Rough estimate of difficultly compared to other From games?

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#1 Posted by Sweetz (1184 posts) -

Really interested in Sekiro, but I'm not a particularly skilled player.

I can get through most of the non-DLC stuff in Dark Souls 1 without trouble, though I did have the benefit of coming to that late and watching a lot of people play it before I tried for myself. The DLC stuff was hard. Artorias nearly broke me, but I was able to beat him after a lot of tries. I did not much care for Dark Souls 2. The life reducing mechanic was very punishing and I had to invite players to beat a couple bosses. Did not play Dark Souls 3.

I platinumed Bloodborne as a solo player, but only by grinding a lot and maxing almost every stat to the soft cap, which actually makes a pretty noticeable difference in that game. I was pretty happy with the level of difficulty in Bloodborne.

Seems like people are saying Sekiro is harder than Bloorborne. Can anyone confirm that to be the case?

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#2 Posted by CreepingDeath0 (421 posts) -

I've seen a lot of people say Sekiro is the hardest, but I'd personally disagree with that. I think it has a steeper learning/difficulty curve for sure, but the overall difficulty plateaus much sooner than the souls games.

There are some bosses in soulsborne games that, to this day despite 100%ing all the games, I still can't do solo. Once the mechanics clicked with Sekiro I never really struggled that much.

A few quick tips for anyone struggling early game;

- Countering is the core mechanic of the game. Practice it and get it down ASAP. Use the guy at the dilapidated temple to train.

- One of the first upgrades you work towards should be Mikiri counter. It trivialises spear guys.

- Do not rely on the dodge. It's basically useless. The only time you should be hitting the dodge button is holding it down to sprint.

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#3 Posted by Honkalot (1043 posts) -

While I'd say the general enemies are much more deadly, I mean just random soldiers and whatnot, with the stealth and mobility it's easy to counter that. I don't feel the dread I typically do exploring in From games, here while I'm still careful it's more just a joy of exploration.

I've found the bosses to be more consistent in, and higher in, difficulty in general compared to the other games. So far they've all felt doable to me given enough time and practice, whereas the difficulty for me in the other games have gone wildly up and down.

Some key things though is that in Sekiro you lack some of the crutches that were available in the previous games. You can't really level past things, not by a lot at least. Your hp is much lower in this game and they require you to execute your moves correctly. In DS3 I could often just level my stats to mitigate difficult bosses, not so much in this game. The lack of any online component also means that when I do inevitably get stuck on a boss, I won't be able to get someone to help. That final part is maybe my main fear currently.

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#4 Edited by BoOzak (2681 posts) -

@creepingdeath0 said:

- Do not rely on the dodge. It's basically useless. The only time you should be hitting the dodge button is holding it down to sprint.

Personally i've found dodging to be vital and i've almost beaten the game. (i'm in the last area)

I would also say this is the hardest souls style game, (if it can even be considered one) if only because you cant over level or summon, which some say is 'cheating' but it really isnt, it's part of those games, there are covenants built around it. It's like saying 'oh you didnt beat the game naked? why even bother!' it's dick waving nonsense.

Anyway, it's definitely harder than Bloodborne.

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#5 Posted by Ares42 (4369 posts) -

Having gone through the game once and replayed a few hours of the start it just comes off as playing your first Souls game for the first time. I'm already at a point where I'm just wading through the normal enemies, and I bet if I played it a few more times even the bosses would become fairly routine. If anything the biggest "problem" is that this game encourages a more pro-active reckless playstyle, so you'll find yourself getting stomped hard and fast until you start figuring out your strats. Unlike Souls games where you can sorta hang back, take your time and figure things out on the go.

I bet in a months time with some more guides and wikis etc out there this game is gonna be about as approachable as Dark Souls was back in the day. But you have to understand that you're going back to square 1, it's not gonna be like playing Bloodborne after already having beaten Dark Souls. Your biggest hurdle might actually be having to fight the ingrained habits you've gotten from Soulsborne.

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#6 Edited by Mike (17998 posts) -

Right now I feel like I'm doing better in Sekiro than I ever have in any previous Souls game, but Sekiro is also harder, if that makes any sense. Sekiro forces me to learn and adapt in order to progress, and I can't fall back on any of the old Souls methods I used as crutches like grinding out levels or calling in co-op partners. As a result I'm also finding Sekiro a lot more satisfying after getting through each area or boss.

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#7 Posted by Sahalarious (802 posts) -

I also found DS2 to be too hard. Hated Bloodborne, 3 is my favorite, but Sekiro is really something special and different. its not unbeatable by any means so just go for it, the game is fantastic.

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#8 Posted by TobbRobb (6591 posts) -

I think Sekiro is overall much harder. Though it's possible I'm currently developing the skillset to start feeling like it's about the same. It's hard to remember what it was like playing souls for the first time at this point.

Though as for Sekiro being harder, that might not be true for the areas, the level design is pretty straightforward and fair for the most part. And the regular enemies are pretty easy to deal with all around. I can sprint through the entire game now just carving a path really quickly and easily. While in Souls there are still areas of small enemies that I will die to more than bosses even.

However the mini bosses strewn around the world are MEAN. Pretty much every encounter I've had with a named enemy or boss has taken many tries to defeat. I can't think of one I did first try and some of them took easily 15-20 attempts. Most of my time with the game has been spent retrying duels with a single enemy over and over. The session's so far have kind of been like, 90 minutes of completely exploring my available area, finding 4-5 mini bosses and one blocking my progression. Then like 4 hours trying to defeat all those encounters with no exploration.

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#9 Posted by Efesell (4632 posts) -

It's weird.. I think Sekiro is probably more difficult but also its easier to Learn.

I'm at the point now where I feel if I start a new game I can comfortably walk through it pretty easily. I never felt I got there with Souls.

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#10 Posted by ichthy (1372 posts) -

@tobbrobb: Yeah I'm finding the loop to be the same. Unlike Souls games I feel like I can explore new areas fairly easily. The enemy placement doesn't seem to be quite as dickish, and you can extract yourself out of a bad situation fairly easily. Then you run into generals and slam into a progression wall.

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#11 Posted by Humanity (19039 posts) -

@sweetz: you cannot really outlevel stuff or give yourself a stat cushion in Sekiro and there aren’t armor sets or things like that - you are presented with a very specific play style and you have to get good at it or find some absurd ways to cheese bosses.

So I think it’s harder than Bloodborne because in a way you have even less options in how you approach bosses and enemies than you did there, and Bloodborne was already fairly streamlined. Bosses also utilize a wider range of attacks that require good pattern memorization and fairly adept timing. Someone above mentioned a skill that “trivializes” spear enemies - but that skill works sort of like how the gun in Bloodborne trivialized 95% of enemy attacks. If you time it just right you are rewarded but if you time it poorly you will take critical damage.

Also as mentioned the dodge doesn’t have nearly as many invincibility frames so you can’t just dash around and get easy hits in. You HAVE to learn how to deflect and parry and you have to learn when to block, when to dodge, when to jump and when to counter - and missing any one of those in a boss or miniboss encounter will typically cost you at least half your health.

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#12 Posted by doctordonkey (1863 posts) -

I think Sekiro is harder simply by virtue of not being able to be cheesed, for the most part. In Souls and, to an extent, Bloodborne, there is always a way to cheese something or go back and level up or upgrade gear or a myriad of other things. In Sekiro, progress and upgrades are locked behind tough "mini"-bosses and bosses.

If you can't beat something, there isn't something in the back of your mind saying: "oh, I'll just come back to this later when I'm higher level and have a better weapon". You just have to improve or change tactics, there's no other way around it. You can't just summon 3 phantoms and have them kill the boss while you stand back and do nothing. If you get stuck, you're stuck until you get better at the fight. Sink or swim, basically.

The combat is much different, you have more options, yes, but the fights are blazing fast and you can die faster than the other souls games. The death penalty is strict, between Dragonrot and your money and skillpoints being halved. I honestly dread dying in Sekiro much more than the other Soulsborne games. I'm confident I can get my souls back, but in Sekiro that shit is just gone for good when you die, barring a lucky Unseen Aid proc.

As someone who has played through all the Souls games multiple times, Sekiro is definitely the hardest for a wide variety of reasons. I think the fact Fromsoft was able to switch gears just enough so that everyone is getting their ass kicked again, is really something.

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#13 Posted by Ares42 (4369 posts) -

If you can't beat something, there isn't something in the back of your mind saying: "oh, I'll just come back to this later when I'm higher level and have a better weapon". You just have to improve or change tactics, there's no other way around it.

The game is way less critical path than it appears at first. You can hold off on doing bosses you struggle with and farm up health or attack from other places most of the time.

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#14 Posted by JosephKnows (482 posts) -

Every Souls game and Bloodborne could be beaten by just simply timing the roll/dash button correctly.

In Sekiro, dodging as well as blocking, deflecting, and jumping are requirements to win against bosses and even some higher level grunts. The introduction of these verbs into the combat system make it more complex by default, which generally translates to a more difficult experience. That's not even mentioning how you can't just grind out levels or summon for help.

I've played all the Soulsborne games multiple times. Sekiro is no doubt the most mechanically demanding game of them all, with a ramp up that makes my first time in 1-1 in Demon's Souls and in Central Yharnam in Bloodborne look like cakewalks.

Cool thing about it though is that I've yet to hit a wall that's taken me longer than, say, an hour and a half, and I'm pretty sure I'm almost at the last quarter of the game. It really is so much better at teaching you how to "git gud" in straight-up fights.

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#15 Posted by j-mack (89 posts) -

I've beaten Dark Souls and Bloodbourn a couple times and this is the hardest by far. So much so I think I might have to return it.

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#16 Posted by Sweetz (1184 posts) -

Thanks for the all input everyone. Sadly, sounding like it might be too hard for me to enjoy or at least questionable enough that I'm not willing to risk $60 on it. I'll have to wait till it drops to a price I can more easily swallow if it end up hating it.

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#17 Posted by soulcake (2827 posts) -

It's hard until you find the sprint button and cheese your way through every boss fight.

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#18 Posted by Onemanarmyy (4582 posts) -

@boozak:

I never summon in these games, but not because i want to brag to others or something.

I just get a lot of enjoyment out of besting all these bosses myself. I could get stuck & decide to summon someone to solve the problem, but it would never feel as good as banging my head against a boss for an hour or 2 and suddenly have that magical run where you can anticipate all the attacks & get the maximum amount of hits in without getting hit yourself. That's what i like about these games. So for me personally, Sekiro wouldn't be that much different, but i can see how the game becomes a lot harder if you do like to summon.

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#19 Posted by someoneproud (668 posts) -

For me, it's been much harder. As has been said, the mechanics of fighting are much more complex and there isn't really a way to over-level to make sections easier. I came to Soulsborne games only recently and was surprised by how simple they felt once I had the roll timing down, it was punishing when I messed up but by and large it was pretty easy to roll through or distance myself from all the attacks after a little while.

With Sekiro I have had to get to grips with blocking/deflecting, reacting to sweeps/thrusts/grabs differently and often with little notice, the dodge being much less effective imo to stand any chance of progressing. I'm finding it much more satisfying than the other games personally but definitely more challenging with that.

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#20 Edited by BoOzak (2681 posts) -

@onemanarmyy: My point was that it's a restriction you place on yourself, whether it's for your own satisfaction or to brag, same as playing the game naked or doing it without healing. I played through most of the bosses in these game solo for the same reason I play (mostly) solo in Monster Hunter, and thats because if someone dies, drops out, or sucks, it makes it worse since the boss scales depending on how many people you've got with you. It can be fun to play multiplayer if you're willing to deal with some frustration though.

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#21 Posted by Seauton (184 posts) -

The thing I am finding hardest is the need to "unlearn" the way I played Souls. I think it's pretty difficult but I'm into it. I'm sure someone has said it before me but playing it like a Souls game is what keep getting me killed a lot.

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#22 Posted by Nodima (2654 posts) -

Maybe it's because I didn't play any of the Souls games, but I'm finding Sekiro both easier and harder than Bloodborne.

Harder in the sense that each individual encounter is far less forgiving than most Bloodborne encounters, particularly once you got your blood vials in order and had good vitality and strength. Because you can't really grind the latter out and you're extremely limited in health item usage, every encounter is as close to a Bushido Blade situation as gaming's allowed since that first game. Don't approach a situation the way Sekiro'd like you to and there's a very good - though not certain - chance you'll fail.

However, I'm also finding it far easier because it is just leaning into all the things I already found kind of natural about Bloodborne. It took me a while to get there - I famously spent an entire night of nearly 7 hours grinding Central Yharnam last spring, dying over and over and over, before realizing the reason I wasn't leveling up and gaining any advantages was I hadn't encountered a boss yet! Once I did, I found Cleric Beast far harder than Father Gascoigne; I'd seen the fight on Giant Bomb previously so I understood the mechanics, but the parry came to me pretty much instantly and I downed him on my second try after struggling for so long against the fodder enemies.

From there, I found pretty consistently that I had a pretty easy time with the enemies with well-defined rules - Blood-starved Beast, Vicar Amelia, Keeper of the Old Lords, the big Old Lords dog, open world hunters - and impossible bouts of frustration with anything larger than the field of view or with elements of seeming randomness. Sekiro leans into the former pretty much 100% from what I've seen so far (I imagine halfway through - had just encountered Seven Spears and the Lone Swordsman the last time I played) and so while each encounter has been, on its face, a harder challenge, the core gameplay I find far easier than Bloodborne's.

Because the game doesn't have to account for builds, the player doesn't either, and you can focus in on what the game allows you to do rather than what you want the game to let you do. This aligns more with the sorts of games I'm used to playing, the God of Wars and the Spider-Mans, where most of the difficulty alleviation comes from both player knowledge and skill tree unlocks rather than stats and RNG. Sekiro is a more narrow experience on the surface, but I think its underlying gameplay allows for just as much creativity as Bloodborne did, and it just aligns more with the style of game I'm used to even if it is significantly less forgiving than the type of games it falls in line with.

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#23 Posted by SecondPersonShooter (900 posts) -

I finished the game with the true ending last night.

I think the base game is harder than any previous From base game

But nothing matches up to the difficulty of some of the DLC bosses of the Souls series. Save for maybe the last boss in the game.

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#24 Posted by taccyp (318 posts) -

The game has a pretty brutal opening few hours, especially if you go into it thinking that it plays like From Software's other games. Sekiro will force you to play by it's rules, it wants you to stand in the pocket with almost every enemy and clash steel. You can't really hang back, roll through attacks, and get your damage in. You have to be putting on constant pressure to keep the enemy's posture ticking up at all times.

That said, once you "get" what the game is trying to teach you, I really think it is by FAR From's most satisfying game to date. It's the only one of their games I finished and then immediately jumped back into NG+.

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#25 Posted by kmj2318 (47 posts) -

I’m not sure. It seems harder, but less frustrating because there are so many different paths to take. Maybe this changes later in the game, but where I’m at you are given several paths to choose so I don’t feel like I’m banging my head against the wall. I try a boss many times, go do something else, then beat the boss after a night of sleep. With Souls, it was always just me trying the boss many times, then beating it the next day. So progress felt much slower.

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#26 Posted by Dude559 (23 posts) -

I'd consider Sekiro without a doubt their hardest game.

You really need to learn all of the mechanics the game has to offer. Unlike Souls, if you don't master parrying; you're never going to make it.

I agree with others that sometimes a night's rest is all I need to conquer a boss I'm stuck at. Discord-strats with friends helps too when we're stuck.

The game is a monster, but it feels so, so good when you get passed a wall.

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#27 Posted by SecondPersonShooter (900 posts) -

After dipping into new game plus I'm gonna update my impressions.

Sekiro is FROMs hardest game to complete on a first run and has the most demanding skill level of the series.

However, the overall skill ceiling on this game is lower, and once you complete the game once you will probably be close to that ceiling.

Doing a second run of Sekiro is a breeze for me after learning it in-and-out, the Souls titles all give me far more trouble on repeat runthroughs than Sekiro seems to be giving me, we'll see about the endgame bosses, though.

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#28 Posted by j-mack (89 posts) -

I gave it another shot, I restarted and spent a lot more time with the tutorial character and I'm downgrading the difficulty. I would still say it's the hardest, but not unplayable as I was fearing. I did have to 100% rethink my approach to combat with the help of tips I picked up listening to some podcasts.

Blocking is extremely generous, I think it blocks all damage from most attacks including bosses.
Blocking also recovers posture damage more quickly.
Enemy posture recovery slows with damage.
This all pretty much means bosses have built in learning phases where you play defensively to learn their attacks and get in quick hits before going in for a kill.

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#30 Edited by NTM (11902 posts) -

I'm probably an hour and a half to two hours in maybe, and so far it's much easier than any Souls game because it's not dependant on RPG-ness with levels and what have you. Plus, if you're countering and attack aggressively enough, enemies go down fast. That said, I have to assume it gets much more challenging. While I came into it expecting it to be different from the Soulsborne games, which I think helps me in learning it and playing better than I otherwise would, I'm honestly surprised by how different it is.

It definitely has similar aspects like enemy types, character quirkiness, healing items, bonfires, explorable environments, etc. but the dodge/attack/counter combat without the leveling system in place makes it feel different on its own, then you have the ability to sneak and jump down on enemies. There's also what feels like a less cryptic story in place, with cutscenes to watch. Something I am unsure about though is whether I should play the game in English (which is totally fine) or the surprisingly by default Japanese. I'm too early in to say, but the beginning is much easier for me which is all I can say.

The thing that worries me is how people say it's the most difficult. The only bosses in the Souls games I didn't beat (aside from the Dark Souls 3 DLC which I didn't play) because I gave up on them due to their difficulty was Orphan of Kos from Bloodborne, and Nameless King in Dark Souls 3. I got super close but never mastered them. I could have leveled up more and beat them in time, but I didn't want to. Why I say this is because at least one person has said some bosses are harder than Kos, and to me... Well, I am not sure I'm looking forward to that. So far though, it's easier, and maybe if it's more about quick reflexes rather than playstyle/leveling, then I might have an easier time, but maybe harder. I'm not sure.

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#31 Edited by NTM (11902 posts) -

Soooo... Just an update. This game is fucking hard. I hate to say it, but I'm not liking it. It'll turn around though if the environments get more interesting and I see new stuff, but good god is the two bar enemies tough. It wouldn't be as annoying if I knew when and where I could find more dragonrot restoration stuff, but when I keep dying and fearing the worst, my patience dwindles. Also, it is very hard to get into the 'be more aggressive, in their face' attitude. All I want to do is stay back and wait for an opportunity (they will kill you fast, and I'm not sure that I'm mentally ready to face them when they're in front of me), but that can't really work unless you have the patience to hit them once and go back, but that's pointless as it takes way too long. I never throw controllers, and I won't here, but this is frustrating. Some of the attacks seem impossible to counter, like one guy attack the slashes up, but you have no time to dodge at that moment if you're close.

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#32 Posted by ichthy (1372 posts) -

@ntm: The game is made much harder if you try to play like From's previous games. Landing a few hits and backing off just means that the enemy posture will recharge, and you do very small amounts of health damage with your hits. Dodging has small windows of invincibility and enemies are generally very aggressive, so dodging rarely puts you in the clear save for a few instances. You just need to stand your ground and keep pressing the attack. You don't take damage from blocking 90% of the time and it recharges your posture much faster. There's no penalty for going for a parry early and missing and getting a block instead. Also remember that attacking with your sword will also deflect and do posture damage. The thing that was tripping me up as well is that against bigger enemies, landing a successful parry doesn't actually stop their attack in a lot of cases, it just builds a lot of posture damage. In some instances you get a bit of window to attack, but it's not like Souls games where you can take off big chunks of health.

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#33 Edited by Efesell (4632 posts) -

@ntm: It's difficult to enjoy the game if you are never able to break free from that old Souls mindset and engage with it the way that it wants. It's just not the slow and careful game, it's not the roll around and punish game. You are with very few exceptions just meant to force enemies onto the backfoot yourself. They're the ones playing Dark Souls it's your turn to be on the attack.

I think there's a boss that teaches this lesson very well and I think after beating it a lot of players then have a way better time with the game but it's somewhat unfortunate that it comes after several mini bosses where that lesson would have really helped.

Doubly unfortunate that one of those mini bosses might be one of the only examples in the entire game where you break away from normal strategy.

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#34 Edited by Nodima (2654 posts) -

I never felt as roadblocked in Bloodborne as I do in Sekiro. Right now in Ashina Castle I know the locations of...three bosses? Lone Swordsman, Lady Butterfly and Ashina Elite are the ones I'm sure of, I feel like there's another one out there but I can't remember. If I land the deathblow on the Swordsman I can get him to about half health but the other two wipe the floor with me. I've watched Vaati's video and I can hold my own against just about any regular enemy I come up against, but these bosses are just whipping my ass in a way Bloodborne enemies never did.

But then I remember I felt the same way when I had the Drunk, the Spear Guy and the Ogre all marked out but couldn't see a way past any of that. The rush the night I cleared all of them, plus the first main boss and discovered like three new locations was so exhilarating. I'm trying the techniques laid out for these fights and I just don't have the dexterity to execute them, but I don't really feel beaten down, I just know this is not going to be a game I beat in a couple weeks.

Edit: In perfect hard boss tradition, I make a post about it and then immediately go get Lone Swordsman and Lady Butterfly in about ten tries each. Both of those fights have issues with camera control - in Butterfly's case, because she spends so much time in the air and in Swordsman's because the arena is so tight the camera has to break lock-in to not go into a full on panic. I'll admit that was a bit frustrating as in both cases it artificially increased the difficulty of the fights (I'm not a fan of the spirit attacks Butterfly has, either) but I did it (and I'm terrible)! Also stumbled across Snake Eyes and got him in just a handful of goes; he felt sort of like a hunter fight from Bloodborne to me (I like how that game's weapons make subtle appearances in other ways during this game) and I only ever had real trouble with those when there were more than one in a space.

I'm beginning to avoid the subreddit, though. I didn't play Bloodborne until last March so I have no idea how that game's community was in its initial window, but rather than helpful hints so much of what comes up on my feed from that sub are people using the differently abled, one-handed gamer's beaten of Corrupted Monk, or the fact they're already on their third New Game + run, as evidence that journalists are trash and anybody that wants From Soft to find ways to make their games more accessible are scum - in fact, Sekiro is the easiest game they've ever released and anybody who thinks otherwise just needs to delete the game. It's really taken a turn for the toxic as some people have really mastered the gameplay and others keep hitting these roadblocks, and I really hoped it would be the other way around after finding the Bloodborne community so inclusive and welcoming to players of all skill levels.

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#35 Edited by NTM (11902 posts) -

@ichthy: @efesell: I know how it works, I just on some occasions have a hard time engaging in it because to learn their moves, you more or less have to fight them. I just beat one of the mini-bosses that was giving me trouble. When I posted that, it was coming from being frustrated and tired. Also, I find it very easy not to want to play it like the Souls games because from the get-go I could tell it wasn't similar, however, Sekiro brings a challenge all on its own, and that alone I am finding hard to master. It's not because I'm trying to play a Souls game. This game, more than any of the Souls games I find, you have to be even more patient. For example, if you die you pretty much have to sneak kill everyone around before attempting the mini-boss again if you want to start with the upper hand, and if you keep dying it can get tiresome, leading me to fail due to frustration as I just want to hurry through. I actually came on to ask others if they turn the saturation up in the game. To me, I did it and I find it hard to go back. To me, it looks more realistic and makes the colors pop similar to how HDR should be doing it.

Edit - Oh, and going back to how it doesn't entirely feel like a Souls game, I'm also curious if anyone else changes their controller mapping? Mine is changed much from the default and I find it works just fine for me. The attack is X, grappling is Y, crouch is B, deflect/guard is LT, action LB, step dodge/sprint RT and the prosthetic tool is RB. I made the controls a bit more similar to typical third-person action sword games maybe.

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#36 Posted by NTM (11902 posts) -

Another update. Alright, although difficult, I think I got it down. I just wasn't patient enough and I needed to be braver, which is what was lacking when it comes to those mini-bosses. It shows about the same intensity as the Soulsborne games but in a different way because instead of my heart rate going up because it takes so much time to defeat a boss as I wait for an opening, my heart pumps up because I'm trying to time deflects, strikes and dodges. The thing is though, my hands don't sweat as much because, at least so far, the ramp of intensity shorter. In the Souls games, when I inched ever closer to a bosses health being down, my hands would start to sweat and my heart rate would go up. That's a little different here because the time it takes is different. So far, this is just as good as any of the Soulsborne games. I defeated the 'first' boss (I put it in quotes because I think it depends on where you go) Gyoubu, and I thought he was pretty easy, even compared to the mini-bosses I've fought before.

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#37 Posted by Efesell (4632 posts) -

@ntm: The only change I made to the controls was to swap Change Prosthetic and Use item so that I can heal quickly with a face button.

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#38 Edited by Stephen_Von_Cloud (1696 posts) -

At first the game was kicking my ass so hard I thought it was the hardest of all but after some time, not the hardest for sure. The thing is it does vary a lot though. The moment to moment gameplay is not as hard as maybe any Souls game to me but the bosses are another story.

I came on here when early in the game and was railing against the game difficulty but after some time have learned how to adapt to it enough and figure out how the game is really to be played. I also was looking at things like the lack of RPG upgrades to stats and saying "well I don't get anything more in this game!" but it's really not the case, which you see as you go along. Attack power and things do increase, it's just a very different system.

To me it is in DS II to III territory. I think difficulty wise III was badly done and this has not been that yet for me. But this is from someone who is not really so far in the game yet.

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#39 Edited by SirPsychoSexy (1646 posts) -

The bosses in this game are far harder than anything in any other souls game, except maybe DLC stuff, which I have not played. I felt I could get away with well timed rolls, attacks, and very infrequently a parry or two, with pretty much every other souls boss. You can't do that here.

I mean after 5 or 6 hours I felt confident as fuck, like I knew what to do in pretty much every scenario, but sure enough boss after boss comes along that just destroys you. You essentially need to memorize every one of the bosses moves and have near flawless execution time and time again. I love it.

There were multiple points where I was sure, nothing in the game could be harder than x boss except maybe the final boss. I have been wrong every time.

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#40 Edited by NTM (11902 posts) -

Not sure about bosses, I've only fought two (Lady Butterfly and Gyobu Oniwa) and I beat them in my second and third try which was relatively easy, however, I'm having a much, much harder time with the mini-bosses. The only mini-bosses that I had a relatively easy time with was the one on top of the steps yelling to his soldiers near the castle, and the bull which I beat my second try. The first try was just seeing what he was doing. I'm currently trying to fight the Ashina Elite and he's super hard; I left him and tried fighting another mini-boss, but left that one to come back to him. I'm looking at his hands to wait for the glimmer indicating I should dodge to the left because otherwise, no matter what his attack will hurt you. I can get him down a bar at times, but it's intense enough that I can't time it right. It's stressful/frustrating. This might be one of those 'just come back and do it later' kind of thing, but dang. I'm at the point where, while definitely not throwing my controller (I just don't do that kind of thing), I am swearing (although, not yelling yet mind you, ha ha).

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#41 Edited by SirPsychoSexy (1646 posts) -

@ntm said:

Not sure about bosses, I've only fought two and I beat them in my second and third try which is relatively easy, however, I'm having a much, much harder time with the mini-bosses. I'm currently trying to fight the Ashina Elite and he's super hard. I'm looking at his hands to wait for the glimmer indicating I should dodge to the left because otherwise, no matter what his attack will hurt you. I can get him down a bar at times, but it's intense enough that I can't time it right. It's stressful/frustrating. This might be one of those 'just come back and do it later' kind of thing, but dang. I'm at the point where, while definitely not throwing my controller (I just don't do that kind of thing), I am swearing (although, not yelling yet mind you, ha ha).

If you want a big tip... I struggled like hell with him until I just decided to kill him solely with posture damage, then he became super easy. H does 2 attacks in a row so you need to parry at least twice when you see the shimmer. I think you can even spam the parry button then entire fight, other than when you need to jump his sweep and beat it pretty easily.

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#42 Edited by NTM (11902 posts) -

@sirpsychosexy: No, your health bar goes down a bunch if he hits you with his main attack even when guarding/parrying, which is unsheathing his sword. If I could parry him, I would, but you can't do that aside from one which is a punch (I never did parry that though). I've been dodging left, attacking once or twice, allowing him to make his 'super' attack or whatever it's called and attacking twice again. His vitality goes down quick, it's just a matter of being able to time the dodge correctly. I'll suicide try parrying him though to see if it works again...

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#43 Posted by SirPsychoSexy (1646 posts) -

@ntm said:

@sirpsychosexy: No, your health bar goes down a bunch if he hits you with his main attack even when guarding/parrying, which is unsheathing his sword. If I could parry him, I would, but you can't do that aside from one which is a punch (I never did parry that though). I've been dodging left, attacking once or twice, allowing him to make his 'super' attack or whatever it's called and attacking twice again. His vitality goes down quick, it's just a matter of being able to time the dodge correctly.

You can definitely parry his main attack thing and take no damage. I beat him without swinging my sword beside the deathblows. You just need to parry every one of his attacks in the combo. It is difficult since it is super fast, but his posture will take huge damage if you do it. I would try literally walking in and spamming L1 as fast as you can for a minute and see what happens. If you are blocking and not actually deflecting/parrying you will take damage no matter what.

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#44 Edited by NTM (11902 posts) -

@sirpsychosexy: Maybe not the same boss we're talking about? That said, doesn't matter now. I took a break since I went to eat dinner, and came back and beat him. I did attempt to parry, but that's not possible unless you're talking about the move where he has the red lettering above his head? I just dodge or jumped it and attacked him after that. Whatever, he's dead, I can move on. Ha ha. It's not really a blocking game, you really only block to get your gauge down faster, I know that. Also, I hadn't seen the video, but that guy whooped his ass. Damn... I didn't dodge to the right though, just left. Maybe that was the issue. Fuuuudge.

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#46 Posted by SethMode (2098 posts) -

You can block everything he does that isn't preceded by that on-screen notice. He was overwhelming at first because his attacks do a lot of damage, but he's actually maybe the easiest sub-boss I can remember (at least, if you're talking about the one that I think you are in Ashina Castle). His posture goes down SUPER quickly, so if you keep up the pressure you can work it off REALLY fast.

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#47 Edited by Nodima (2654 posts) -

@ntm: I can concur with this sentiment, and I'm beginning to think (and I'm sure the people that have beaten this game can probably affirm) that the mini-bosses are extremely microfocused on certain tasks. One encourages using stealth to crowd control, two encourage the thrust counter, one encounters aggressiveness in tight spaces, one encourages advanced dodging skill, one encourages advanced parry skill, etc. It feels backwards relative to other games, but is actually kind of appreciable that the mini-bosses are essentially wildly intense training scenarios for specific mechanics.

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#48 Posted by Ares42 (4369 posts) -

@nodima: I wouldn't say it's so much about the bosses being micro-focused as it's about the combat being focused on these mechanics. Sure, some of the early minibosses try to teach you certain interactions, but it doesn't take long before most of them cover most of the spread of mechanics. But no matter what, as long as you're fighting another samurai it's gonna be about parrying normals, jumping over sweeps and grabs and countering thrusts. That's just what the combat is.

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#49 Edited by NTM (11902 posts) -

@nodima: Yep, that's true. Each one that's of a different type of enemy I've encountered so far demands you use different tactics. It feels exactly like it's teaching you how some enemies work differently from others, just in a more challenging way, forcing you to get it right.

@sethmode: As said, I already beat him, and yes his vitality goes down fast. I just wasn't dodging the right way. The attack he did most on me was the attack that wouldn't allow deflecting, and so far he was the hardest one, mainly because I wasn't doing it right I guess. It seems he is 'easy peasy' as I've seen put. So, I should I tested out different strategies. Currently, on Genchiro, I died three times. I know I can beat him; he seems less difficult than the guy that I just fought before, but right now I'm done playing it. I need to take a break.

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#50 Posted by SirPsychoSexy (1646 posts) -

@ntm: Yeah that's the same boss I was referring to. GL on the next guy he was difficult, but fun as hell