Rough estimate of difficultly compared to other From games?

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NTM

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@sirpsychosexy: I think Genchiro is easier so far despite having two bars and two forms. I took a break, but I'll beat him the next time I play. Also, I totally forgot about this guy, but I found the videogamedunkey video pretty funny.

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Efesell

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I think my favorite overall moment of my Sekiro run was the two back to back attempts I had against that Ashina Elite. The first one I was killed, resurrected, and killed again by missing the parry on his Iaido both times and it was game over in under 20 seconds. The second attempt immediately after was victory in the same amount of time after parrying the same series of events correctly.

There are a couple of minibosses like this where you can win by being completely defensive and they might be my favorites.

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ichthy

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@ntm: Honestly, it sounds like you're have way less trouble than I was on most of the bosses. I didn't count how many times I died to Genichiro, but it took me a solid 3 hours or so.

Also for the Elite I couldn't get the hang of parrying the unsheathe attacks, so I just ran circles around him.

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takayamasama

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I just wrapped up my last playthrough for the Plat trophy and wanted to stop by this topic. Lotta people have discussed things in here so I may just be saying something other's said, if that is the case, apologies!

For just base level difficulty, Sekiro is the easiest From game since Dark Souls 1. It has an intimidating initial impression, especially for previous Souls fans as playing it like a Souls game is the wrong approach for 99% of the game, but once you learn Sekiro's rules, how to be aggressive, go on the offensive, parry versus dodge, etc, the game is much, much easier. It has a much lower skill ceiling then the previous games they've done.

Parts of it are still real rough, especially if you aren't quick on understanding you may be playing it wrong, as I was. I brute forced my way to Genchiro treating it like a Souls game, and he stomped me into the ground for a good long while. Once I reevaluated my approach and my style, it got super easy and never really changed.

It's a fantastic game and I'm super glad From put such a twist on their next game, as Bloodborne disappointed me quite a bit with just how "soulsy" it was. Sekiro truly is it's own thing, and while rough at times, always fair provided you've listened to what the game is telling you.

I hope people enjoy the game a lot. I know the debate is raging about if it's "too hard" and all that, as it does every time one of these games releases, but I truly feel that a lot of people that write it off as too hard would really enjoy this game, as long as they start slow and just don't assume they will fail automatically. These games require patience, and while that is your average gamer's least common trait, this game rewards you with some amazing moments and feelings should you have it.

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NTM

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@ichthy: I ran circles around him too, just the wrong way to get an easy kill it seems. Anyways, I'm definitely not done playing the game or anything like that, but as an early birthday present my brother just bought me DMC 5, so I'll probably get through that first.

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Pezen

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@takayamasama: Having dealt with a few bosses and a variety of enemies now, I am inclined to agree with you. The intimidation factor I felt in previous From games is all but gone, I still die a ton if I mess up or trying to figure out a boss. But I feel like I am able to read the game much easier than I did even with Bloodborne and the grapple hook and verticality makes me feel like it's easier for me to get the upper hand on a lot of enemy encounters from the start.

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Quantris

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#57  Edited By Quantris

context: I'm slowly making my way through, I'd guess I'm about 50% done story-wise

I think early on I died a lot more (compared to DS1 / DS3) but I'm not sure that is enough to say it is *harder*. It just takes some getting used to. TBH most of the roadblocks seem to be basically checks on "how good are you at deflecting" so once you get the hang of that it sort of feels quite easy. I agree with the other posts saying the skill ceiling is lower than Souls games. It's kind of going for a different thing.

I recommend to allow yourself to think like a shinobi: take advantage of any weakness. i.e. cheese the hell out of it. Nobody can call you cowardly if they're all dead. If you find it too easy that way then sure ring the demon bell and/or impose your own handicaps like "no backstab cheese". That said there will be plenty of points where you'll have to try them several times...just try to approach them smartly rather than trying to make a flawed strategy work (for example I was prone to trying to nail tiny dodge windows early on, when really the smart thing is to block/deflect & punish). The "special" counters (jumping on sweeps & mikiri on thrusts) seem to be almost always good things to base your attack plan on, the timing for them is deceptively generous, and several scary enemies have some obvious strings that end in these.

From the perspective of mechanical skill, I so far didn't find it too demanding (I'm not young). It's more of a rhythm thing than a reaction thing most of the time.

The lack of weird jank compared to e.g. DS1 makes it so that the areas between bosses are pretty much cakewalks if you take them sneakily (as long as you avoid jumping into the midst of tons of enemies, though eventually you'll be so OP that even that won't be a problem). Resurrect can often be finagled into a free backstab against regular mobs.

You get *tons* of healing and the penalty for dying-for-real is minor. Many bosses have a checkpoint very close-by. I did feel that early on it is hard to know what to do to take advantage of punish opportunities (your attacks never feel that strong), so some of those fights can feel like a slog.

Don't slam your head against Lady Butterfly too early IMHO. You can get to that point quite early if you want (and you should get some of the gear from the estate as soon as you can) but she's far from the easiest boss available to you early on. I definitely fought her early on and agreed with people saying that was hard, but when I decided to switch gears the game felt a lot easier for a stretch, and I went back to take her on with some upgraded stats and more experience with deflects & countering.

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StrikeALight

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I think its the hardest.

It's not really comparable with the Souls games, as there was more room for adaptive playstyle in those games.

With Sekiro, the parry is such a fundamental skill, that you are forced to utilize it alongside rote memory of the enemy's attack movements.

I have found myself choking under pressure way more than any of From's previous games.

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Humanity

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@takayamasama: I think a lot of people think the game is easier in retrospect but it is actually very challenging the first time you play it, which doesn’t make it easy just because you get better later on. The difficulty is rather inconsistent in my opinion. Some encounters require skill and are challenging but rewarding while others are grueling. The Corrupted Monk is a fight where deflection doesn’t really mean anything and you need rare (confetti) consumables to make it go by in a reasonable amount of time. His attacks destroy your poise and he even has a few that deal damage even when blocking. It’s just a long game of cat and mouse until his health is down to 1/5 and then finally the poise buildup steadily accumulates.

All the Dark Souls games are easier because you can approach them in various ways. Sekiro demands that you learn the parry and if you’re not good with split second timing then you will hit a wall constantly. Also for a game that demands such timing the performance on consoles is not good enough. I played the beginning areas on PC with a solid 60FPS and it was really night and day compared with my experience 20 hrs in on the Xbox One X.

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Efesell

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#60  Edited By Efesell

Final boss aside I think I would come down on Sekiro having the easiest mainline bosses From has done.

But several of the mini boss encounters, even when you know how to play Sekiro farily well, are far more threatening than anything in previous games.

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JasonR86

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I don't know, difficulty is such a weird thing to assess when comparing this game to the Souls-ish games. I mean other than the structure of the world, the game is pretty different. I'd personally say the biggest difficulty is getting used to the style of game it actually is, a stealth action game that punishes haste and button mashing and requires a lot of vertical movement. Which I've yet to come to terms with so it's hard for me to judge the game's difficulty on its own terms. But comparing it to other From games seems like a bad way to go.

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Efesell

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@jasonr86: I think a pretty key factor in coming to terms with Sekiro's style is the understanding that a certain degree of reckless haste is extremely valuable.

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JasonR86

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@efesell: Hah, then I clearly don't have a handle on this game. But I also beat all the From Souls games, Bloodborne, and even the King's Field games for God's sake. Which I suppose adds more credence to the notion that this game is not like those games.

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JosephKnows

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Having gotten the Platinum myself and beaten the game through NG+3 with all the different difficulty modifiers, I still have to say this isn't close to being in the lower end of the difficulty spectrum of the Soulsborne games. I also say this having completed all those other games multiple times through multiple NG+ cycles with no summoning and with all the major build types.

It really comes down to:

A) simply pressing the dodge button at the right time works 99% of the time against every non-gimmick enemy in all the Soulsborne games whatever your build

B) you only have to worry about whittling down an enemy's health bar in those games

C) Sekiro requiresa base level of reaction time to properly respond via blocking, dodging, OR deflecting, OR jumping, OR Mikiri counteringto overcome most of the game's mini-bosses and proper bosses. only a handful of bosses in the DLCs for Dark Souls 3 and Bloodborne demand a similar level of reaction time, and there are plenty of people who just don't have the reflexes. To be clear, I'm not making any value judgments on those people! It's just a fact that some people physically can't react fast enough!

and D) all the Soulsborne games openly present options for players who can't react fast enough or panic under pressure against tough encounters. Whether it's magic/ranged builds, the ability to grind for higher stats and just overpower enemies, or the simple ability to summon other players, a Soulsborne player isn't requiredto physically react quickly under pressure to progress through those games.

I think it's why the discourse around Sekiro's difficulty now seems even louder than the "easy mode" talk around the Souls games. Players frustrated with the difficulty of the combat just don't have any other option outside of modding in cheats than to directly engage with the combat, memorize attack patterns, and have the reflexes to respond properly, which can be physically impossible for some players with disabilities, if they wanna see more of the game.

On a completely personal level, I do think there isn't a single area in this game that comes close to being as hard to get through than any of the infamously hard areas in the previous From games. Sekiro's mobility, the stealth mechanics, and the sculptor idol placement make it so much easier to traverse areas. This is so obvious in NG+ onward, too, when you've got most/all upgrades and don't have to fight anyone in-between bosses. The mandatory combat encounters though more than make up for the lack of areas' relative lack of challenge.

Ranking of difficulty on my first playthroughs of each game from hardest to easiest:

Demon's Souls (yeah, nothing's topping my first time ever experiencing this kind of punishing game design philosophy) > Sekiro => Bloodborne > Dark Souls > Dark Souls 3 > Dark Souls 2

Subsequent playthroughs:

Sekiro (w/o Kuro's charm) > Bloodborne > Dark Souls 3 > Sekiro (base difficulty) > Demon's Souls > Dark Souls 2 > Dark Souls

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Efesell

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@josephknows: If nothing else I think it's very hard to argue that a run without the Charm is not way out of the rest of the series' league.

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TheRealTurk

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@humanity said:

Also for a game that demands such timing the performance on consoles is not good enough.

^ First off this. I've been playing on PS4Pro and it's a pretty miserable experience to get 90% of the way through a boss only to have the frame rate tank, throw off your parry timing, and cause you to get killed.

I've spent some a lot of time thinking on the question of whether this game is "too hard" or "needs an easy mode." (Danny O'Dwyer just posted a pretty good video on it over on NoClip). What I've noticed is that in a lot of the discussions surrounding the game "too hard" is really just a substitute for "I don't like this game." I've certainly been as guilty of that as anyone around here.

The conclusion I ultimately came to on difficulty is that I don't think the game is "too hard," because that's (1) subjective, (2) it does get easier once you "get" the game and (3) maybe FromSoft just wanted to make the game really, really difficult, which is fine.

I would instead phrase my complaint with Sekiro as being that I don't think that its difficulty serves the game particularly well overall. In other words, I don't think this game is any better for being as hard as it is than it would be if it were slightly more forgiving.

As far as having an "Easy Mode" goes, I would point to the fact that Dark Souls or Bloodborne didn't have an easy mode either. What those games did have was a means for each player to tailor their own experience. Too hard? You can grind our levels or reinforce your equipment. Too easy? Try new play style or use a Bonfire Aesthetic. In Sekiro, the difficulty starts at a certain level, and while you can make it harder via things like the bell, there is no way to make it easier if you think it's too challenging.

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Ares42

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I would instead phrase my complaint with Sekiro as being that I don't think that its difficulty serves the game particularly well overall. In other words, I don't think this game is any better for being as hard as it is than it would be if it were slightly more forgiving.

I'd sorta have to disagree with this. While I don't necessarily think this game is elevated due to the challenge I think it absolutely helps suppress many of the flaws of the game. Of all the "modern" From games this is by far the weakest on the design front, with a small world, a bunch of repeat bosses and areas and a lack of customization and combat styles. Without the challenge to function as the thing that keeps the experience dynamic and evolving all those issues would stand out even more. In Souls games the challenge functions more as a supplementary aid that helps all the pillars of the game stand out more, but in this game it's basically the last leg that keeps the game standing.

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Nodima

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#68  Edited By Nodima

I, on the other hand, do agree with this. Have I felt the rush I feel when I beat a nominally minor enemy like the Drunk or the Swordsman for the first time from many other games? No, not even Bloodborne, my only other From experience. But what I'm actually enjoying about this game is finding the new environments and secrets, fighting the normal enemies and using a mix of stealth and crowd management as well as the mobility of the grapple to zip around and confound the A.I.

The up front portion of the game is actually my favorite part and what I want to see more of, and the most frustration I have with this game has been this current moment where I just can't beat any of the bosses ahead of me and am not really getting appreciably better at the fights, either, leaving me to feel like I might not get to see more of this game if I can't get past these guys and that really sucks. I can say with certainty I never had that feeling in Bloodborne, I always felt like I could boost my HP or strength, or find some weapon or item or armor set that would give me a leg up in a tough fight.

Sekiro never for a second lets you imagine a world in which a certain fight is easier - the prosthetics can play a significant role, as can items from time to time, but they're never going to let you essentially say to the game, "I see what you're doing here with Rom, but I can't handle it, so I'm bringing the Tonitris this time and I'm gonna finish this in 30 seconds because I'm just ready to move on."

@humanity said:

Also for a game that demands such timing the performance on consoles is not good enough.

I would instead phrase my complaint with Sekiro as being that I don't think that its difficulty serves the game particularly well overall. In other words, I don't think this game is any better for being as hard as it is than it would be if it were slightly more forgiving.

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