FromSoftware has been forever immortalized as Action RPG royalty after a series of strong releases in games like Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, and Bloodborne. These generation-defining games were so critically and commercially successful that they've created enough clones to make a whole subgenre. It's been some time since their last release, but FromSoft is in a great position to take back their throne with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
The Sengoku period in Japanese history is one of heavy strife and seemingly endless war. A young boy known as "The Wolf" is found on one of these bloody battlefields and taken in by an old warrior, "The Owl," and taught the ways of the shinobi. When he becomes a man, The Wolf is tasked to protect a young heir of a mysterious blood line. After being cut down by Ashina clan hunters, The Wolf can't stop the heir from being kidnapped. When he awakes, his arm is replaces with a mysterious prosthetic, and he's tasked to use it and every other trick in the book to bring the heir back to safety.
You play as The Wolf in his journey for revenge and must use any means necessary to see the mission through. This largely means that you're going to spend a lot of time in combat with enemies that come in various shapes and sizes, and that require a large range of tactical flexibility. Much of that flexibility will come from the many things your new arm can do. Break shield and barriers with it's axe, pull enemies in close with it's spear, reach high places with it's grappling hook - the shinobi arm is several weapons and tools in one kinda creepy looking package.
Combat plays a lot like Bloodborne, where your defensive options were far more limited, replaced for high speed movement and a lot of aggressive attack possibilities. Though you do have a shield, there's no feeling of safety in hiding behind for most of the game like Dark Souls can provide. Instead, cleverly countering and dodging enemies to strike them when they're open is the best way to gain the advantage. Learn patterns and exploiting weaknesses is the name of the game in Sekiro.
There's also the stealth approach, of course. Hiding out and eavesdropping on enemy conversations to know where dangerous enemies or valuable items could be hiding. Watching enemy patrols and sneaking around the corner or behind their backs for a quiet execution is often the best course of action. It's very Tenchu in that way.
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Jarrett shares his love of video games and geek culture through feature articles on Gamepedia. He prides himself on his deep attraction to Japanese beat-em ups and his god-like Bushido Blade talents.