Shadows Die Twice from developer FromSoftware

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

We previously reported on the reveal of long-teased Sekiro: Shadow Die Twice, during Microsoft’s E3 Press Conference this year. Now, we got further details on gameplay mechanics, online gameplay and more, on the gritty action-game from the developer FromSoftware.

Even before Sekiro was officially unveiled, ever since FromSoftware released a short teaser for their new project at The Video Game Awards last year, fans were trying to deconstruct every scene, trying to find meaning behind every detail in it. Understandably, many were expecting a new entry into the Soulsborne genre, FromSoftware handily created.

As such, viewers were surprised to see Sekiro not quite being yet another souls-type game, as they may have expected. The setting for once was one not seen before in those games. Feudal Japan. And the combat looked faster, albeit still deliberate and punishing.

Today, we got more details from the Japanese developer FromSoftware, through interviews they did with gaming press outlets USGamer. Unquestionably, the biggest news is the absence of a multiplayer component altogether.  Miyazaki answered if PvP would be included in Sekiro with this:

“We felt that by concentrating on a more single-player geared experience, we wouldn’t have a lot of the restrictions that came with a multiplayer framework. This allowed us to explore a fixed protagonist. [It’s] allowed us to concentrate on that one single-player class of the ninja, [to] have the player roleplay the ninja and various other factors as well. But this allowed us to really hone in on a single-player experience and create a new level of enjoyment based on that.”

A very bold move by the beloved developer indeed, to forgo a quintessential element of what made their soulsborne games such classics. It will be interesting to see what FromSoftware will be able to craft, now that they are no longer bound by designing the game around possible multiplayer scenarios. As noted above, Miyazaki and his team are trying to tell a more normal story this time around, with a fixed protagonist for every player. A cryptic narration was also standard for their previous Souls games, so we are looking forward to how these changes in direction will have affect the final product.

In terms of the combat aspect, Sekiro is also shaping up to become a different beast than what most have expected. Miyazaki notes that a battle for damage numbers will not be there anymore and further explains:

“In terms of combat, the idea is not to gradually chip down your opponent’s health. It’s a battle of postures. And so the idea is to wear down their posture, throw them off balance, and look for that one single opening—that one single chink in the armor—and lay in the finishing blow. So that’s the general approach of this combat system. 

We are really putting a high focus on this “anything goes” approach of a ninja. You can use stealth, you can attack from above, you can use the shinobi prosthetic tools. There’s a multitude of ways you can approach each encounter and we hope that allows for a lot more strategic opportunities for the player.”

After the original Demon’s Souls, 3 Dark Souls and a PS4 exclusive Boodborne, I have to admit, maybe a change like we are seeing with Sekiro is the right thing to prevent FromSoftware becoming a one-trick-pony type of developer who constantly churns out similar games. What we have seen and heard so far, fills out with confidence that we will be getting something new and special next year, when Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is supposed to release.

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