What we’ve seen so far of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has been an intoxicating 16th century Japan mixed with Dark Souls-esque combat. Naturally, that’s got us very excited, so we’ve done some digging to get you all the info that has been revealed so far about this hotly-anticipated game.
Let’s start off with the main character. He’s called The Wolf, and is an ex-shinobi who used to protect a young lord. However, at the very beginning of the game he is defeated in a dramatic battle that leaves him missing one arm and left for dead, while his young protectee is kidnapped.
Somehow, against the odds (but also, he’s the main character) The Wolf survives – and now he’s both out for revenge and on the hunt for his missing master. He’s also obtained an insanely cool prosthetic arm which can be upgraded to encompass all manner of nifty gadgets, like a grappling hook. A grappling hook. Take a look at how that works below from the demo we played at Gamescom 2018!
He’ll also have a voice, which is a bit of a departure from tradition for From Software’s other games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne. But it seems that having a talkative protagonist has allowed for exciting new things in terms of storytelling, since a Game Informer feature revealed there are going to be flashbacks and all sorts of neat dramatic content.
One thing that will be familiar to fans of Dark Souls and Bloodborne will be the existence of a central hub area, in this case called the Dilapidated Temple, where enemies fear to tread, items and skills can be upgraded, and locations become available for fast travel. You’ll be able to teleport there using idols and certain items, or you could always take the long route back there, as it’s connected to the main world you’ll explore.
But one of the biggest departures from the From Software tradition comes from how you level up. In Dark Souls and Bloodborne, players level up by earning skill points and spending them on character stats, like strength, dexterity, and so on – depending on the sort of character type you want to build.
But, according to the folks over at Game Informer, rather than building up stats to tailor your character’s abilities along a particular class route, The Wolf is a shinobi to the core, and there’s no altering that fact – so you can’t build up his stats to make him an archer or brute instead.
What you can do, however, is tailor his shinobi abilities through a skill tree system. Every bit of experience you earn is poured into a bar which, when full, awards you a skill point. And while that may not sound particularly new or radical, what is very different is the fact that you can’t simply access every skill just because you unlocked the one before it.
Instead, you’ll have to locate certain items across the world before their associated abilities can be unlocked, while even the less tangible upgrades (like health points and even, apparently, the resurrection mechanic) will also depend on you finding some very-well hidden tools and treasures scattered across the map.
Some of the skill trees that we know about so far involve samurai arts, shinobi arts, and (of course) upgrades for your prosthetic arm. So if you want to become the sneakiest of sneaky shinobi, able to control crowds and step over enemy spears, then you can tailor your skills accordingly – or if you’re more of a bash-them-till-they-fall-over type, then that’s possible too. The beauty of it is that you’ll have to specialise, so you can really tailor The Wolf to fit with your preferred playing style. That doesn’t mean that all bosses can be taken down with the same skills, though.
Another radical departure from previous games is that experience points and currency are no longer linked, and, crucially, neither will be lost when you die. You’ll even have the option to respawn at the same place where you died (at a cost), so there’s no need to go hunting for your corpse to get all your stuff back. Director Hidetaka Miyazaki has said that dying repeatedly will have a negative effect, but for the time being nobody knows what that is.
Who else can’t wait to find out?