Sekiro was for me the undisputed GOTY for 2019. It is a master class in how to do a true single player action RPG. The story and overall aesthetic are fantastic. It is not as open-ended and vague as other From Software games like Dark Souls or Bloodborne. With Sekiro we get real cinematic cut scenes and a much clearer plot progression. You play as ‘Wolf’, a master ninja on a quest to save a divine child gifted with immortality. The lore delves into Japanese mythology and history with a little dash of cosmic horror. There are four different endings, all of them moving and appropriate in their own way. What’s more the level design and gameplay are fantastic.
Sekiro is as challenging as any From Software game and immensely satisfying once you master the sword combat. The rich back and forth rhythm of clanging swords during duels never gets old. The stealth is also much better implemented and enjoyable than in Elden Ring. The ability to jump and use a grappling hook adds an amazing sense of verticality to the interconnected world. The music is also great. I especially loved the Fountainhead Palace. Just a gorgeous environment with so much to explore both underwater and up in towering palaces and mountains.
Sekiro has one key weakness that is actually a compliment; there’s just not enough of it. It needed a bit more — weapon variety, build variety, character customization — something to give me more reason to come back to it. I don’t miss the multiplayer and it would not really fit with the story anyway. However Sekiro may be just a bit too stripped down for its own good. Still, an amazing experience. Doesn’t quite surpass Bloodborne for me, but it is up there.