It's been three years since
Bloodborne and eight since Dark Souls, and though the latter is easily one of the most influential games of the decade by a landslide, there's nothing quite like a new release from FromSoftware to see how the grandmasters themselves innovate on established formulae.
With that in mind, Sekiro straight-up thermonuclear detonates the foundations of
Soulsborne gameplay to create something that's just as much about slow-burn stealth, as
all-out action and counter-prompts. There's a pace to Shadows Die Twice that's utterly
exhausting through sheer relentlessness; the game's revised combat putting the focus on reading enemy animations to parry specific attacks, resulting in a level on concentration no other title has ever come close to.
Factor in a stamina-lite "Posture" meter denoting when you might stagger under pressure or open yourself up during an attack, and battles can be won or lost with literally every sword swing.
To survive in the harsh, Feudal Japanese landscape FromSoftware have devised will take patience, skill and a few thousand restarts, but there is a TON to Sekiro's gameplay that isn't remotely covered in its tutorial sections.