar to that of what Bloodborne was going for, and even having the tools on the prosthetic arm can correlate to various other things like bullets from a Bloodborne gun.

And all of this was said just to say that, in my opinion, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice might actually be the hardest game they’ve made. It was hard enough to get used to being quick with Bloodborne but now to do so with an even more strategic fighting system that is needed for every enemy in the game? That’s just crazy! Of course not every person will think the same as me, some may even find it easier especially if they’re used to such style of play. All I’m saying is that I’m not that used to it, and while I am immensely enjoying the hell out of this game it’s still mercilessly kicking my butt along the way!


To be continued in part two, where we discuss boss fights and other things!

About ToppleTomr

An artist and a definite gamer, one of the original GeekBeerz members. When I'm not gaming I'm usually drawing or sketching characters and ideas. I have a strange set of interests which include horror games/films, Pokemon, Star Wars, super hero comics, and writing short stories.

Posted on March 26, 2019, in bloodborne, Dark Souls, Demons souls, SoulsBorne, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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