Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice


Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the latest game developed by FromSoftware, which is famously known for their difficult Dark Souls series. The game is set in the Sengoku period in Japan, and follows a shinobi known as Wolf as he attempts to take revenge on a samurai clan who attacked him and kidnapped his lord.


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Lens 7: The Elemental Tetrad

Sekiro is a very modern game that utilizes cutting edge technology in video games. Such technology provides very pleasing aesthetics and satisfying mechanics for the players to view and explore.

The mechanics are tight and tolerant to player errors. The animation transitions are smooth and provide a good aesthetic. The story is good and sets up an interesting world for the player to explore.

The harmony between aesthetics, story, mechanics and technology helps to reinforce each other and provide a cohesive and enjoyable experience to the player.

Lens 31: The Lens of Challenge

As per tradition, FromSoftware does not give the players any option to adjust the difficulty of the game. Critics will always argue for easy mode, but from the game design perspective, the challenge is the gameplay. It should be normal for a player to die repeatedly to an enemy numerous time. The player should then figure out that a head-on attack is not the best strategy, and should leverage on the game’s “sneak attack” mechanic to cut the boss health bar by half, making the boss fight much more easier.

The player character about to stealth attack the enemy

Lens 26: The Lens of Rules

To continue on from the previous lens, part of the challenge is to figure out the rules of the games. Despite the complexity of the game, Sekiro runs on a strict set of rules. For example, if the player performs a perfect parry, the player will never be staggered by the enemy attacks. These rules are fun for novice players to discover, and entertaining for the more advanced players to repeatedly exploit.

Lens 68: The Lens of the Hero’s Journey

Maybe part of what makes Sekiro a great game is also in its story. FromSoftware’s storytelling has always been indirect, told through the world around the main character, and perhaps that was what made it great. In Sekiro, Wolf’s story is akin to Vogler’s Synopsis of the Hero’s Journey. Wolf heeds the call to adventure (2), and is immediately struck down by the second boss encounter of the game (8). Wolf recovers and gains a prosthetic limb, which offers extra options to combat (9). Finally, Wolf embarks on a journey full of perils in order to save his lord (10-12).

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