Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the next game from the acclaimed studio FromSoftware published by Activision. Famous for the legendary Dark Souls series, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice promises to be as engaging and hard as the Dark Souls franchise if not harder. The director of the game and chief of FromSoftware, Hidetaka Miyazaki has promised new gameplay elements that sets it apart from the previous releases by the studio. While aggressive combat and skill with weapons forms the backbone of most FromSoftware games, this new title promises exciting stealth-play as well.
The story and setting
Set in 16th century Sengoku Japan, the game takes place at the heart of significant conflict. The protagonist is a resurrected ninja with a prosthetic arm which stores a multitude of different weapons and movesets. The shinobi or ninja is initially left for dead with his arm being slashed off by a samurai from the Ashina clan. Now fully resurrected and his missing arm being replaced by a weapon-equipped prosthetic arm, he must fight his way through a bloody and conflicted Japan. Just like the previous games of Dark Souls and Bloodborne, Sekiro also has a special relationship between gameplay and the death of the protagonist which is shown in the various gameplay and story trailers that we have received so far. The prosthetic arm that our ninja hero wields is capable of various modifications which unlocks an arsenal of new moves such as flamethrowers, rope darts, axes, shurikens and more. The game can be thought of as a mix between Dark Souls and an older stealth game known as Tenchu.
Looking at the gameplay one can immediately notice that FromSoftware has done a commendable job of introducing some verticality and platforming into this new game which as sorely missing from its previous titles. By utilizing the aforementioned rope darts our hero is able to swing across trees and buildings and land on rooftops fighting his way through a horde of enemies. The game also has no tropes attributed to typical RPGs such as character creation, classes, weapon upgrades, and no multiplayer options. Also, unlike typical hack and slash games, in Sekiro you don’t attack to slowly deplete your enemy’s health points. Instead, the player has to attack the opponent’s poise and balance. The idea is to throw your opponent off-guard in order to land a single killing blow. Various enemies are vulnerable to different kinds of moves and attachments on the prosthetic arm. The player needs to experiment with various kinds of moves and figure out the vulnerabilities of each enemy.
Hidetaka Miyazaki has promised that the game is not going to compromise on the difficulty level that hardcore fans of the previous titles have come to expect. If nothing else, the game promises to be harder than the Dark Souls franchise. This is surely going to light up wild expectations in terms of boss fights and level design in the hearts and minds of the fans.