Even with the pedigree of From Software behind it, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice isn’t Dark Souls or Bloodborne. Set in the late 1500s and focusing on an old samurai looking to save his young lord, Sekiro forgoes the RPG conventions of the Soulsborne series for something different.
Of course, many were surprised at E3 2018 when it was revealed that Activision would be publishing the game. Speaking to Eurogamer, From Software president Hidetaka Miyazaki talks about how the company has offered some “much-needed support” in some areas, like the tutorials.
“Yes, the tutorial is one aspect of that, which we are getting some much-needed support with,” Miyazaki said. “And it also depends on that level of comfort and playability that comes with the rest of the game. These things generally aren’t our forte, but we do need some support, and Activision is providing that. One reason we’re working with Activision is they hold our creative vision in the highest regard.
“From has editorial and directive control over the game and the game’s contents; after you press the start button, it’s all up to the From team. That said, we do need help with some things and we are getting advice from Activision, but they do 100 percent respect our vision and they do not want to mess with that core fanbase and that core gameplay concept.”
Though Sekiro is a more character-driven story, it will still adopt Dark Souls’ approach of presenting the narrative over interconnected levels. Suffice to say, don’t worry about tons of cutscenes telling you what’s going on.
“It’s a character-driven story this time, but it’s not a story-driven game,” Miyazaki said. “The player isn’t going to be led down one linear path and have the story spoon-fed to them by many many cutscenes or anything like that. That aspect of From Software’s previous games, of gradually picking the pieces up of a fragmented story and building those layers, building that depth, figuring things out for yourself, that’s still very much intact in this game.”
He also spoke about the various ways players could approach challenges, now that they were using a single class. These include stealth, head-on combat with swords, or using the Shinobi Prosthetic in unique ways. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is out in early 2019 for Xbox One, PC and PS4.