Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the lastest Souldborne title developed by FromSoftware. You play as shinobi the One-Handed Wolf, or Sekiro. Your young master’s power has brought you back from the dead and now you need to go and rescue him. Along the way, there are techniques you’ll learn, items to gather, people to meet—most importantly some really really difficult fights to take on. There’s a lot that you’ll learn through normal gameplay but just like previous FromSoftware games, there’s always some things you need to figure out on your own.
Stealth Is Your Best Friend
As shinobi, stealth is one of your greatest weapons. Whether you’re hidden in the reeds or perched above a crowd, stealth can aid you in many ways. Most importantly, stealth is used in learning the land. Finding somewhere with good sightlines allows you to count out how many enemies, note enemy types, sub-boss locations, and the order you’re going to take them out in. By learning the land and sneaking around, you can ensure that you only ever have to take on one opponent at a time. This will ensure your health, experience, and money is all safe. There are also abilities that can help you become stealthier. If you’re having issues, or just want to be even quieter, you can choose to put points into your skill trees for stealth. Channel your inner ninja and don’t let them know what hit them, believe it!
Shuriken Can Whittle Down Large Groups
As stated above in my first point, it can be difficult facing groups of two or three enemies, even more so early on in Sekiro. The shuriken is the first ninja tool you’ll come across and can help in these situations. Shuriken can be helpful against jumping enemies, but their use to draw enemies away from a crowd is the real benefit.
If you have a group of 3-4 enemies all looking at one another, there’s no way to sneak up to only one of them. You will get noticed, a fight will start, and you’ll probably die. If you can’t go to the enemy, then you can use the Shuriken to pull them over towards you one at a time, and it does damage too. This tactic is even better if you notice an archer in the group, as they’re not able to block Shuriken from afar. Throw three in quick succession and that’s an enemy you don’t even need to worry about.
You Can Make The Game Even Harder
Sekiro is a tough game; any enemy can do you in, not just the big ones. If you wanted to make the game even harder though there’s a way. In the area past where you fight the Chained Ogre, the second present-day miniboss, and go to the right you’ll find a building with a warning that if you progress farther it will be dangerous. Follow the path down the cliff until you get to a dark cave, hop over the edge towards the light but don’t fight The Headless that you encounter there. Following the cave farther you’ll come out to a bell tower. If you ring the bell, you’ll get possessed by the Bell Demon.
While the Bell Demon is in your inventory, enemies will do more damage and you’ll catch status effects faster, but you’ll also gain more experience and get better loot drops. Interacting with the Bell Demon in your inventory will immediately dispel it. This is perfect for early game experience and sen farming, allowing you to create a path of enemies you know you can dispatch in quick succession. For those not wanting to try to game the system though, the Bell Demon can create an additional challenge. Personally, I’ve taken to leaving the Bell Demon on so that if I get to a boss fight that I’m extremely close to winning through trial and error, I can remove it as a way to make the fight easier on myself.
Bosses and Sub-Bosses (Usually) Have a Stealth Kill
A deathblow is your favorite tool to use on an enemy, as upon success it will kill an enemy in one hit. Boss characters, those with names, will usually have multiple health bars. This will be indicated by the number of red circles above their health bar, which can be seen even from afar. If a deathblow is used on a boss character, it will completely deplete one of those red circles. This means you can go from fighting a difficult boss fight at 100% health to fighting them at 50% health. While there are some bosses that will already know you’re there, most give you an opportunity to sneak up on them.
If you find yourself in an arena with a boss and multiple regular enemies, you want to make sure to save the boss for last. Use the tactics from above, stealthily taking out the enemies that stray too far from the herd, then find your best opportunity to sneak up behind your enemy and stab them. This will make these encounters a lot easier, not just because you don’t have to deal additional enemies at the same time, but you’re also getting a big head start on damaging the boss.
If Stuck, Time Travel
Early on in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice you’re given an item that lets you relive a memory from three years ago. This is important to the story as Sekiro has lost a lot of his memory. That memory isn’t just a side adventure though; it will take you through multiple areas and fill in a lot of back story. At any point, you’re able to visit a Buddha statue and travel from the past statues to statues to the present. For those who get particularly frustrated when finding themselves up against a brick wall, this distinction between present and past progress allows you to get a breath of fresh air.
A lot of the times you’ll also learn something or earn a tool in the past that will help you progress in the future. That brick wall you’re up against might only be a brick wall because you haven’t earned the tool elsewhere. Come back after following the other timeline and you may start doing some real damage.
Some Tips Sekiro Doesn’t Teach You
FromSoftware has always enjoyed having players find out story and gameplay elements as they play. Whether it be through story or basic movement controls some you’ll be handed, and others you’ll have to find on your own. It can be a lot of fun and rewarding to learn some of these things, but others you’ll have to sit back and question why this wasn’t mentioned anywhere.
You’re taught how to dodge early in-game, and through the loading screen tooltips, you’re told how to long jump. Nowhere in this process are you taught the middle step of running. You can run in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice by holding the dodge button instead of pressing it. This might be obvious, but in a game so based on stealth, you don’t have many occasions to be running around. This isn’t only good for backtracking, but in battle sprinting is faster than trying to dodge twice. After learning about running, escape from attacks is easier.
There’s nothing worse than having every one of your attacks blocked by an opponent only to have them pierce your defense with a stab as opposed to a swing. Instead of pressing your attack button, if you hold it down, you will perform a stab too. This attack will work well to pierce enemy defenses and give you a chance for a bit more damage.
These are just some of the things that while playing we found would be great that we had known earlier. Most of these tips were passed around the office ourselves as we’re all licking our wounds. There are probably hundreds of other great tips that we’re missing, or might not even know at this point.
What do you think of the tips? Were there any that you didn’t know about? Are there any tips for playing that you’d want to share with people? Let us know in the comments below!More About This Game