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Romier S

Sekiro Shadows Die Twice - Trailer from Xbox Conference

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Everything they do now will be forever seen through rose-colored glasses.  This looks awesome.  But I bet if I wasn't told it was FROM, I'd might say 'meh'.

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9 hours ago, King of All Cosmos said:

The more I see of the game, the less interested I become. It seems little more than a routine hack-and-slash adventure, and is dumbed down next to the SoulsBorne games.

It is interesting how, depending on the developer, I might have rose-colored glasses.  I agree that if I saw this video and was told it was made by XYZ developer I would move on pretty quickly with no interest whatsoever.  Similarly, if the new Sony Spiderman game was some random XYZ developer I would also be kind of meh on that game.  And yet, because of the developer pedigree of that game and of this game I assume the games will be exceptional.

 

It doesn't really matter though, because once the game comes out, journalists and gamers will discover quickly whether they actually like these games or not.

 

The reverse of this phenomenon is true sometimes in movies and games.  There have been many examples of great franchises that switched developers/directors and people immediately write off the movie or game.  Unfortunately this is usually for good reason.  But sometimes the movie or game comes through the other side beautifully.  First thing that pops to mind for me was the replacement of Joss Whedon for the Avengers franchise and now the replacement of James Gunn for Guardians.  

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15 minutes ago, iainl said:

People were upset that the Russos were doing IW? Did they just not watch Winter Soldier, or something?

 

I don't think much of anyone was going crazy about Whedon moving on after Age of Ultron, frankly. The Russos are a definite upgrade. Winter Soldier and Civil War for that matter proved they were more than capable of handling an ensemble film at the level of IW.

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So this started out as a new installment in the Tenchu series! The concept quickly outgrew the franchise.

 

https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2018-08-24-when-from-software-knocks-on-your-door-and-says-hey-we-wanna-make-a-game-you-have-only-one-answer-right

 

The project in question, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, almost began life as an instalment into the Tenchu franchise, a property to which From Software does own the rights, but quickly outgrew the concept. 



"When we originally set out to create something different from Dark Souls and our previous titles, we thought it would be interesting to make a Japanese themed game," Kitao adds. "So from that we started going in the direction of the shinobi and ninja, and of course Tenchu was an IP with that history; that was the original impetus for this project. 

"But as we developed and as we partnered with Activision, and started building it together, it started becoming its own thing and the game we wanted to make was no longer just Tenchu, so it really evolved into its own thing."

 

 

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1 hour ago, iainl said:

People were upset that the Russos were doing IW? Did they just not watch Winter Soldier, or something?

Well, slow down there rocket raccoon.    In hindsight the Russo's friggin nailed it!  But the Avengers is one of my favorite movie experiences of all time.  I certainly thought of Joss as the driver of that awesomeness.  So YES, him being replaced had me concerned that the tone, dialog, and character approach would be less favorable for the franchise.

 

I say that while conceding that Ultron was not great and that Winter Soldier was very good.  Neither of those things changes my anxiety at the time.

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Digital Foundry have their analysis up. This releases tomorrow. I have the X version on the way along with the Steel Book. I won't get to play it for a bit until I finish up Devil May Cry 5 but I'm eager to jump in.:)

 

 

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This looks really good.  But I just bought Dark Souls 3 and I need to work through that before even considering this.  I'm kinda regretting buying DS3 now, thinking I should have just not and bought this instead.

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Anybody pick this up? I'm still spending all of my gaming time on Dragon Quest 11, but I'm debating on this or Resident Evil 2 being my next game.

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On 4/12/2019 at 8:07 AM, Dimness said:

Anybody pick this up? I'm still spending all of my gaming time on Dragon Quest 11, but I'm debating on this or Resident Evil 2 being my next game.

 

Yes. I finally devoted some real time to it this weekend. I finished up Devil May Cry 5 about a week and a half ago (It's awesome!) and needed to take an action game break. So having nothing better to do with my Saturday and with my wife on a day trip with the kids - it was Sekiro time.:)

 

First and foremost, forget everything you know and think you can bring to this game as a seasoned Souls player. It's mostly meaningless and this game requires a completely different skill set. So what does that mean for players who have cut their teeth on other From titles? You're going to die. A lot. No...I mean you're going to die more than you think you will. This game is no joke and even left me frustrated to the point where I felt like I was banging my head up against a wall to nowhere. Then I realized that I needed to stop treating this like a standard Soulsborne game and start thinking of it as From's take on the Tenchu series and well things started to click. This should be treated inherently like a stealth game first and foremost if you want to survive. Your character, Wolf is much more agile and free to move than even the main character in Bloodborne. You can dodge, leap high into the air, swim, parry, etc. You are an on the move killing machine and even in broad daylight, you should be taking down enemies sight unseen if possible. Especially the bigger baddies that can truly end you in a hit or two. Not every area lends itself to this play style but you should be able to cull most of your opposition without attracting too much attention as well as getting in some pot shots on the mini-bosses before fully engaging them.

 

So then what happens when you do have to fight? No matter how good you are - it's gonna happen. Well, again toss any of the skills you think you bring to the table right out of the window. Sekiro is a game of rhythm. Killing enemies is about breaking their posture, not just reducing their life bar. Posture is built up by attacking and properly deflecting attacks. Deflecting is a HUGE aspect of this game and you /must/ get good at using it. You have a button dedicated to deflecting attacks and depending on the timing of that button press - you either simply block an attack (and absorb posture damage) or you properly deflect an attack and absorb less posture damage while dealing a large chunk of posture damage to the enemy.  Bosses and harder enemies will require you to deflect flurries of attacks. This takes precise timing and its almost akin to hitting the fret buttons in Guitar Hero on hard mode. You get out of rhythm, you die. Period. It only take one or two mistakes. Do enough posture damage to an enemy and you can perform a deathblow. Deathblows are fantastic Shinobi flourishes that generally end most enemies. However, many bosses require 2-3 deathblows to completely take them out and many of them have second forms!

 

If you do happen to die, the game allows you to resurrect right on the spot. Yes, you don't immediately materialize back at set spawn points. If you die a second time you suffer a final death and are then re-spawned back at a Shinobi Idol which functions identically to the Firelink Shrines in Dark Souls. If you do suffer a final death, you will immediately lose half of the sen you are carrying (money) and half of the experience you've accumulated into an experience point. You'll never lose a full point only just half the experience accumulated into the next point. There is no way to reverse this so there is no such thing as a corpse run here. You do have a chance of the gods intervening and providing unseen aid which will mitigate the effects entirely. By default the game gives you a 30% chance for that to happen but as you progress, a disease will spread through the land that will reduce that percentage until you've cured it. This is tied into the story so I don't want to ruin things by saying more.

 

As you progress you can also increase the number of times you can resurrect in battle. I'm currently at two so I don't know what the maximum is though I'm thinking three considering I'm pretty far into the game at this point.

 

There's also some heavy RPG elements including accumulating experience points which you can spend on skills at the Shinobi Idols. There are different texts that you acquire throughout the game that open up new styles/skills. You also find new parts to add to your prosthetic arm that range from a shuriken throwing device to a massive axe to destroy enemy shields. I won't get too bogged down in explaining how all of this works but if you're familiar with some of the obtuse upgrade elements of Dark Souls - that's one skill set that does translate well here. It's all very familiar.  In that same vein, each boss killed drops a memory that you can use to increase your attack power. They also drop prayer beads that you can use to increase health and posture once you've gathered four of them.

 

All of these systems combine to present one of the most satisfying action games From Software has ever produced. Seriously, once the underlying combat system clicks for you this is one of the most rewarding games on the market. The feeling of finally taking down a tough boss is something that I've only felt in a handful of games this generation (including Bloodborne). I've jumped out of my seat to proclaim "F*** Yeah!" after some fights, in fact! It's because like many of their previous games, you have to be skilled enough to win and damn does that feel good! The level design is on par with the early Souls games. It doesn't quite reach the heights of Bloodborne for me, yet but even "poor" Dark Souls level design puts a vast majority of other games on the market to shame and this isn't anywhere near poor.

 

Presentation wise, this is also the most technically accomplished game they've released. Yes, there are frame pacing issues and some slow down here and there but its a marked improvement over Dark Souls III on current gen consoles both in the quality of the image and its framerate. The fact that a vast majority of the game is set in sun bathed daylight with striking mountain ranges and forests in the distance helps tremendously. As does the HDR support. It does a wonderful job of presenting a time and place in Japan that other games coming to market are working to achieve and they'll have to work harder after this. The music is well executed and appropriate to the time period. I implore everyone to immediately turn on the Japanese language track and subtitles. It's the only way to play this.

 

I started playing the game Saturday at 11:30am and I stopped playing Sunday at 8:30pm with a good nights sleep in between. To say that the game has totally captured my undivided attention is an understatement. Let me say that this isn't going to be for everyone despite the praise I’m hearing on it. The steep learning curve and difficulty will be immediately off-putting to plenty of would be players out there. Even the Dark Souls faithful.  *I* relish difficulty and the game even left me cold and frustrated for the first few hours. If you stick with it though and you have enjoyed From's previous work?  You're going to find a whole lot to love here including excellent visuals, a good story setup/follow through, great music and rewarding gameplay that you'll spend hours trying to perfect.

 

 

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On 8/26/2018 at 11:04 PM, King of All Cosmos said:

The more I see of the game, the less interested I become. It seems little more than a routine hack-and-slash adventure, and is dumbed down next to the SoulsBorne games.

 

Also, just to address this statement.....no.

 

You couldn't have been more wrong in your assessment of this. It's one of the most intricate games From has produced and I'd argue the combat here is deeper than anything in their previous games and that's including Bloodborne.

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No, it isn't. I've been watching several let's plays and streams of the game, trying hard to like it, hoping to find something compelling about it. But it's mostly shallow, hack and slash gameplay, with a thoroughly uninteresting story. Sure, there are upgrades to the prosthetic arm and gimmicky tools like the confetti, but the fundamental experience is block/hack/dodge/slash. It's nowhere near as complex as Bloodborne.

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4 hours ago, King of All Cosmos said:

No, it isn't. 

 

Yeah it is and that's coming from someone that's beaten Bloodborne multiple times and has completed multiple Chalice Dungeon runs. You haven't even picked up a damned controller to play the game and are making definitive statements based on a "Let's Play" video stream? Most of which are by players who don't even understand how to properly do a Mikiri Counter. (yeah I watch them, too)

 

I'm willing to listen to sincere, good faith criticisms about any game out there. If it doesn't interest you due to its presentation, story, gameplay or whatever else - then fair enough. Not all games are made for all audiences and sometimes people just don't jive with a particular game. I don't have an issue with that. However, don't wax poetic about the complexity of a games combat systems without making even the most minute effort to actually...you know.....play the game?

 

The next evolution in game reviews, folks - watch a live stream then append a score and opinions as needed.

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Here's a great thread on rhythm game like aspects to the combat I mentioned earlier. Turnbull even adds some charts for the the button press timings. So what appears like simple blocking actually requires skill and precision.  It doesn't even get into how to properly counter perilous attacks (there are three types total). Yeah you can just dodge or jump out of the way (if you're a simpleton with no curiosity of how to better play the game) but understanding how to counter them is the difference between a long boss fight or a short one as properly countering perilous attacks equates to HUGE posture damage.

 

 

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I'm speaking from a position of ignorance; I've not bought it yet as my Soulsborne experience is almost entirely gleaned from plays up until the first big boss fight. But my understanding from others who are good at these things is that Souls is about the block, Bloodborne is about being aggressive then getting out before the counter, but Sekiro is massively about the parry. Parry's always been there, but it used to be the preserve of the kind of expert who completes the entire game with their character in his pants, while this really demands you do this stuff.

 

Roll and block is no longer an option if you want to be good at this; would that be fair to say?

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Yes. It is all about breaking posture. And with such a small timing window, it will take a lot of practice. 

To say this is just hack and slash is crazy though. Try to play the game that way and you won’t make it past the very first mini boss. Locking onto an enemy, timing the parry, or knowing when to jump or roll from a sweep or lunge requires a little more skill then spamming a button. 

As someone who has never been a Souls fan, I have enjoyed this game more so. I find the combat much more engaging and the stealth element makes it more interesting to me.

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i love the look of this game, and may end up playing it down the road (too busy with the division 2 at the moment), but i figured that some of you might be interested to see a bit of footage of a youtuber named Faraaz Khan doing a damageless fight with Genichiro Ashina (he takes down each of the bosses similarly).

 

 

his channel is chock-full of no-damage runs (for example, he beat the valkyrie queen on GoW with only level 1 equipment equipped, without being hit once), but, not having played any of Sekiro, i find his mastery of the flow of the boss fights mesmerizing and almost beautiful.

 

he also does a damageless speedrun of the entire game, which is pretty bonkers.

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