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Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice To Be Nothing Like Dark Souls, Says Developer

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a third person character action title by developer From Software, better known for their work on the Dark Souls titles.

Over the past few years, From Software have put out a number of titles including Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls I, II, and III, and Bloodbourne, all of which have shared a number of key similarities: First off, all of these titles are third-person character action games featuring large, open environments, dark themes, a focus on melee combat, and a punishing difficulty. Second, they’ve all had RPG mechanics, including leveling up, finding and upgrading gear, customizing and naming characters, and developing a ‘character build’ to establish one’s playstyle.

But according to an article on PCGamer, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will feature some big changes from the traditional formula that fans have grown to expect by From Software titles. The largest and most striking of these changes is that Sekiro is not an RPG.

This means there’s no leveling up or character classes. There’s no upgrading or updating gear based on drops gained from enemies. There’s no acquisition of new items, except for a few gadgets that spice up the exploration and combat systems. The death mechanic is also totally different, and won’t have players rekindling bonfires or collecting lost souls, but rather have them coming back from the dead on the spot (Link to the one about resurrection once it gets published).

For many die-hard Dark Souls fanatics, this might sound like enough reasons to jump ship – but understand that for every old mechanic that is lost, a new one is going to be introduced. And From Software has verified that this title intends to keep a tight grasp on the punishing level of difficulty that fans of the developer have grown to love – and hate – and love again.

This title takes place in a re-imagination of feudal Japan, complete with a host of dark stories and darker mysticisms, which, seeing the direction they took medieval Victorian time periods, makes perfect sense for a title by From Software. Most of the opposition seen in the game’s short E3 Demo had the player facing off against human warriors, but we’re sure to see some slightly more monstrous – and far more deadly – foes crop up down the line.

And remember those new items mentioned earlier? This game still isn’t an RPG, but those items will play a big part into just how different Sekiro will be. The game has the player controlling a Shinobi Warrior, and the items you collect can be slotted into your prosthetic arm that replaces a limb you lost in battle. You’ll always be using the same katana blade in your main hand, so outfitting yourself with the most useful suite of gadgets for your playstyle will be key to surviving in the world of Sekiro.

Players can equip an axe to their off-hand which can be useful for bursting down enemy shields, use a shield themselves for blocking blows, or a torch to add in some fire damage. Some tools also feature combo-uses with the main hand, such as one instance where the player thrust their blade through the torch’s flames, adding fire damage to their strikes.

In addition, the game will focus much more on placement and positioning, encouraging players to plan their approaches carefully to avoid being overwhelmed. This comes in several forms: First is the grappling hook seen prominently in the E3 demo that allowed for a never-before-seen level of verticality and freedom of movement, at least for a From Software title. The second is the combat itself, where foes bash against each other’s “posture” rather than health. With posture remaining, players and foes will easily block any sword strike to come their way, but depleting the gauge allows either party to move in for a brutal – and satisfying – special kill animation.

We’re excited to see how these systems interact with the rest of the regular gameplay flow when more about Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is shown off in the future. The game is set to release at some point in 2019 and will be available on launch for PC and all current-gen consoles.

Featured Image Via Flickr / steamXO

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Maya Asregadoo

    August 2, 2018 at 12:54 am

    I’ve commented this on so many different articles that, at this point, it’s a bit of a tired point– but, I’m sad to see so many developers ditching the RPG style.

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