E3 2018: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Impressions

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, developed by FromSoftware and published by Activision, is an action-adventure game with some RPG elements. We sat with Yasuhiro Kitao (Promotion and Marketing, FromSoftware) and Robert Conkey (Producer, Activision) as they ran us through a short demo and talked about the game.

It’s set in Japan in the late 1500s which is the Sengoku, or warring states, period. This isn’t a historical game though, it’s an original world with some impossible, fantasy-type places and enemies. Since the civil war period is part of the landscape, you’ll find plenty of dead bodies strewn across battlefields as you wander around. The team wanted to build a beautiful representation of Japanese nature, but, since it’s FromSoftware it’s also going to be quite dark.

You play as the Hero, servant and personal ninja to the Young Lord. There’s something very important about him that they’re not divulging yet, but the story kicks off with the Young Lord being captured by The Rival and during the struggle, the Hero’s arm is cut off. The two key themes to the game then become getting the Young Lord back and getting revenge.

The replacement for the Hero’s left arm is a shinobi prosthetic which can equip a wide variety of tools for battle. The first one we saw in action was the grappling hook which made me immediately think “Just Cause Japan“. Many of the levels are designed with a ton of verticality so you’ll be able to put this to good use since it will enable you to sneak up on your enemies or avoid them altogether.

Stealth is a part of the game and you need to decide when to fight and how to get the odds more in your favor. With the shinobi prosthetic as your left arm and a katana in your right hand, you’ll be able to take on all enemies who come your way. It’s certainly not going to be easy, this is FromSoftware after all.

Posture, blocking, and striking are the keys to combat. The struggle is important and you’ll need to watch for on screen clues to incoming attacks. You need to block perfectly to keep your posture and you’ll want to run the enemy out of posture through back and forth combat. Using what looked like an ax on the prosthetic along with the katana, we saw some great battles.

There are lots of larger than life encounters in the game, secret passageways, and bosses. Limited resurrection is also a part of the game (hence, the name) but they were a bit vague on the consequences of it since it’s not quite finalized yet. Having the resurrection component will allow you to make some riskier decisions but the tension of a traditional FromSoftware game will be here.

This game is focused on the single player experience. The idea was to focus on one single class and go deep with it. As such, resources and upgrades are not the same as what’s been done in the past. It’s also not just one boss to the next so you’ll have some open choice as you move through the story and exploration is important for finding new items, encounters, and more. It looks great so far and fans of FromSoftware should be happy.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is expected to release in early 2019 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Written by Josh Langford

Josh Langford

Josh has been gaming since 1977 starting with the Atari 2600.
He currently owns 26 different consoles and 6 different handhelds (all hooked up and in working condition) including all consoles from the current generation.

Josh is currently the US PR & Marketing Manager for Fountain Digital Labs and has recused himself from any involvement on PS Nation arising from posting or editing any news or reviews stemming from FDL.

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