• Topic Closed
You're browsing the GameFAQs Message Boards as a guest. Sign Up for free (or Log In if you already have an account) to be able to post messages, change how messages are displayed, and view media in posts.
  1. Boards
  2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  3. So, after lots of time and experimenting, I can concretely say I hate the combat

User Info: Tmk

Tmk
3 days ago#1
In general I don't like Sekiro that much. I liked it in a first playthrough, because it had the nice From Software level design and exploration, and the bosses are mostly good. Not so much the minibosses. I was disappointed in how short it was, and how much of a boss rush the last chunk of the game is, and also pretty annoyed by how obnoxious the game is to learn with how overtly punishing it is over everything. But overall, really good experience.

Unfortunately, after a first playthrough, the game pretty much has to hinge on its combat. But before I get into that, I'd like to take the time to give a nod of disapproval to the other problems about the game that bother me. For example, the s***ty death mechanics. It's just wholly inferior to the bloodstain mechanic of Souls games and I feel like, if Souls never existed, this wouldn't even HAVE a punishment for dying, and I'm not sure it needs one, nor does it make much sense. It feels like they thought well, we gotta put a penalty in for dying, but, we don't want to just seem like we're a Souls game, so let's remix it some. So they just take half your s*** every death, so that's stupid and dickish. And dragonrot, which isn't very effective, but, if you play blind like you really should, the game pretty much says it will kill NPCs. It won't, but it implies it. And that really f***s up a first experience and makes dying way more frustrating than it should be. And the Unseen Aid mechanic is just s***. I'm not wasting more words on it.

Next, the game gets really repetitive, especially for how short it is. Once you complete the 3 main paths, the game is already running out of content. It's then a bunch of bosses, rehashed areas, more of the same, overused bosses and elite enemies repurposed as bosses, and the main way they "spice" these rehashed encounters up is "what if we throw other enemies at you in the fight" which is the bottom level of creativity really. They have exactly one full new area to offer, and it's a good one, though it's populated with a boss you already fought, a miniboss you fought once before palette swapped, one of the worst minibosses in the game you fought 4 times before except now there's 2 at once, and a miniboss you fought twice before. Then a boss that is more a cutscene than actual gameplay.

The combat arts and prosthetic tools are badly balanced. I could make a whole topic about that but let's just leave it at that. It hurts the already very limited variety you have at your disposal though and there's absolutely no sense in only allowing 1 combat art equipped at a time.

There's also really nothing interesting to be had in subsequent playthroughs. They coulda done SOMETHING. But they did nothing except "hey wanna take a s*** load of damage through guarding and have enemies with inflated stats?" - no thanks, that sounds pretty dumb. But props for throwing a bone to people who hate themselves I guess.

So anyway that's the main stuff I guess, aside from combat. Onwards to combat!

Can't really complain about the combat without bringing up the horribly stupid stagger mechanic. Most attacks in the game will stagger you dramatically. You can freely jump or dodge out of this. But, if you block, you get locked into a prolonged blocking animation, that you cannot dodge or jump out of right away. Now, the game will absolutely read this input as you wanting to do this blocking animation, if you happen to press block a split second after being attacked. Now why in the world would anyone ever find themselves doing that, right?

This is altogether one of the dumbest mechanics I've seen in an action game. It makes the game feel and control worse and more unresponsive and due to other features of the combat is somehow even worse than it sounds by itself.
I am snazzier, hot, hot rant. Warily slight as.
Croak rush, OK? Weirder, almighty make out. ::)

User Info: Tmk

Tmk
3 days ago#2
I think this game was originally going to be a lot more heavily focused on stealth and not the traditional Souls sorts of epic boss battles and stuff. But when they made it into more of just an action game, these vulnerabilities of your character, the punishment for death carried over from Souls, these don't really make sense, from a gameplay perspective. Wolf is supposed to be competent but he doesn't really play like it. He plays like someone who really wasn't meant to be actually engaging in combat.

Perilous attacks are another bother. Grabs are basically fine, aside from some hitboxes on some, because it's a pretty general notion found all over games. So, adding a little stinger and symbol to it, whatever. Thrusts are not too bad, because you can still like, i-frame them. You can deflect them. You can mikiri counter them. Or just strafe, sometimes. Organically, the basic combat mechanics work on them. Sweeps however are basically a quasi-QTE, and I really don't think QTEs are good game design, in general. This is especially true of sweeps that really go out of their way to have bizarre forward reach, so out-spacing them is unlikely, and they actually ignore your dodge i-frames, and you can't block or deflect. You HAVE to jump. So it's basically a QTE, that doesn't tell you the button so somehow that's better?

And if you happen to be locked into that extended dodge stagger thing when one of these is coming? Well that's bad for you idn't?

To compound these problems, the damage is cranked up psychotically. Minibosses in particular, are basically made out of attacks that two-shot you, or nearly one-shot you. Bosses are USUALLY more reasonable but still having their fair share of attacks tuned to absurd damage which kinda puts their quicker less damaging attacks in a context of "yeah I can take a couple more of those but if their strong attacks hit I insta-die so...". This isn't really conducive to learning fights as it largely just creates more downtime where you aren't engaged in the fight because you abruptly died. You can resurrect, usually just once, but that does not come close to mitigating the over-inflated damage enemies do, nor the more limited healing you have.

Then there's posture. Posture goes up if you block attacks. Okay fair enough. But, it also goes up when you are just hit. Questionable. It goes up when you deflect, too. Which is stupid. And, the lower your health, the slower it recovers. This helps contribute to a problem of deflecting really not being very good, in general. Because you can perfectly deflect every attack, but, it builds posture damage, and it can get high enough that you mess up once deflect, or get hit once, and you get f***ed. And then since you took so much damage (if you didn't die), that your posture will be f***ed until you heal. So that's pretty severe consequences for ONE error.
I am snazzier, hot, hot rant. Warily slight as.
Croak rush, OK? Weirder, almighty make out. ::)

User Info: Tmk

Tmk
3 days ago#3
Speaking of errors, the combat is very trial and error, which makes it just really unintuitive. Like the sweeps are a good example of being unintuitive, because all your normal tools to avoid damage are just negated by it. It's a very clumsy way to implement a certain attack. But, the unintuitiveness doesn't stop there, because it's all throughout the deflecting mechanics.

If you deflect an attack, will it still do chip damage like it did through your guard? Will it still build status? The answer to that, is "It depends on what specific attack, because for some it will, some it won't. Find out through trial and error" and that is dumb. Then there's enemy reaction to deflecting. Will the enemy be repelled, briefly left open (well maybe open long enough to attack back)? Will they kinda slow down and stagger a bit and then enter a dynamic attack string if you keep deflecting? Will they just...keep going, unaffected? Will they send you flying back? Well the answer to that is, it depends on the individual attack. And this is a problem because it's a really good thing, to deflect an attack, and then retaliate in the tiny window you have to do so. But what attacks you can do that after, have no rhyme or reason to them, you just have to find out through trial and error how each attack will react. There's no logic to it. Some really swift weak looking attacks are unimpeded by a deflect, while big ones can be. So you just have to guess.

To add onto this, there is enemy hyper armor. It really would have been nice, if they had a visual indicator for this. You did it for perilous attacks, may as well go alllll in. Because this also is incredibly inconsistent for what attacks get it. Some really light attacks have it, some heavy ones don't. Some big wind up perilous attacks have it, some don't. Find out which by swinging and either stopping them, or being hit for 51~89% of your health.

That part isn't really a problem once you LEARN a fight, but it did make learning fights really frustrating. And when I say learn a fight, I don't mean figure out a way to survive and win once. I mean like, actually understand it to a degree where you will reliably win every time because you understand how at least most of the attacks work, if not all.

I also am put off by how limited Wolf is. I touched on this already, but the thing is, he has one weapon, but his moveset variety is REALLY basic with it. It's much more basic than even a Dark Souls character when really it should have been at least as complex as a Bloodborne weapon minimum, who can wield a huge variety of different weapons. I don't understand why they did this, but it comes back to a big problem I have as a whole: what you can DO is very limited, but what you HAVE to do is complicated. Because they have all these different kinds of attacks you need to do specific things for, but what you can do overall is fairly simple. Souls, which I deeeefinitely prefer, it's more intuitive because the rules are more universal, like what your i-frames work on, so what you have to do is simpler, but what you CAN do is quite vast in comparison. And variety is nice.

There's also more just like...personal taste things that make me like it less. Like, this isn't an RPG. And I think I prefer RPGs. And the combat is more focused on reflexes, and just kinda...wailing on them with R1s, whereas Souls is more about thoughtful careful resource management, observation, reactive instead of active. And deflecting they made it so mandatory, that they also made it feel so less rewarding. If you parry in a Souls game, it's like yeah, I did it, it's rewarding. In Sekiro, deflecting is closer equivalent in impact it has to just blocking with an average medium shield. And you're expected to deflect a lot, per boss battle. Like...40+ times. Yeah the deflect window is more generous than a parry, but it's not that much moreso, and just bugs me how unrewarding deflects are and how fights feel like they often are beating a boss with Death of a Thousand Parries.
I am snazzier, hot, hot rant. Warily slight as.
Croak rush, OK? Weirder, almighty make out. ::)

User Info: Xethuminra

Xethuminra
3 days ago#4
I recommend getting the Boss down to a lower HP before experimenting

The fights start out really crazy sometimes. Sometimes genichiro won’t let up until you hit him or he hits you or sometimes even until he makes you kaisei

User Info: DrProfessor

DrProfessor
3 days ago#5
Stealth has some really cool gimmicks to it, but yeah even that’s janky too.

The camera and Sekiro’s low defense make combat a slog, and the AI’s spotty detection makes stealth unreliable. It’s kind of a lose/lose.
"either you tuck your shirt into your pants or you tuck your pants into your shirt. either way something is being tucked."
Giant_Aspirin

User Info: slugbait

slugbait
3 days ago#6
It is starting to sound like it not possible to over level for boss/mini-boss encounters via NG+?

User Info: slugbait

slugbait
3 days ago#7
Anyway, excellent post.

The death mechanics can be completely avoided by employing the evil save scumming ( save/load USB or cloud).

User Info: Terric

Terric
3 days ago#8
The sweeps are just terrible. They look like any other attack, but you have to jump.

User Info: Tmk

Tmk
3 days ago#9
slugbait posted...
It is starting to sound like it not possible to over level for boss/mini-boss encounters via NG+?

The game is balanced in such a way that if you just keep increasing attack from boss fights like normal, NG+ won't really be all that different from previous playthroughs except for the inability to go to an early area and completely overpower them.

Like in NG+, the orge's grab does equivalent damage to you as it did in the very first playthrough and all attacks pretty much seem to be tuned that way.

Due to it not being an RPG it seems to have allowed them to easily balance the game to remain more or less consistent throughout all subsequent playthroughs.
I am snazzier, hot, hot rant. Warily slight as.
Croak rush, OK? Weirder, almighty make out. ::)

User Info: slugbait

slugbait
3 days ago#10
Xethuminra posted...
I recommend getting the Boss down to a lower HP before experimenting

The fights start out really crazy sometimes. Sometimes genichiro won’t let up until you hit him or he hits you or sometimes even until he makes you kaisei


Evil save scumming makes experimenting painless. Save prior to each encounter, then back up your save to a PC. Now you can go back and refight any encounter if you need more practice.
  1. Boards
  2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  3. So, after lots of time and experimenting, I can concretely say I hate the combat
  • Topic Closed