Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, one of the most highly-anticipated action-adventure games in 2019, is created by From Software, the Japanese developers who brought us video game masterpieces such as Dark Souls, Demon Souls, and Bloodborne.
Fans are thus understandably excited about the prospect of a new action-adventure game by From Software in partnership with the publisher Activision.
From Software first revealed Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice in 2017 through a teaser trailer released at The Game Awards 2017. But the development of the game began in 2015 after FromSoftware completed Bloodborne: The Old Hunters.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is inspired by the centuries-old traditions and mythology of feudal Japan. The game takes players back to the latter half of Japan’s Sengoku era (the late 1500s), a period of political tensions and bloody conflicts.
It follows the adventures of an unnamed shinobi, nicknamed Sekiro (translated “one-armed wolf”) because of his highly serviceable prosthetic arm and hard-hearted lone-wolf disposition.
Sekiro was attacked by a mortal samurai enemy and left for dead. But he returns to life and embarks on a mission to avenge himself on his arch enemy, and to rescue the young prince under his protection who was kidnapped by the samurai attacker.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice promises to blend new and innovative approaches to hand-to-hand combat in action-adventure video games with the solid and established tradition of older games such as Tenchu.
While we look forward to the release of the video game, we have brought together all that is known so far about Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, including release date, trailers, story and gameplay, and latest news.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice release date
From Software announced the release date for its latest action-adventure game on August 20 at Gamescon 2018, and like previous From Software titles (Dark Soul 3, Dark Souls: Remastered), Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is scheduled to be released for PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows and Xbox One on March 22, 2019.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will be released worldwide on 22nd March, 2019. We hope you look forward to it. pic.twitter.com/VX8wQYxpMw
— FROMSOFTWARE (@fromsoftware_pr) August 20, 2018
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice also became available for digital and physical game pre-order on August 20. The digital and physical versions of the game are now available for pre-purchase through select retailers, including Steam, and through From Software’s official website.
In addition to the regular version of the game, fans can also pre-order a Collector’s Edition that includes a Steelbook and full game, a digital soundtrack, collectible art book, a map, game coins, and a seven-inch shinobi statuette.
From Software has a reputation for sticking to its launch schedule, so fans may feel assured that the game will come out as planned without any major delays.
Sekiro Shadows Die Twice cover art, teasers, and trailers
On September 10, 2018, From Software’s Yasuhiro Kitao tweeted what could be the official box art for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
— FROMSOFTWARE／Kitao (@YasuhiroKitao) September 10, 2018
From Software has also released several teasers and trailers for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. The debut trailer for the action-adventure video game was released on June 10, 2018 (see below).
From Software released yet another trailer ahead of 2018 Tokyo Games Show (September 20-23) on September 10, 2018
The trailers feature a lot of intense katana and grappling hook action.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice overview
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is created by From Software, the same Japanese developers behind Armoured Core, Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls, and Bloodborne. The success of From Software’s previous creations has generated a lot of anticipation.
The game is directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki, the brain behind From Software Souls series. The upcoming game will be published by Activision, best known for blockbusters such as Destiny and Call of Duty.
PlayStation released a gameplay walkthrough on September 22, 2018 (see below).
Ready for a new look at Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice?
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) September 21, 2018
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is not a different version of Dark Souls
Fans and critics who had expected that the game would simply be a different version of Dark Souls were surprised when they viewed the demo and found it was much different from the developer’s recent titles.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is clearly inspired by the old Tenchu series of stealth-action games. Variety reported that From Software’s Tasohiro Kitao said that the developer had originally planned to make a Tenchu sequel (From Software had acquired the rights to Tenchu from Activision in 2004), but in the end, they decided to only make a new game that takes inspiration from Tenchu.
The tagline “Shadows Die Twice” appears to have been derived from the Tenchu series. Ninjas were often referred to as Shadows in the Tenchu series.
In Tenchu 3, for instance, Rikimaru refers to himself as a shadow. The “Shadows Die Twice” tagline could be a direct reference to Onikage, the demonic ninja in the Tenchu series (Stealth Assassins and Shadow Assassins).
Fans will recall that Onkige resurrected after he was defeated, but got defeated again.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is not an RPG
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is not a role-playing game (RPG).
According to From Software, the game is a third-person action-adventure game with RPG elements, rather than an action RPG. This is an important point of distinction between Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and the Souls series (including Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls).
From Software’s Yasuhiro Kitao explains that Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice focuses on access to a variety of weapons and gadgets that enhance combat ability. The game does not feature key RPG elements: Players won’t be able to create their character and level up stats. There are also no classes to choose from or equipment upgrades.
Miyazaki revealed that they planned from inception to create combat animation that mirrors the physical impact of fighting, such as swords and shields clashing. Unlike many other RPGs, combat in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice does not involve attacking to deplete the opponent’s health or vigor points. Instead, it relies mostly on katana skills and ability to create an opening by disrupting the enemy’s balance and posture in preparation for delivering the death blow.
But players have access to various special tools, such as grappling hooks that enhance mobility and combat ability.
The game also incorporates stealth elements. Players can kill the enemy by approaching stealthily before pouncing. Finally, players have the opportunity to revive or resurrect if they die prematurely.
The foregoing may sound discouraging to die-hard fans of Dark Souls. But you really needn’t worry about the new game’s departure from the From Software tradition. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice promises to be a blockbuster in its own right. Its departure from previously established standards only opened up an opportunity for reinvention.
“Collaborating with Activision on Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has been a very exciting experience for us,” Miyazaki said. “With Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, many From Software team members, including myself, are thrilled to be exploring themes of Sengoku Japan and ninja for the first time. We can’t wait for everyone to discover what’s in store for the game.”
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is designed solely for a single-player experience. There is no multiplayer option.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice latest news: New Game Plus option
From Software’s Sekiro director Hidetaka Miyazaki revealed in a recent interview with Polygon that they plan to add a New Game+ option to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice after it launches in 2019.
According to Miyazaki, they also plan to add other elements that are already familiar to fans of Dark Souls.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice story
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice offers a single-player experience. Activision summarizes the game narrative as a revenge story. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice departs from Dark Souls by having a much more linear narrative like Tenchu.
The game is set in the Sengoku era of medieval Japan in the late 1500s. This was a time of political tensions and conflict.
The game follows the adventures of a shinobi named Sekiro (“one-armed wolf”) who is tasked with protecting a young prince who is the sole living member of an ancient mystical clan that once lived in Ashina, but was wiped out.
The young prince is believed to have mystical powers.
Sekiro is attacked by an enemy, a samurai warrior of the Ashina Clan, who believes that the young prince’s inborn powers will help to protect the land from invasion.
The evil samurai lops off Sekiro’s arm and kills him. He then kidnaps the young prince.
But Sekiro later resurrects. When he awakens, he finds that a mysterious Busshi has replaced his missing arm with a prosthetic. The Busshi, known as the Sculptor of the Desolate Temple, nicknames the shinobi Sekiro (“the one-armed wolf”).
The prosthetic is no ordinary inert replacement for his arm. It is a versatile artificial appendage, a veritable Swiss army knife that can be outfitted with a variety of tools and weapons.
After Sekiro revives, he sets out on a mission to rescue the young prince and avenge himself on his samurai enemy.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice gameplay
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice offers die-hard fans of hack-n-slash action-adventure video games, hard, fast-paced, explicitly bloody and brutal narrative-driven hand-to-hand combat. The violence is graphic, with swords, shields, and axes clashing with an impact you can almost feel.
The player assumes the role of a shinobi who is left for dead by a rival samurai who kidnaps his young lord, a child he has sworn to protect. After the shinobi comes back to life he finds he has been fitted with a prosthetic arm, and thirsting for revenge, he sets out to find his young noble master and get revenge on his samurai enemy.
But although we have described Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice as a hack-n-slash action-adventure game, there a lot more to it.
Sekiro is armed with a katana in his right hand, but his left hand is a prosthetic limb that can be outfitted with a variety of highly serviceable tools for defense and offense. It also useful for multiple utilitarian functions.
He can convert it into an ax that can be used to shatter shields or a grappling hook that can be used to overcome vertical obstacles. Sekiro is a remarkably mobile ninja warrior with stealth capabilities.
He is able to climb up cliffs, walls, and rooftops. You can make Sekiro scale high walls with the use of his grappling hook. He can also hide behind walls and among tall grasses to launch sudden, swift, and deadly attacks.
The player can approach enemies stealthily without being seen and kill them. An extension of Sekiro’s stealth capabilities allows you to kill the enemy while still hidden or by launching an attack from the air using the grappling hook.
Sekiro can also outfit his prosthetic with a bow, shuriken and an umbrella-like shield. He is able to generate a charge from it that stuns his opponent. He can also convert it into a torch. He is able to combine the prosthetic arm with his katana during combat so that the katana blade strikes the enemy with fire.
Miyazaki explained that the game is designed to ensure that the combat captures the feel of the clash of swords and shields.
Fighting involves seeking to create an opening before delivering the death blow. But before you can create an opening to land the death blow you first need to undermine the enemy’s balance, poise and posture. This is done by landing hits that force the enemy on the defensive and eventually leave them unbalanced. The loss of balance or posture makes the enemy more prone to leaving an opening for you to land the finisher or “Shinobi Death Blow.”
The game also uses kanji symbols during combat to warn you of the danger that the enemy is about to launch a special kind of attack. You can learn to recognize the kanji signals and learn from experience to expect different types of special attacks and how to avoid them. For instance, the only way to avoid a sweep attack is to use the game’s dedicated jump button.
Activision producer Robert Conkey described some of the finer details of how combat engagements work.
“When you hit enemies you will take away their health, but if you run them out of posture they’ll be more vulnerable and you’ll be able to do a death blow. If enemies have full posture you’re not going to be able to hurt them very much. They’ll be blocking you left and right, they’re going to have lots of energy to be able to stop you from doing what you want to do. When you run them out, then you can start hurting them big time.”
Finally, Sekiro is able to revive or resurrect after an untimely death. This gives players a second chance in combat. Death can also be used as a tactic to confuse the enemy and give you the chance to spring a surprise attack. This is because when you die, the enemy stops trying to fight and looks away. So when you wake up and attack suddenly he is unprepared to fight back.
However, there is a strict limitation on the power to resurrect. You cannot resurrect a second time until you have attacked and defeated the enemy.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will be released on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One in March 2019.