A scene from Nioh. Image courtesy of Mercado Libre Argentina
As more and more players are interested in the Dark Souls series, other game developers started making games that resembled the Souls series in difficulty level, the “death penalty” mechanic, and even the map design. These games were known as “souls-clone” or “souls-like”.
“Nioh”, the so-called Samurai Soul is one example. This game has very similar mechanics with the Souls series. Another example is Hollow Knight – a 2D platform that has the difficulty of the Souls series. From Japanese game development company Fromsoftware, they created Bloodborne – a Gothic-Victorian-themed “Dark Souls”. Bloodborne is also one of the most popular PS4 exclusive and that’s the reason why that this kind of game is called “Soulsborne”.
Image courtesy of HorrorWire
After achieving great success from Bloodborne, Fromsoftware released Darks Souls 3 – the third and final game in the Souls series. Dark Souls 3 cloned some of the mechanics from Bloodborne and its core mechanic got polished. It is also the closing chapter of the Dark Souls series, wrapping up the story that was built up since Dark Souls 1.
After the end of the Souls series, Fromsoftware announced Sekiro: Shadows die Twice, an Action RPG that is so unforgiving that many Souls “veteran” said that it was harder than Soulsborne games in the past.
While Sekiro shares many mechanics from Dark Souls, such as the unforgiving difficulty and the loss of currency punishment if you die, it also has a lot of things that differentiate itself from other Soulsborne or Souls-like games. It removes the multiplayer aspect of the series, removing the stat customization, various weapon types, and different kinds of magic and sorceries.
In this game, you will play as “Okami – the Wolf”, a Shinobi who failed to protect his master, lost his left arm, and have to bring him back using his ninja skills and a new “shinobi prosthetic arm”.
The combat systems are also changed and focus on parrying the attack more than blocking and rolling as in Dark Souls. The storyline is also more straight-forward, unlike the Souls series where you go through the worlds in which major events had already happened, the story and situation of Sekiro is more linear and easy to understand.
Sekiro gained a good reputation as a new Soulsborne game and has reached more audience. The combat is so challenging and the story is so engaging that it is much easier to understand by the new audience. All of this combination makes Sekiro a very successful game and as a result, Sekiro won the Game Awards 2019 “Game of the Year”./.