Some articles have been making their way around the internet decrying the difficulty and hardships present in From Software and Activision’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. The most prominent is from David Thier at Forbes, who waxed lamentations about the troubling journey he had in the third-person, hack-and-slash, Metroidvania title (and yes, it’s very much like a Metroidvania title).
Thier’s article was published on March 28th, 2019, titled “’Sekiro: Shadows Dies Twice’ Needs To Respect Its Players And Add An Easy Mode”. He was speaking on behalf of himself and the coddle-culture fostered by today’s Liberals, many of whom believe that grown adults need “safe spaces” and that mean words are the equivalent of “violence”.
“It’s time, once again, to revisit an old saw. It was true of Dark Souls 3, it was true of Bloodborne, it was true of all the other From Software games and will keep being true until the only acceptable conclusion: one of these games finally puts in an easy mode. That hasn’t happened yet, and so here we are. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice needs an easy mode. Hello, old saw. I’ll be honest, it’s not that nice to see you again. […]
“The fact that these games don’t have any difficulty settings means that only a certain sort of player with time, inclination, reaction speed and lack of physical issues will ever see the final boss fight anywhere but on Twitch. This is a problem.”
The short, four paragraph piece with an embedded tweet in the middle of it managed to spark quite the reaction when it was submitted to N4G, where it nearly hit 1,000 degrees in terms of heat.
Thier was promptly, and rightly, put into his place by real gamers.
The reaction spread across online, though, and a bunch of non-gamers whinged and cried digital tears into their social media accounts, clawing and pleading for an “Easy” mode to accommodate their lack of skill.
Ask yourself not if Dark Souls or Sekiro need an “easy mode”. Ask yourself what the games offer in terms of accessibility. Atmosphere is not altered by slowing enemies down or more assistive tutorials. Could a disabled person beat Father Gascoigne?
Can EVERYONE play? pic.twitter.com/y7GJcybQs2
— Kit Harrison! 🎮 🏳️🌈 (@KitFez) March 31, 2019
But it wasn’t just Forbes that had problems with the game’s difficulty. PC Gamer’s Shaun Prescott was also bleeding his manhood all over the page like some sort of menstruating typewriter whose masculinity had been split open by the spear of Sekiro’s difficulty. In a piece titled “I am never going to finish Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice”, Prescott wrote…
“It took a dozen hours before I decided I’d never see the end of Sekiro. The giant ogre was beaten, the forest Shinobi hunter was slain. Several prosthetic modifications were in my posession. I’d fended off a giant serpent and left a Drunkard to rot. I’d pressed through enough to believe that maybe I’d learned the lesson I was meant to learn, this lesson being that I should be careful and aggressive in equal measure. Sekiro is a game about combining instincts that are seemingly at odds. Or maybe it’s not about that, and that’s why I’m bad at it.[…]
“I’m lucky I didn’t put my hand up to review Sekiro. I was tempted to, because I’d completed every Soulsborne game. But PC Gamer wouldn’t have a review of Sekiro if that task had fallen to me. Perhaps the CEO of PC Gamer would have sacked me, my family would have disowned me, perhaps I’d need to move out and for lack of a job, I’d need to live in a cave and gradually go insane. I dodged a bullet there. I’m not going to finish Sekiro.”
You know what a real man would have done? He would have set aside time and efforts to get good at the game instead of admitting how weak and worthless he is. There is no honor in weakness.
Kotaku echoed Thier’s points, though, complaining that gamers with chronic pain or disabilities weren’t capable of playing games like Sekiro effectively, with Joshua Rivera writing…
“Some of the people arguing for an easy mode in Sekiro aren’t just doing it because they refuse to unlearn or adjust their normal play habits. As frequent Kotaku contributor GB “Doc” Burford has written, players who suffer from chronic pain or significant physical disability can find the skill threshold in From games wholly insurmountable. “With my chronic pain and fatigue issues,” Burford writes, “rapidly mashing buttons in games like Bayonetta or God of War can be physically draining,” and the die-and-repeat rhythm that FromSoft bosses like Bloodborne’s Father Gasciogne demand causes tremendous pain to accrue in his hand.”
This pathetic excuse is blown so clean out of the water by a disabled gamer who has managed to play through Sekiro so much more effectively than game journalists that one would have thought a 15 kiloton atomic bomb was the culprit behind Kotaku getting their crap blown out.
Blast Away The Game Review had a slightly different argument, claiming that the game needed an easier difficulty setting to accommodate people who don’t have time to play good games, and that it should be made easy to accommodate casual theme-park titles designed for non-gaming SJWs, like Horizon: Zero Dawn and Assassins’ Creed: Odyssey, writing…
“Trust me, I’m half-expecting the old and tired, “journalist’s just can’t play games,” mockery. This isn’t about me, I can play games among the best of them, but don’t expect me to speed run a game. I learn through trial and error, just as I did with Cuphead after I had to re-learn how to play a game such as it. Trust me, this game is hard, it’s the hardest FromSoftware game I’ve played, but I’ve progressed at a steady rate with the allotted time I have outside of reviews.
“But, again, this isn’t about me. This is about others, those we’re neglecting because of our mindset of “this is how a FromSoftware game should be played” and how it has calloused us into hardened veterans of such experiences over the years. Or perhaps, I want to be able to share my experiences with those who can’t play the games as us FromSoftware veterans do. I want to share my memories with them, my enjoyment of those games, and even encourage them to try harder difficulties once they have succeeded in their previous endeavors.”
Others, however, became livid at all the easy-begging from the journalist scrubs.
“Sekiro needs an easy mode.” Shut up and ACTUALLY learn to play the game you morons instead of just quitting because it’s “tOo HaRd” or something.#Sekiro
— JJ (@Sacr3dNinja) April 3, 2019
If I see another “Sekiro is too hard post” I’m branding you as a bottom
— Evan (@EvanGingerGuy) March 31, 2019
These gamers had the right mindset.
Heck, even William Hughes from A/V Club acknowledged that there was nothing wrong with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. The main issue was that he sucked at the game, writing…
I’m convinced that somewhere out there, the perfect Sekiro player must exist. A sword-swinging demigod trapped in a world of hapless chuds, this mythical beast’s reaction times are eminently exquisite, their sense of when to strike superb. In their day-to-day life, milquetoast millions walk past them, unaware that a shinobi mastermind moves in their midst, brain and hands perfectly equipped to bring down a horde of evil samurai with a series of perfectly timed parries and strikes.
“I am not this person. When it comes to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice—the latest exercise in compulsive frustration from From Software, the same team that brought you such controller-crushing masterpieces as that bit with the goddamn ghost archers from Dark Souls III—I, to put it bluntly, absolutely fucking suck.”
See that’s what a real man does.
He admits and acknowledges his faults and then seeks to improve them. He doesn’t fail to climb the hill and then beg the hill to shrink its stature to accommodate his physical ineptitude, he improves his physical abilities and he – through sheer will and might – conquers the hill.
This is the way of greatness. Never compromise; always improve.
Thankfully, there are a few people with common sense left, such as Erik Kain from Forbes, who actually wrote in favor of keeping games designed for real gamers; a pastime built around forcing people to grow and learn from their mistakes in order to harden their resolve and steel their skills. The title of Kain’s article says it all, really…
”No, ‘Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice’ Absolutely Does Not Need An Easy Mode”
(Thanks for the news tip Quickshooter)