Many video game developers have tried to copy FromSoftware’s success by creating extremely difficult Soulslike games. None have managed to capture the same satisfying feel and challenge that FromSoftware offers. The game studio has produced many souls-inspired games that have all been praised by fans and critics. Demon’s Soulsthe dark souls trilogy, transmitted by bloodand now Ring of Elden all perfectly execute FromSoftware’s established formula.
Other than a few minor tweaks and tweaks, all of these games are quite similar. For the most part, they follow a similar storyline in which the world has fallen into chaos and ruin, and a chosen hero rises to face the mighty monster and the warriors that roam the lands. Ring of Elden is the biggest departure from this formula with its open world, but ultimately the game still feels like a bigger dark souls. These games are great, but they can feel repetitive. However, FromSoftware has a Soulslike one that manages to break the mold and be truly unique: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
Sekiro reinvents Soulslike combat
In most FromSoftware games, the combat is nearly identical. The player faces an opponent and has the option to roll between their attacks or block them with a shield. Once the enemy has gone through their attack streak, the player will have the option to retaliate while recovering. More experienced players will perform an expertly timed parry, leaving the enemy open for a critical hit. transmitted by blood changes combat by adding a regeneration mechanic where players can restore their health by attacking an enemy immediately after taking damage.
sekiro does something completely different. Although it still has a health bar like other Soulslikes, sekiro also has a posture meter which is much larger. The player can deflect most incoming attacks instead of just blocking. Deflecting an attack refills an enemy’s posture meter. Once this meter is full, their posture breaks and leaves them open for a killing blow, which instantly depletes their health bar.
This fighting style allows the player to be much more aggressive and active than they would be in other FromSoft games. Instead of playing passively and just waiting for the perfect opening to do damage, the player always does some form of damage even when defending. There is never a lull in the fight in sekiro because the player always actively reacts to attacks so that they can deflect them at the right time. fights in sekiro feeling like an exchange of blows between two equally skilled warriors, which is different from other Soulslike games. FromSoftware should feel encouraged to explore new forms of combat that challenge what has been established.
Sekiro’s design and world traversal is fresh
The majority of FromSoftware’s Soulslike games take place in similar worlds. Demon’s Souls, dark soulsand Ring of Elden are all set in these medieval European-inspired fantasy worlds filled with ruined castles and knights in heavy armor. transmitted by blood adds a gothic element to the franchise with its Victorian architecture and Lovecraftian monsters, but in all of these games players roam these lands on foot or on horseback collecting weapons and armor.
sekiro takes a radically different approach, moving away from the European inspirations of other games for a world based on Japanese culture. The game’s architecture, characters, enemies, and story are clearly inspired by Japanese culture and mythology. It makes the world of sekiro feel distinct from FromSoft’s other games, something that would be great to see the developer try with a variety of other world cultures and mythologies.
Crossing in sekiro is also different from other FromSoft games where movement is more limited. Although Elden Ring allows players to jump short distances and ride their mount, sekiro The player is given a grappling hook, which allows him to reach great heights, scale high mountains, and move across rooftops. Instead of collecting weapons and armor, the player collects attachments for their prosthetic arm, which transforms the player into a more powerful weapon.
Sekiro Protagonist Wolf lets the story take center stage
In most Soulslikes, the player creates their avatar in the character creator, changing their appearance as they please and using whatever weapons or armor they prefer. The character is generally quiet and doesn’t respond much to the world. This design choice allows players to imagine themselves as the protagonist no matter who they are, but it also has its limitations.
Because the player doesn’t speak or have any sort of established personality, the story is less engaging. All relationships with NPCs are very one-sided, and the player stares at the NPCs explaining their motivation and goals. The lack of response removes the emotional weight from moments that should be heartfelt. The lore and backstory of these games that are hidden in the item descriptions and world design carry the stories of these games instead of the relationships.
sekiro does not have this problem. The player controls Wolf, an established character with pre-existing relationships and a concrete personality. Wolf speaks with NPCs and develops new relationships, and when those relationships change or characters die, Wolf reacts to these events and gives voice to his inner thoughts. This gives the emotional scenes a weight they wouldn’t otherwise have if Wolf reacted like the silent protagonists of other Soulslike games. sekiro shows that FromSoftware can explore outside the souls formula and try new things while creating challenging and interesting games.
Which FromSoftware game should Souls newcomers try after Elden Ring?
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