Those itching for an action game set in feudal Japan need to look no further than Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Developer FromSoftware wants to produce authentic world building while still adding the studio's own unique twists and flavors.
What is Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice?
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the latest venture from Dark Souls and Bloodborne creator FromSoftware. Unlike the aforementioned titles, it deemphasizes certain role-playing mechanics and opts for a third-person action-adventure experience set in the Shengoku period of feudal Japan. You won't be able to create a character or choose a class like you may be accustomed to. Instead, you'll be put into the shoes of a protagonist of FromSoftware's design.
Slash your way through feudal Japan and reclaim your honor
Awakened after an attack from the Ashina clan leaves you a disfigured shinobi without an arm, you go on a quest for vengeance to reclaim your honor and save your lord who was captured. Dubbed "the one-armed wolf," you'll use your katana and newly acquired prosthetic to aid you on your journey.
As stated in our preview of Sekiro, FromSoftware wasn't aiming for complete historical accuracy. Though it does take place during a real time in history, the game will feature supernatural elements inspired by Japanese legends.
Don't expect a typical Dark Souls experience
While its Dark Souls influences can be seen, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is its own beast, not to be contained in the shadow of FromSoftware's iconic series. As mentioned earlier, don't expect heavy role-playing mechanics. Those looking to find that exact "Dark Souls" experience may find themselves disappointed, but Sekiro does retain that series penchant for brutal and unforgiving combat, albeit in a different manner.
You won't be methodically chipping away at your enemy's health, but you will chip away at their stamina. Sekiro focuses on deflections and parries, allowing players to weaken their targets and build up an execution meter and kill their enemy in one fell swoop. Aside from this, there is also room for stealthier techniques to dispatch your foes.
After defeating enemies, players will be rewarded with experience points that can be used to upgrade their prosthetic which can be used for both combat and exploration means. On top of that, your character will also have access to a slew of abilities that range from anything like imbuing your sword with fire to turning your enemy's blood into a smoke cloud that can camouflage yourself. And if a player ends up defeated themselves, they will have the choice to use the game's resurrection mechanic to respawn immediately at a cost, or respawn at an earlier checkpoint.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice features a semi-open world like Dark Souls, and will have temple hubs that act as places similar to Dark Souls' Firelink Shrine. This will house NPCs that can help you along the way.
Will it be enhanced for PlayStation 4 Pro?
FromSoftware hasn't confirmed any exact enhancements for PlayStation 4 Pro yet, but when asked by our colleagues at Windows Central at a preview event, Producer Andrew Petrie said that the team was trying to raise frame-rate and resolution. We found an "Adjust Picture Quality" menu within its settings indicating that players may have the choice between boosting performance or resolution, but Activision would not comment on the menu as it was not finalized.
Does it feature multiplayer?
The game will not feature any multiplayer elements like Dark Souls or Bloodborne do, nor will it contain any microtransactions. This is a purely single-player title. According to FromSoftware's Yasuhiro Kitao, multiplayer presented limitations that the team wanted to avoid.
And what I'm sure everyone wants to hear: You can indeed pause the game.
When can I play it?
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is releasing soon on March 22, 2019 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. You can pre-order it for $60.
Dark Souls meets feudal Japan
FromSoftware is transporting us back to feudal Japan where we'll be playing as a disgraced shinobi warrior set on a path to reclaim his honor and save his lord.
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Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life. You can find her posting pictures of her dog and obsessing over PlayStation and Xbox, Star Wars, and other geeky things.