FromSoftware changes up the formula with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Fans of FromSoftware's SoulsBorne series, myself included, have been eagerly awaiting the release of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, an action-adventure game based around 16th century Japan. In what seems to be the developer's answer to Team Ninja's highly acclaimed Nioh, which managed to bring Dark Souls elements into this set back in 2017, FromSoftware has changed up the formula with their upcoming release, which might have saved it from the fate of being called a clone.
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Dark Souls was always about surviving an onslaught of undead or embered (depending on which game you were playing), often hiding behind a shield and waiting for the perfect moment to attack. Bloodborne took away the more defensive measures, forcing you to dodge in and out of combat at a faster pace and focusing on parrying rather than tanking several hits at a time.
FromSoftware looks to change up the mechanics once again with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Not only have the RPG elements been taken out of the game, which allowed you to build each character for different purposes and strategies, but the combat itself has taken a drastic turn. In fact, all it will take to defeat many enemies in Sekiro is one single attack from your katana.
Sekiro focuses on stealth, wherein you must use all of your tools at your disposal in order to kill as many of your enemies as possible while going unnoticed. However, that doesn't mean that there won't be ways for you to go in guns...er...sword blazing. Gameplay videos, released throughout 2018 have shown multiple ways for you to take down anyone who stands in your way. GameSpot's Gamescom 2018 video shows the incredibly deep combat system and all the various ways in which you'll fight through the game.
Not every enemy will be so easy to kill, either. There are many sub-bosses that will require a straight up duel, where you'll have to dodge around waiting for an opportune moment to strike. Enemies like the Samurai General and the Chained Ogre will take a bit more punishment.
Game Informer also had a chance to play through the Hirita Estates, and you can see in both the Gamescom footage and GI's video how traversing the world will differ from the SoulsBorne series. Gone are the illusory walls of previous games, as they've instead opted to bring in revolving doors, much like those seen in Nioh, forcing players to look at every wall carefully for clues.
Unlike Nioh, however, Sekiro will remain an open world, just like the SoulsBorne series, meaning no loading into other areas, which will help the game feel more connected.
As someone who was a fan of Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Team Ninja's Nioh, I'm excited to see more of the innovations that FromSoftware are bringing to the table here.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will release on March 22nd on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows.
Will you be playing Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice? How will your enjoyment be impacted by FromSoftware's deviation from the traditional SoulsBorne formula? Let us know in the comments below.