Sekiro™: Shadows Die Twice

Modders have had a lot of fun with Sekiro, whether it be adding Thomas the Tank Engine or allowing us to murder Shrek. But this latest mod has a bit more staying power: it replaces the player-character with 2B from Nier Automata.

If you're a fan of Nier you won't need any more convincing, but in case you're yet to play Yoko Taro's bizarre triumph, 2B is a battle android with deadpan attitude. Sadly, that attitude is unlikely to shine through since this mod doesn't come with voice audio. But you can at least use a seperate mod to install a female voice track.

Created by asasasasasbc, the mod is available on Nexus Mods and seems pretty simple to install. You'll need to make sure you have the DS3 and Bloodborne Material Pack installed first to get the most out of it.

Here's some footage:

Grand Theft Auto V - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

WARNING: If you’re reading this, there is a very strong chance you’re looking at news on your favourite game. Please, it’s imperative you click on to discover crucial information.

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Sekiro™: Shadows Die Twice

From the feral beasts of Bloodborne to Dark Souls' assorted grotesques, FromSoftware has a habit of infusing its work with horror. Its latest game, Sekiro may have swapped out gothic spires and dungeons for silvergrass and sakura, but there's still darkness festering beneath the surface. Game director Hidetaka Miyazaki once explained "it's important to have that sense of fear and terror" in order for players to go onto overcome it.

One of these encounters with terror can happen early on in Sekiro. A little way past the Chained Ogre - one of the first signs that not all is well in the land of Ashina - is a small shrine clinging to a cliffside. Posted to one of its walls is a warning: "turn back if you value your life." If you choose to advance, using your grappling hook to swing round the cliffside and down into a cave below, you'll be rewarded with a confrontation with one of From's most disturbing enemy designs yet - as well as a quick death.

Inside the cave where the wind groans squats a Headless. This is one of several decapitated warriors that hide out in the dark, waiting to slice you into ribbons with their giant glowing katanas. Alongside several other monsters in the game, the Headless cause a build-up of Terror. When it reaches critical mass (the status bar filling up completely), you die instantly.

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Human: Fall Flat - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

OK, two things on the agenda. Firstly, I’m heading off on my expedition to attempt to break the Curse Of Steam Charts for the next couple of weeks. I’m returning to Ursidae, Caniformia, to find that ancient temple once more and attempt to appease the enraged spirit of Horace. Hopefully we’ll never speak again!

Secondly, Toby’s back! This week’s Steam Charts are brought to you through the filter of a four year old who was really excited about doing this again, but then got into a right grump about it as soon as we started. But his naming skills remain as excellent as ever.

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Sekiro™: Shadows Die Twice

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice may be a bit of a departure for From Software, but, like all the studio's recent work, it's resurrected the discussion regarding difficulty in video games.

Most commonly expressed, there is a fear that lowering difficulty levels would somehow detract from the quality of the game. A lot of the discussion around difficulty is simplistic, to say the least. It's often as simplistic as "git gud". Today I'd like to examine difficulty and a game's sense of challenge specifically through the lens of disability. Disabled gamers adapt to challenges every day, so why stop at games?

The way I see it, an easy mode designed with disabled gamers in mind should basically group various accessibility options together to allow disabled gamers to enjoy the same experiences as other players. Game designers want people to play their games. Accessibility enables challenging games to be made playable by removing the unnecessary barriers forced upon us. It's not making the game easier, but rather tailoring the experience to the broadest range of players.

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Sekiro™: Shadows Die Twice

I'm not sure where the hivemind is at re: Shrek, but I'm quite averse to him. Maybe as I age and attain greater emotional intelligence, I'll be able to deconstruct my ill-will towards Shrek. Is it the dopey smile? Is it his association with Smashmouth? Whatever the reason might be, I'm happy he's now modded into Sekiro as an enemy.

Thanks to modders Dropoff and Katalash, you can now replace the chained ogre mini-boss with Shrek. It's quite well done, as you can see in the below embedded Tweet:

I haven't finished Sekiro and never will, so seeing one of the game's early difficulty spikes suffer the indignity of being Shrek pleases me greatly. You can check out the mod here.

Sekiro™: Shadows Die Twice

No expansions have been announced yet for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, but FromSoft's previous games, Dark Souls and Bloodborne, have received important story expansions. They tend to tie up a lot of dangling story points (while delivering some exceptional boss fights and beautiful new areas), and Sekiro certainly has plenty of mysteries to explore. Let's take a guess at some new places a Sekiro expansion could go. Fingers crossed there's one in development!

Warning: the following contains a ton of spoilers for all of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

To the past, to visit Tomoe

Hat tip to the Sekiro wiki for the video.

You hear about Tomoe quite a lot throughout the game, in ability descriptions and booze chats, and in Genichiro’s second form when he uses Tomoe’s lightning techniques. She was a powerful warrior, almost able to outclass Isshin, and she either found a way to reach the Fountainhead Palace or originated from there. She appears to be dead during the events of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, but as the Hirata Estate area shows, From games can easily travel through time. 

Dark Souls and Bloodborne's expansions both served as prequels. There's clearly a lot of history between the Owl, Lady Butterfly, Isshin and Tomoe that a Sekiro expansion could really dig into, but Tomoe is the most mysterious of the bunch. Was she a human who managed to reach the Fountainhead Palace, or one of the Okami? Why did she teach Genichiro her arts, and what was her clan like? What was her relationship to Takeru and why did he take the branch to the mortal realm? An expansion could tie a few of these questions up, and Tomoe would probably make for a great boss fight.

To the era of Isshin's prime

If you side with the Owl when he asks you to betray the young lord, you learn that Isshin and Emma are obsessed with killing Shura. Shura are individuals who have fallen into a killing frenzy and are on a path to demonhood. If you reach one of the longer endings you discover that the Sculptor's visions of rising flames were a prophecy forseeing his transformation into a fiery demon of hatred. In the Shura ending Sekiro's left arm catches alight and he goes on to kill thousands throughout Japan.

This is interesting because Isshin makes several references to having faced Shura before. He's also credited with building the Ashina clan up and squashing rebellions during his prime. Who were the shura that Isshin hunted in this era? In the main game you can wheedle a few secrets out of him if you give him enough booze, but I'd take an expansion that explores his past in more detail.

To the west

In one of Sekiro's endings the Wolf leaves Japan with the Divine Child and makes for the west to "the birthplace of the Divine Dragon". That's a great setup for a sequel, but an expansion could cover it too. The setup has obvious parallels to  Journey to the West. Could we see Sekiro travel to China?

'The west' is rarely mentioned in the game, except for one curious description explaining that the Divine Dragon came from the west and put down roots in Japan (perhaps because of the area's rich earth, which supposedly attracts gods). Before you fight the dragon's full form you chop through dozes of corrupted, vomiting dragons of the old tree. Is their dragon's sickness caused by the infestation you fight throughout Sekiro, or did the dragon bring it from the west? Why did the dragon travel to Japan in the first place? Why is it, too, missing its left arm? 

An expansion could also do more to explain how the Divine Heirs work, and reveal how immortality, the Palace waters, carps, and Fountainhead nobles all fit together. Failing that, an expansion could always go deeper into the Divine Realm, which would mean more gorgeous palaces and cool gods to fight.

For more on the game, check out our roundup of the best Sekiro mods, and catch a glimpse of the upcoming Sekiro manga spin-off, which looks excellent.

Sekiro™: Shadows Die Twice

I'd love to know what passers-by would make of the sight of this bunch creating this video. It recreates a couple of Sekiro's outstanding boss fights and features an idol made of people. 

I love the attention to detail, like the state of the poor near-dead NPC, and the moment when Sekiro flexes as though the player has just tapped block while running around. Sekiro fights Lady Butterfly in what looks like an abandoned parking lot, and Gyoubu Oniwa rides a boxy horse, even managing to copy the boss' attack patterns.

I award additional bonus points for real life Shinobi candy, and very good use of authentic Sekiro UI and sound effects.

We're still obsessed with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Samuel's Sekiro brain levelled up when he fought Genichiro, and I've been searching for more great mods for our best Sekiro mods roundup. If you want to know what all the fuss is about, check our our Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice review.

Hat tip to boogie-verstan on Reddit.

PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

Haha, that was funny last week wasn’t it! Remember how we did that whole bit where I had left RPS, but then I was still stuck writing Steam Charts? Heh, they do some good goofs at this site. Anyway, let’s… [looks straight into camera]

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Sekiro™: Shadows Die Twice

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice's Hanbei the Undying is a handy NPC, sticking around to let you beat him up as you hone your skills. As his name suggests, he can deal with a lot of punishment. He's also the subject of a new spin-off Manga that's in the works, starting on May 27. 

Sekiro Gaiden: Shinazu Hanbei looks like it will fill in some of the cursed warrior's history, mostly with blood. Check out the extremely gory sample below.  

Like its predecessors, Sekiro is light on exposition and it makes you work for every scrap of story. Much easier to just put your feet up and ready a grisly comic instead. It's being supervised by FromSoftware and Monster Hunter: Flash Hunter's Shin Yamamoto is on art duties. 

It'll launch on the Comic Walker website on May 27 and it's also been licensed by US-based graphic novel publisher Yen Press, which also teased the story.

"The Sengoku Era…A time when losing a battle meant losing it all. The Sword Saint, Isshin Ashina, aims for world domination…That is, until he encounters a certain Samurai…"

Mysterious! 

Cheers, Anime News Network.

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