Why Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a masterpiece and how its legacy is portrayed in Elden Ring

A scene from Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (Image via Activision)
A scene from Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (Image via Activision)

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has been out for about three years and is one of the best Soulsborne games available. Soulsborne games can be defined as a dungeon crawler emphasizing enemy and level design.

The genre was first made famous by Japanese video game developer FromSoftware, launching Hidetaka Miyazaki and his team to massive success. The Soulsborne franchise has a steep learning curve and punishing gameplay mechanics.

Players have to think on the fly to get through obstacles, and the games are incredibly rewarding.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the sixth entrant into the FromSoftware catalog and is a technical and innovative masterpiece. Sekiro has received multiple game awards and was also the 2019 Game of The Year winner.

The stealth action RPG has been critically acclaimed for its combat, gameplay, and story and takes a slightly different approach to the Souls formula.


FromSoftware and why Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice exists today

When Demon’s Souls was first released in 2009, the genre was relatively obscure to the masses. As a game, the setting was bleak, dark, and punishing to the careless.

Demon’s Souls was a vastly different game compared to its peers. It inspired the entire Soulsborne franchise and proved there was a niche market for challenging games that test players and their skills.

Looking at their fame in the modern era, the Souls titles are ever-evolving to meet gamer expectations. Fans ask a lot from the developers, and their tireless efforts pay off in the best of ways.

FromSoftware has always been up to the task. They have been responsible for some of the generation’s best games, and each title has borrowed heavily from what came before.

Launch of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and what makes it special


Hot on their success from Dark Souls 3, FromSoftware released a vastly different game. Although keeping in touch with its Souls roots, this title is as unique as it is brutal.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is an epic masterpiece that does not have the grand scale of the Souls games but does a brilliant job of showing off the thing that makes it special: the combat.

Taking a step away from the common tropes of Dark Souls and Bloodborne, Sekiro is set in Japan and features a rhythm-based combat system that is new and exciting.

Players are encouraged to take the fight to their enemies and fight without hesitation. FromSoftware has always been known for its outstanding enemy and level design.

With Sekiro, level design takes a whole new step with verticality and player maneuverability. Players have access to a grapplehook which ties in perfectly with the flow of combat.


Enemies in Sekiro are also formidable.

Quite possibly faster and more punishing than any other Souls game, Sekiro gives users little room for error, but it is surprisingly fair. All encounters in the game can be overcome with enough patience as they are granted access to stealth combat.

Gamers can dispatch enemies with a single blow by using the shadows or perching from a structure as long as they maintain their cover. Sekiro also features a new resurrection mechanic that allows them to revive themselves once in battle.

This new mechanic doesn’t make the game any easier. Instead, players are encouraged to use it to turn the tide in their favor.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice story and gameplay


Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice follows a disgraced Shinobi on the path of redemption by rescuing his lord. The game is quite linear and, as with any Souls game, has multiple endings.

Unlike the Souls games before it, Sekiro does not have the RPG elements well known to the franchise. With only one weapon given to gamers at the start, they are encouraged to use the various skills gained by leveling up or collecting loot from enemies.

Bosses are challenging and require users to learn the most fundamental combat tool in the game, the deflection.

Fans of the previous Souls titles may be used to “rolling” away from danger. Sekiro takes dodges almost entirely out of the occasion by making players clash swords with their foes, quite literally.

The “Deflection” mechanic rewards them by making quick work of the enemies and bosses, granted they get it right.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a brilliant action RPG with all the Souls elements fans love, including unrelenting brutality. The Japanese setting feels right at home, and the attention to detail is astonishing.

The visual esthetic of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is bleak like every other Souls title. The world of Sekiro is as beautiful as it is tragic.

The soundtrack feels surreal and goes with the flow of combat. FromSoftware has always been known to use grand scores for their boss music, and they have made a unique score for Sekiro. The title is best enjoyed in its original language as the voice acting makes the characters feel that much more real.

What FromSoftware has learned from Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice


Coming to FromSoftware’s latest release, Elden Ring, they have borrowed heavily from past games and more so from Sekiro. Elden Ring’s combat system is a lot more open than previous Dark Souls games and has combat elements from Sekiro added on.

Combat in Elden Ring is heavily focused on positioning and pressure from players. Bosses are especially ruthless and punish anyone who plays passively.

With a combination of attacks, enemies in Elden Ring can have their guard broken, allowing users to turn fights in their favor. This hidden guard system that most enemies have can be traced back to Sekiro’s ‘Posture’ mechanic.

Elden Ring also borrowed a lot of its mechanics from Dark Souls. From charged heavy attacks to dragons on bridges, Elden Ring owes its success to every Souls title. The game also contains a ton of Easter eggs referencing the previous games.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has been instrumental in the success of Elden Ring, and fans can only wait to see what they come up with next.

Note: This article reflects the author’s views.

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Edited by Ravi Iyer
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