I’m a relatively recent convert to From Software’s oeuvre. I tried Dark Souls back in the PS3 era, and I remember getting as far as the Capra Demon and then basically thinking “well, fuck THAT”. It wasn’t until last year, when I disappeared down a Bloodborne-shaped rabbit hole for about four months, that the brutal-instant-death-as-education gameplay loop that is Miyazaki’s calling card clicked with me.

I finished Bloodborne, loved every minute of it, and went on to play, finish and adore Dark Souls and Dark Souls 3 too (we don’t talk about Dark Souls 2). I’m no onebro, but I’m good enough to acclimatise to the difficulty, get through to the end, and appreciate these games as the peerless works of genius that they are.

Or so I thought. Enter Sekiro.

See, my Soulsborne play style is very much focused on dex and stamina; dancing around waiting for an opening, then getting in, doing some damage with a fast weapon, and getting out again before the next attack. It worked great for Bloodborne, and well enough for Souls 1 and 3. It didn’t matter that I sucked at parrying.

Sekiro doesn’t work like that, at all. Sekiro is all about parrying. Split second timing. Carefully watching the tells. You can’t dance around health-chipping the bosses in Sekiro. You have to out-fence them.

This I cannot do. I try and try and try but I just can’t get the timing, or maybe now I’m getting older my reactions just aren’t quick enough any more. Either way, it’s just not happening for me.

But that’s OK. I have a huge backlog of games. I’m going to play Far Cry 5 and Divinity, and then come back to Sekiro later. Maybe, as with Dark Souls, the penny will drop second time around.