Any new game idea to come out of developer FromSoftware is worth dissecting, especially after the unqualified masterpiece that was Bloodborne. And Sekiro isn’t just any idea: it’s the legend of the ninja reworked for a Dark Souls audience.
After watching director Hidetaka Miyazaki and his team filter the castles and steel-plated killers of Western history through their twisted imaginations for years, it’s a terribly exciting prospect to see them do the same with Japanese culture.
Specifically, Sekiro takes us to a fantastical version of late 1500s Sengoku Japan, at a point where tensions are rising and bloody conflict is guaranteed. Sekiro is our protagonist, the “one-armed wolf” - a hard-hearted warrior out to rescue his young noble master and bring revenge to his arch nemesis.
With Sekiro due out next year, here are the other upcoming PC games to look out for.
The studio has promised a friendlier and more approachable third-person action game than those in their recent past. But ironically, at least until information on the game becomes a little less scarce, this is the most opaque FromSoftware game around. Read on and we’ll help make things a little clearer.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice release date
Sekiro is coming to Steam in early 2019. We don’t yet know when exactly, but it’ll be a globally synchronised release, which isn’t always a given with Japanese games.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice trailer
You can watch Sekiro’s reveal trailer below, which features plenty of swishing swords and grappling hook action. More on that in a minute.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice gameplay
FromSoftware describes Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice as a third-person action-adventure game with RPG elements - which we can safely assume sits in the same genre as the Souls games, especially since Hidetaka Miyazaki is Sekira: Shadows Die Twice's director.
One of the biggest changes will be to difficulty. Sekiro is published by Activision, who has requested that FromSoftware tone down their famously gruelling approach to challenge. Miyazaki told Japanese site Game’s Talk that his team has taken on the publisher’s principles for “appropriate onboarding,” which means that Sekiro: Shadow's Die Twice's world design takes cues from Dark Souls.
That said, the director also suggests that Sekiro’s weird subtitle, Shadows Die Twice, is something of a warning. We’re still going to be dying, over and over, and satisfaction is going to come from persistence and coming up with the perfect approach to best an enemy.
There will be a regeneration system, where players have a few chances to resurrect themselves upon death. Strikingly, however, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice's progression system is very different: the game will feature no character classes, stats, levelling up, or souls to hoard and lose - all of which must have huge knock-on effects for its combat.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice screenshots
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice abilities
Sekiro isn’t named the “one-armed wolf” for no reason. The protagonist has lost a limb to dismemberment, and replaced it with a prosthetic that allows him to attach an array of ninja equipment.
Chief among those is the kaginawa, a grappling hook used to get around the map. Miyazaki hopes we’ll use it to explore the vertical space of the world FromSoftware has created. Given the studio’s fondness for hiding clever shortcuts in plain sight, it’s likely the hook will allow us access to new heights should we master it. Activision has promised beautiful vistas and enormous castles.
Beyond that, Activision has told us to expect “visceral head-to-head battle.” That will be fuelled by both “fearsome” enemies - like the chap in the trailer who looks like he’s stuck his head through a door - and “bizarre weaponry.”
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice multiplayer
Despite FromSoftware’s history of player invasion and assistance, there will be no Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice multiplayer will haveno multiplayer component.
“There is no multiplayer, since it is a fixed hero and a fixed class,” Miyazaki told Game’s Talk. “I removed the restriction imposed by multiplayer.”
Whatever restriction multiplayer imposed on Miyazaki’s design in the past, it’s there no longer. Let’s hope the trade-off will be worth it.