Back in 2017, FromSoftware teased a brand new game, and it turns out that title is actually Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. It's a brand new IP (with a heavy dose of nostalgia thrown in for good measure), and is actually nothing to do with the DArk Souls or Bloodborne universes. It's being published by Activision, and will arrive in early 2019, bringing katanas, stealth, combat and more.
There's already so much to discuss with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and we've got all the important information collated below for your perusing pleasure. Read on to find out what you can expect from FromSoftware's latest adventure.
The Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice release date is next year
Sekiro may have debuted at the Xbox E3 press conference, among several other E3 2018 games, but the fact that it's published by Activision means it is going to launch on PS4, Xbox One, and PC when it releases in March 2019. Specifically, on March 22, 2019, which is a lot closer than you think.
The studio has, historically speaking, been pretty good at sticking to its original launch goals without major delays, so we can be mostly confident that Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will be on target for that March release.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice gameplay is a familiar hack-n-slash experience with some added extras
Although this isn't Bloodborne 2 or anything to do with Dark Souls, this is still very much a FromSoftware game. Directed by Dark Souls' creator, Hidetaka Miyazaki, this is a samurai game inspired by the mythology of feudal Japan, with an aesthetic not too dissimilar to Sony's own new IP, Ghost of Tsushima or last year's ironically souls-like RPG Nioh.
But it's not all hack and slash, as the unnamed protagonist (perhaps the "Sekiro" of the title) is able to equip a range of prosthetics, similar to those found in Bloodborne. There's also a grappling hook that you can wield alongside the traditional Japanese arsenal of katanas, bows, and shuriken, plus some kind of umbrella shield that looks amazing, and totally channels Kratos' shield in God of War.
From getting some hands-on time with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, it's a brilliant blend of the hack 'n' slash gameplay you know and love from FromSoftware, but with elements of stealth. You can hug walls, hang from ledges, and deal aerial and ground-based stealth attacks. And as for the combat, it isn't quite just the old hack 'n' slash. You actually need to focus on your posture. No, not quite shoulder back, chest out kind of posture, but instead it's an enemy's posture. You have to perfectly time your parries to land just as the two blades would meet, decreasing their posture. It's only when their posture is lowered enough that you can get in some attacks that deal serious damage, and the result is a beautiful, brutal, dance that keeps you constantly on your toes, and also forcing you to be patient.
"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," explains Activision producer Robert Conkey. "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."
Plus, in a complete twist on FromSoftware's traditional obsession with death and player consequence, you can actually choose to resurrect yourself upon death as part of a tactic to confuse your foes. It's not clear at this point what the penalties, or cost, of doing so is - because of course there will be - but it is definitely an interesting mechanic.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice could secretly be a Tenchu reboot (but it isn't)
You might not recall the Tenchu series from the PlayStation 1 era, but it was a stealth focused action-adventure set in Feudal Japan that sadly never found firm footing after its 1990's peak. The IP has changed hands many times since those days, but was sold to FromSoftware by Activision in 2004.
Not only that, but "Shadows Die Twice" is a direct quote from the Tenchu series... could Sekiro be a spiritual successor, reboot, or direct sequel to this classic Japanese franchise? If it is, we probably won't know about it until the game itself comes out, as FromSoftware is notoriously cryptic when it comes to the story details of its RPGs, but here's hoping Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice pulls an M. Night Shyamalan on us with some surprise connective tissue to a long lost IP.