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Tuesday, Jan 31, 2023

Description

Say goodbye to armor, primary weapons, varied and complex builds, emotes and any other roleplaying elements, coop, and pvp. This is not a soulsborne game and fans of the soulsborne franchises should not be misled into believing that the gameplay is similar. Virtually every system has been overhauled, for better or worse.
In some ways this title is more friendly to new players than
Say goodbye to armor, primary weapons, varied and complex builds, emotes and any other roleplaying elements, coop, and pvp. This is not a soulsborne game and fans of the soulsborne franchises should not be misled into believing that the gameplay is similar. Virtually every system has been overhauled, for better or worse.
In some ways this title is more friendly to new players than previous ones because you'll never have to look at wall of stats that you'd have to dig around online to make sense of and you won't have the training scars from playing earlier titles. But in another way, it's much more hostile to new players because the difficulty scaling is unprecedented even for a From Software game.
Grinding is mostly ineffectual as the only reward you get for grinding is Sen (the primary currency, which can be used to purchase consumables and in some cases prosthetic attachments) and Skill Points, which are used to purchase new acrobatic abilities for your character (only one of which can be slotted at a time). You cannot increase your HP pool or Posture by grinding and you cannot summon friendly NPCs to assist you in boss fights, meaning that when you get stuck on a boss your only option is to continue slamming your head against that wall until you win or quit the game.
Many returning FromSoft fans that are hostile to new players, casuals, and the notion of accessibility in game design will see these changes as improvements, however I generally see them as a step backwards. I don't think it's good game design for the basic narrative elements to be inaccessible to many players (even some who are willing to spend countless hours trying to 'git gud').
My single biggest complaint with the game is the reductive nature of the new combat system. Many players seem to feel that the combat system is more complex than ever, but I disagree and I will enumerate my reasons why: Poise has been all but removed from the game, weapon arts have been replaced by acrobatic skills, stamina management was replaced by posture, spirit emblems effectively replaced FP, the prosthetic replaced spell attunement, and the jump mechanic replaced the kick. The vast array of sorceries, miracles, and pyromancies (96 total in dark souls 3) have been replaced by 11 prosthetic attachments. In Dark Souls or Bloodborne there are a wide variety of different play styles and approaches that are equally viable for completing the PVE content. You can be a strong dude with heavy armor, a giant, slow weapon, and tons of poise that just knocks bosses on their asses and manages damage trades. You can use spellcasting as your primary strategy for virtually every boss in the game. You can use a dex character with high mobility and fast weapons that inflict status effects like bleed on enemies. They all do the job, and this fantastic variety makes for excellent replay value (even for the players that aren't interested in challenge runs).
That's just not the case in Sekiro. You have one weapon, one basic play style, and bosses only have one or sometimes two different basic strategies that are viable to beat them. To make things worse, many of the acrobatic skills that can be acquired that are supposed to make the player feel like they're making progress and getting deeper gameplay are completely nullified by certain bosses. For example, unblockable thrust weapon attacks and some kicks can be countered with a skill called the mikiri counter and unblockable sweep attacks can be jumped over, followed by a swift kick to the face that deals a lot of posture damage. Certain bosses, like Genichiro Ashina (a required boss for story progression), for example, can completely nullify these abilities and punish the player for trying to take advantage of them. This removes depth from the combat and this tactic the developers use to increase the difficulty of the game is equally artificial as tactics like making a boss' attacks deal so much damage they're all one-shot kills or tripling the HP pool of the boss to make it harder.
It certainly feels like the central principal of this game's design was to make it extremely difficult without regard for making the gameplay feel fair, varied, or balanced.
These drawbacks are such an intrusive impediment to enjoying the game that they overshadow many pleasant qualities in the game. I like that they tried to challenge returning hardcore players by removing I-frames from dodges. I like the new grappling mechanic and how this frees up the artists who designed the maps to add an entirely new dimension to the areas you play in. The visuals and voice acting are superb, and there appears to be just as much effort put into developing the lore of this game universe as previous titles. There are tons of different boss fights to be had in this game with 15 bosses and 29 Mini-bosses, although some of them are effectively just re-skins. I love FromSoft and their games, but I think this one was simply a step in the wrong direction. 6/10






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Developer: FromSoftware

Publisher: Activision (Excluding Japan and Asia), FromSoftware (Japan), 方块游戏 (Asia)

Release Date: 22 Mar, 2019

Genre: Action, Adventure, Open World, Hack and Slash, RPG

Minimum:

  • OS: Windows 7 64-bit | Windows 8 64-bit | Windows 10 64-bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-2100 | AMD FX-6300
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 | AMD Radeon HD 7950
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 25 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX 11 Compatible

Recommended:

  • OS: Windows 7 64-bit | Windows 8 64-bit | Windows 10 64-bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K | AMD Ryzen 5 1400
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 | AMD Radeon RX 570
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 25 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX 11 Compatible