Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is an upcoming P2P offline solo action adventure RPG video game by FromSoftware, Inc. that unfurls in a fantasy world based on Japan’s Sengoku period. Due for release on March 22, 2019, this is a P2P campaign of revenge by a loyal shinobi who has sworn to protect and retrieve his kidnapped young lord from his enemies with an oath so strong that it revived the shinobi from the grave. It offers a third-person perspective as players slash their way through opponents to track down clues to their master’s whereabouts.
The main character awakens in a strange room where he has been resurrected by the powerful and enigmatic Buushi of Aretera. The Buushi nicknames the shinobi Sekiro and tasks him with recovering his kidnapped ten-year-old lord whom Sekiro had sworn to protect and for whom he has already sacrificed his life for. The young lord is the only remaining descendent of a special bloodline with resurrective properties that are desired by the various warring clans.
Of course, this also means that there is good reason for Sekiro to ensure that the clans do not have the opportunity to make use of the young lord’s abilities. As Sekiro lost his arm during his battle with the Ashina samurai who took the young lord, the Buushi has constructed a new supernatural prosthetic arm for him that can transform into many useful tools, including a fire vent, grappling hook, axe, umbrella-shaped shield, and possibly other offensive weapons.
In Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, players will take on the role of Sekiro, a non-customizable character. They will need to complete stealth missions to seek out clues as to the young lord’s whereabouts. He can gather intel by force, eavesdropping, talking with NPCs and other methods. As Sekiro broadens his search, he will come across many enemies. While he will often be able to apply guerilla tactics to silently dispatch them, such as by jumping across rooves and attacking them from behind, or by laying in wait until the unsuspecting victim comes close enough for him to pounce from his hiding place, there will be times, especially with boss fights, when this approach will not be possible. Additionally, while there may be NPCs willing to share information with him, this assistance does not extend to the battlefield where Sekiro will need to combat foes completely on his own.
The developers have stated that there will not be a linear storyline, but rather the player will need to gather pieces of information and attempt to figure out how they fit together in overall scheme and order of things. A guess would be that this would include a more in-depth understanding of the relationship between Sekiro and the young lord, the Ashina clan’s motivation in kidnapping him and how the Buushi fits in to the picture.
Furthermore, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice isn’t an open world, but as the players progress in the game, they will unlock new paths between areas. These will include shortcuts and secret paths, some of which will award players with extra bonuses. They will also have the freedom to decide which path they would like to explore next. Some paths revealed so far, include, scaling high walls, travelling across mountain paths, running across rooves, going through buildings and most likely many other settings.
Players will be able to toggle their perspective, so as to fully view Sekrio’s surroundings. This will help him to ambush or avoid opponents, as well as keep an eye out for any unwanted company.
This game focuses on boss fights over mob fights, with strong AI opponents that each have their unique fighting style and tricks that players will need to adapt to. This is made all the more complicated considering that many of the bosses will have certain regenerative abilities and surprise skills.
This is not to say that there won’t be moments where the player may find himself fighting against multiple opponents at once, but most instances can be avoided if the player focuses on stealth tactics over direct battles, and if he is able to dispatch of his opponents before they have the opportunity to alert their companions to the presence of an enemy. This is especially crucial when there is a stronger enemy such as a monster lurking around to join the fray.
Furthermore, players HP is called ‘posture’ in this game. Diminishing posture is what allows the other party to deal a finishing blow to their opponent. Once a level boss is defeated, players will receive a reward of some kind. The type of reward is not yet known.
Weapons and Abilities
Sekiro needs to expend White Spirit Emblems to activate his arm’s abilities. These are collected by killing and looting enemies’ bodies, although they can sometimes be found lying around. There also seems to be an upgradable limit to the number of emblems that he can carry at any time. Aside from his arm, Sekiro will also be able to use the Shikiri sword, a katana and shuriken. Importantly, the player’s starting weapons are the only weapons that they will have access to during the game. There will also be no weapon or cosmetic drops. However, he will be able to upgrade his skills and prosthetic arm as he gains experience. An additional tool is Sekiro’s ability to resurrect.
While this hasn’t been elaborated on clearly, it seems that there will be an alternative to restarting boss battles from scratch with each loss, whereby the player can choose to resurrect Sekiro to resume the battle from the moment when he died.
Fortunately, there is an alternative. Sekiro carries around a healing gourd that can be refilled with a certain number of charges. How it is charged isn’t known, but it should make it easier to survive without using up his emblems. There are also other booster items lying around for him to collect, such as Protection Sugar for defense.
There are also idols in the game that can be used to fast-travel to areas that Sekiro has already discovered, as well as to purchase useful items, including Spirit Emblems.
Fans who plan on buying the Standard Edition will be pleased to know that they won’t be missing out on any in-game content by sticking with the basics. However, true enthusiasts will have something to look forward to, as based on the image at least, the statue seems to be of good quality and crafted with attention to detail, which could bode well for the other bonus real-world content as well.