Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is hard – unforgivably hard. If you stand among the countless players who’ve given up in the face of Sekiro’s inherent ...
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is hard – unforgivably hard. If you stand among the countless players who’ve given up in the face of Sekiro’s inherent difficulty, then a new easy mod may be just what the doctor ordered.
The freshly-released PC mod developed by modder Tender Box allows players to drastically scale down the difficulty of From Software’s latest and fastest-selling IP.
Among the tweaks, protagonist Sekiro sees a boost to his attack power and posture gauge alongside buffing of defensive stats in the face of enemy attacks. The changes don’t stop there, as the mod removes the all-too pesky terror mechanic, grants an infinite supply of spirit emblems, eliminates fall damage, and removes the time-limit on the Puppeteer Ninjustsu backstab death-blow skill.
For anyone who’s managed to beat Sekiro, this list of changes removes much of what makes the game fun and dilutes it to the point of most other middling triple-A action-adventure games.
It’s a terrible idea for anyone who wants to experience the game as it was meant to be and gives lazy players the ultimate cop-out.
For those that are struggling, an easy mod may seem like a welcome boon, but it detracts so much from the core tenet of gratification that experiencing Sekiro through its watered-down lens spoils the game. Boss fights become negligible speed bumps, and much of the palpable thrill of these encounters evaporates.
The infinite Spirit Emblem facet is particularly problematic. Spirit Emblems are a precious commodity. Strategies are developed based on this limited supply of what is effectively ammunition for Prosthetic tools. Without a clear cap on their usage, the player can unleash a barrage of attacks free of consequences, that would otherwise result in a swift death.
The same applies to the absent terror mechanic, which forms a central part of the game’s most challenging enemies. A terror gauge fills up as damage is sustained and when it tops out, the player unceremoniously dies. Without it, fights become trivial affairs rather than high-stakes tactical battles.
A common complaint is that Sekiro is hard for the sake of being difficult. And while From Software banks on complexity as one of the main appeals of its games, the excuse rings more as justification for the defeatism of those who’ve failed to get to grips with Sekiro.
Yes, Sekiro is hard, but it’s also entirely beatable.
Unfortunately, a culture that mars the idea of perseverance when playing games that fall within the SoulsBorne category does the game no favors. The meme-worthy spread of the ”Git Gud” retort perpetrated by skilled, but toxic, players can act as a deterrent to enjoying the game for what it is.
When a struggling player enters into that realm of noxious quips, surrendering to what appears to be an insurmountable obstacle and calling it a day on the game seems like the right decision. But the unmatched satisfaction of persevering in Sekiro has a quality that few games can match and provides genuine emotion that lingers in the player’s mind for a long time afterward. This is why Sekiro is difficult – it means something to the player.
Sekiro is about scaling a steep learning curve, attuning oneself to the ins and outs of combat mechanics, dying, dying some more, feeling the adrenaline pumping through one’s veins, suffering a few more brutal defeats, and then finally overcoming what once seemed an impregnable throng of bosses.
Learning the attack patterns of an enemy, knowing when to be aggressive and when to lay off, and timing a perfect deflection becomes balletic – a gracefully focused and precise waltz.
And all this, unaided, by one’s own volition and through sheer determination. Punching the air after defeating a tough boss becomes a ritual and almost instinctive show of defiance. An easy mod strips Sekiro of that visceral desire to power through and succeed.
Forgoing this truly unique experience by giving in to an easy mod is equivalent to pillaging the game of what makes it so great. As someone who’s spent the better part of sixty hours intimately acquainted with Sekiro’s death screen; trust me, you’re doing yourself a disservice.