Carve your own clever path to vengeance in an all-new adventure from developer FromSoftware, creators of Bloodborne and the Dark Souls series.
In Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice you are the “one-armed wolf”, a disgraced and disfigured warrior rescued from the brink of death. Bound to protect a young lord who is the descendant of an ancient bloodline, you become the target of many vicious enemies, including the dangerous Ashina clan. When the young lord is captured, nothing will stop you on a perilous quest to regain your honor, not even death itself.
Explore late 1500s Sengoku Japan, a brutal period of constant life and death conflict, as you come face to face with larger than life foes in a dark and twisted world. Unleash an arsenal of deadly prosthetic tools and powerful ninja abilities while you blend stealth, vertical traversal, and visceral head to head combat in a bloody confrontation.
Sekiro draws inspiration from the Tenchu series of stealth-action games that were partially developed and published by FromSoftware. The team initially considered developing the game as a sequel to Tenchu, but as that series had already been shaped by several different studios before they obtained the rights to it, they instead opted to take the projectct a different direction. Miyazaki intended for the combat changes to capture the feel of "swords clashing", with fighters trying to create an opening to deliver the fatal strike. He and the team also created the game to be a fully single player experience, as they believed multiplayer to have limitations they wanted to avoid. The word "Sekiro" means "one-armed wolf" in Japanese, referencing the player character's situation, while the subtitle "Shadows Die Twice" was originally only meant to be used as a slogan for the teaser trailer until Activision requested it to be kept for the final name. Despite the game taking place during the Sengoku period of real world Japanese history, there are no real historical people or locations featured in the game.
There are 3 Skill Trees and players can allocate Skill Points into them to develop the player character. The Skill Trees are: Shinobi, Ashina and Prosthetic Arm. Some of the Skills you unlock are passive Skills, meaning their effect will always be present. Others are active Skills called: Combat Arts or Techniques, that the player must actively use by pressing L1 + R1. Players can only have a certain amount of these equipped, and it is believed they must be changed at a Sculptor's Idol.
The Shinobi Skill Tree in Sekiro focuses on stealth tactics, and will be the predominant Skill Tree for players who prefer to avoid direct confrontation, and would rather remain in the shadows killing in one strike. However, because Stealth is likely to play less of a role during Boss encounters, players should also in other Skill Trees as well.
The Ashina Skill Tree in Sekiro focuses on combat and swordplay. This is the Skill Tree for the player who plans to be in direct confrontation with enemies often, and who does not care too much for stealth tactics. Because Bosses are likely to be fought in this manner, placing some points into this Skill Tree is recommended to all players.
The Prosthetic Arm Skill Tree in Sekiro focuses on the use of the Prosthetic Arm Tool that all players possess. It allows the player to modify some of the tools they use into the manner that best fits their style of play. Since this can be direct or stealth combat, it is advised that all players spend at least some points into this Skill Tree.
The Senpou Skill Tree in Sekiro focuses on a set of moves and skills that the Monks of Senpou Temple use. Currently, there is no information revealed, but it is speculated to be a possible 4th Skill Tree - this will be updated once the game launches and when the information is available.
All in information for Skills is credited to Sekiro Shadows die Twice Wiki
[PlayStation.Blog: 1. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is nearly here. First of all, congratulations! How does the team collectively feel at this stage? Relieved? Excited? Anxious?
Robert Conkey, Producer: Thank you! It is hard to describe everything all in one word, but to say the least we are extremely excited. From has been hard at work on the game for some time now, and it has come to an incredible place. We can’t wait for players to experience FromSoftware’s next work.
2. What has it been like to work with FromSoftware?
FromSoftware is a world class developer and it has truly been an honour to work with them. Personally, working with them on this title was a bit of a dream come true. The amount of love, blood, sweat and tears they’ve put into this game is astounding, and I can’t wait for everyone to experience the results of that themselves later this month.
3. The main character of Sekiro is much more agile and mobile than characters have generally been in past FromSoftware titles. How does this new approach affect gameplay?
Mobility is one of the things in the game we’re really excited about, as it opens up many new ways to fight. Just having a dedicated jump changes the concept of combat entirely, where you suddenly have to think in three dimensions – you have to jump over sweep attacks, you can deflect, use arm tools and combat arts in the air, etc.
Additionally, the added mobility means encounters can be designed for the player to viably fight larger groups of enemies at the same time. There are a variety of techniques that are designed specifically for this purpose, and they can be very fun to use. The Bloodsmoke Ninjutsu technique we showed at TGS is a great example of one of these.
4. How do specific enemies like the Corrupted Monk and Oniwa dictate the change in an environment’s mood? Is there a relationship between the atmosphere of an area and the mechanics a player will find themselves using?
FromSoftware are masters of atmosphere, and they’ve done some really exciting stuff this time. It’s clear that much consideration has been made for each boss appearance and ensuring a certain mood is achieved.
Just before a boss things might get quiet, and you may spend some time walking through a beautiful, visually rich area — the calm before the storm. Each boss has their own musical theme, as well as their own sense of character and personality, which is expressed vividly in their animations.
The Corrupted Monk is a great example of this – everything from her long flowing robes, to the way she fights, the bridge, the lighting, the music… it all plays into what makes the fight that much more memorable. Even the surrounding trees change the combat itself by allowing for different grapple points to escape or find a new vantage point for an attack.
5. In an interview with Miyazaki-san at E3 he mentioned that the details of the resurrection system in the game hadn’t yet been finalised, but I think it’s safe to presume they have been at this point. Can you share any insight into how that mechanic affects the flow of the game? Are there approaches that were proposed but did not end up in the final game?
FromSoftware iterated on the resurrection system quite a bit, and I think it landed in a really great place. The idea was to ensure the player could experience intense combat as a fragile but powerful shinobi, while still giving the player some leeway to really push their limits and take some risks.
It also allows the player some opportunities to use death to their advantage by luring enemies into a false sense of security. Some astute players may have noticed, but the E3/Gamescom demo also featured an item that allows you to cause your own death specifically for the purpose of taking this advantage.
Of course, FromSoftware needed to make sure this mechanic didn’t make the game too easy (and don’t worry, it hasn’t); the game has been tuned around the fact that players have this ability. So while it makes for a different flow than what you’ve seen in previous titles, the level of challenge you’d expect is very much intact.
6. We spoke before about the different ways players might approach a battle in Sekiro, but is there a certain strategy you generally prefer? Sprint in with weapon drawn, or stick to the shadows and plan a quieter attack?
This game has a lot of combat variety even in just the encounter composition. For example, sometimes you’ll be up against a group of five, six, or more regular enemies, other times two or three big, powerful ones, and other times it’s a pure 1v1. The player will have access to many tools that can help with such challenging situations.
Much of the strategy of the game is based on how good your initiative is and if you’re bringing the right tools to the party. Stealth is one of your strongest methods of initiation, and other mid-to-late-game moves such as the Bloodsmoke ninjutsu are especially effective when engaging against groups.
Prosthetic tool and Combat Art selection can also make a big difference in combat, so a lot of the fun is experimenting with different tactics and determining which tools and techniques make sense for different enemies. We are excited to see some of the unique approaches that fans come up with.
7. What’s one thing you think all players of Sekiro — be they hardened Dark Souls veterans or more casual players looking to broaden their horizons — should know before they start the game?
While fans of From’s previous works will certainly find Sekiro familiar in some ways, this is an entirely new game that we think will appeal to both long time From fans as well as new players.
The new Posture system is an evolution of FromSoftware’s signature combat, so some of the tactics that worked previously might not work so well anymore.
I would encourage players to take the time to learn, embrace, and experiment with the new combat system and I believe they will find it very rewarding.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is just weeks away. The new game from Dark Souls developer FromSoftware is easily my most hotly-anticipated game of the year. Nobody makes games quite like From, though many have tried in recent years. An entire “Souls-like” genre has cropped up as studios attempt to capture that same lightning in a bottle that’s made games like Bloodborne and Demon’s Souls so unique and memorable.
These games are unlike any others I’ve ever played. They soak into your skin, burrowing through bone and sinew and then deeper still. When I finally finished Dark Souls for the first time, that feeling of struggle and triumph, of having wandered a vast and lonesome landscape, stuck with me for weeks. I was a stranger in a strange land, and a part of me is there still, in Lordran and in Boletaria and in Yharnam.
For the past few years we’ve journeyed through FromSoft’s dark, horrific worlds, traveling the winding roads of the Undead Burg, cleaving our way across the haunted streets of Bloodborne’s Yharnam, and testing our mettle against the horrors of the Tower of Latria.
Now we head to feudal Japan, or at least the sort of feudal Japan that exists in the mind of Hidetaka Miyazaki, president of FromSoftware and the creator of the Souls series and game director on Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
“The construction of Sekiro’s world is based on that of traditional Sengoku, or medieval Japan,” Miyazaki tells me. “To that end, we made sure to reference a lot of written materials on that period, as well as actually visit several locations. Using this as a base we then proceeded to add our own mannerisms and leaps of imagination, which resulted in a very bold world, full of vibrant coloration that contrasts with the darker, somber tones of a war-torn era.”
The setting isn’t the only thing that’s changed with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Unlike previous From games, Sekiro is not an RPG, at least not in the sense that Dark Souls was. You don’t create a custom character, for one thing, instead playing as the titular Sekiro, a shinobi with a prosthetic arm that serves as a grappling hook.
The two phrases you’ll hear over and over again when talking about this game are “dynamic movement” and “intense combat.”
Sekiro is “capable of moving dynamically through rich, multi-tiered environments, using his katana and a variety of different tools as well as the environment itself to engage in intense sword combat,” Miyazaki says. Stealth elements will also play a role, Miyazaki says, but only to gain advantage in battle
Moving dynamically through the game world was the initial spark that ignited the concept for the rest of the game. Once Miyazaki and FromSoftware had decided on that, they came up with the shinobi/ninja archetype and the world that he would inhabit.
“From the initial design stages of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, we had the idea of the player being able to move dynamically through a detailed, multi-layered map,” Miyazaki says. “We found that a “shinobi” type character was the key to achieving this in a way that was both realistic and cool.”
Miyazaki is especially excited about the shinobi’s prosthetic arm and how it creates such an interesting gameplay loop between movement and combat.
“The grappling hook allows for versatile and dynamic movement through the map, while a variety of shinobi-esque tools allow for all sorts of tricks and finesse,” he says. “These are very important elements ofSekiro: Shadows Die Twice’sgameplay and the protagonist’s nature. We wanted a way to express this with an easily identifiable appearance and visual grammar. Also, well…the idea of a shinobi prosthetic was pretty cool! (Laughs) We’re all very fond of the design, and it’s one of the ways we’ve been able to incorporate the flavor and flights of fancy we’re known for.”
Players will still shape and grow their version of Sekiro, but instead of leveling up stats they’ll have skill trees to navigate.
That’s a pretty big departure from past games, and is perhaps the one thing that leaves me feeling somewhat trepidatious about what is my most anticipated game of the year. Not having played it yet, I can’t say whether or not this change will be for the better, though I don’t mourn the loss of stats or weapon-leveling. Even though these elements allowed us to create different character builds, they could also limit how we played the game, restricting our choices by anchoring us to the weapon or armor pieces we’d leveled up the most.
So no Dex builds or pyromancers or anything like that in Sekiro. Players will play as the same class, though the skill trees will allow you to still customize the way you play to some degree.
“The reason we decided to go with a single shinobi class as opposed to a variety of classes is that it enabled us to delve deeper into what it means to be a shinobi, including all the values and charm associated with that character type,” says Miyazaki.
A single character class also allows FromSoftware to focus on what makes that class special and allows things like level design and boss fights to be better balanced. “In terms of gameplay, it makes it easier to ask the user to make full use of every element that has been prepared,” Miyazaki says.
While many things have changed from the Soulsborne games, at least one of FromSoftware’s hallmark design elements remains intact.
“The general storytelling method has not changed,” Miyazaki says. “We believe that aspects of the storytelling from our previous titles are present, such as focusing on the player experience by not pushing the story too hard, and allowing players to use their imagination by leaving fragments of the story here and there.”
Still, having a set protagonist has allowed Miyazaki to tell a more personal story. Sekiro is “the focus of the story” this time around.
“Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice’sstory is one of fate and growth,” Miyazaki says. It’s “a story centered on the lonesome bond between lord and retainer, held by a master shinobi who loses everything, and an heir of special blood who has nothing. In previous titles the focus of the story was the world itself, leading to many elements that are abstract and somewhat hard to understand. I feel that inSekiro: Shadows Die Twice, there are fewer of these abstract elements, and that in turn has led to a distinct and original story.”