FromSoftware Unveils Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice's Key Gameplay Differences

By James Kearle, 7 days ago
There are very few gamers who aren't aware of FromSoftware's illustrious reputation. With the Dark Souls series and Bloodborne becoming infamous for synthesizing typical action-RPG conventions with their own brand of nuanced level-design and challenging gameplay, the developer's imprint upon the industry has become difficult to deny. Equally, overbearing similarities between FromSoftware's various franchises mean that one can be forgiven in assuming that their upcoming release, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, may continue this trend. However, recent information from Game Director Hidetaka Miyazaki and Marketing & Communications Manager Yasuhiro Kitao dispels these rumours by indicating that the game will introduce many new concepts.

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According to Game Informer, an already established difference is that the game will be opting out of character creation, focusing instead on a shinobi called "The Wolf". Subsequently, the functionality of character progression and currency is rather different than in previous FromSoftware titles. The game still possesses currency akin to souls or blood echoes (this time being gold), and is dropped by enemies upon death in similar fashion. However, skills upgrades are not tied in any way to currency this time, and any gold accumulated will not be lost through death. Instead, players will now upgrade their characters by gaining experience (XP).

Accumulating enough XP will reward players with skill points, which can be used to upgrade skill trees that improve various abilities. These trees encompass "shinobi arts", "samurai arts", and prosthetic arm upgrades, as well as passive buffs and special moves called "combat arts". Upgrades from these skill trees are available to purchase once certain items within the game have been discovered, and seek to facilitate more creative freedom by allowing players to purchase abilities that are specific to their playstyle. Abilities will pertain to stealth and evasion (shinobi), combat and aggression (samurai) or complementary abilities such as a shuriken launcher, axe, or flame vent (prosthetic arm/combat arts).

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Aside from these progression changes, the game has another noticeable difference according to Game Informer — a complete absence of multiplayer or co-operative play. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice was made to be an exclusively single-player experience in order for FromSoftware to "hone in on the player experience" without any concerns of how the presence of other players may impact interactions within the game world. This change also means that a proper pause screen will now be present, a feature long demanded by many with their previous titles.

Are you excited for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice to release on March 22nd? Are you happy to see the game make some comparatively large gameplay alterations from previous titles, or do you wish that the game had stuck more in line with its well-established formula? Let us know in the comments.

We don't have them yet, but we'll publish a story as soon as we pick up the Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice achievements.
James Kearle
Written by James Kearle
24-year-old gamer and completionist from Wales, UK. Favourite series include Half-Life, BioShock, Fallout and Metro. Also vegetarian, straight-edge and an MBA student. When not playing games, can be found writing articles here on TA, watching the 49ers, or hoping Valve one day discovers the number 3.