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Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice -- FromSoftware Explains the Differences with Dark Souls

How does Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice differ from the classic Dark Souls games? FromSoftware explains many differences and some similarities.

June 15, 2018

During Microsoft’s press conference at E3 2018 FromSoftware finally revealed Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Of course, many wondered about the differences with the Dark Souls series.

During an interview at E3 2018, Producer Robert Conkey and Promoter Yasuhiro Kitao gave DualShockers their insight about what sets the games apart.

First of all, the combat is based on a “completely different mentality.” The traversal is completely different, the way that you explore the map is a lot more vertical. So there is a lot more going on and a lot more that you can potentially miss or be surprised to find.

The fact that you can hide also changes the paradigm completely, as you can dictate the terms of a lot of engagements. This opens the possibility to engage way more enemies at once.

Having the sword in one hand and the prosthetic tools in the other add a lot of versatility. What the developer calls “arm-tool combos” let you do something special if you use the arm tools and then attack right after. For instance, if you use the fire tool, you stick your sword through it, and the sword itself lights on fire. As a consequence, you can light enemies on fire in turn as you hit them. All these elements are brand new.

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Kitao-san stressed that according to him the biggest difference is that you can move fully in 3D with the jumping and grappling hook. That really changes the mentality behind the game.

Another difference is that in Dark Souls games you choose a class. In Sekiro there is one class, and that’s ninja. There is no more stat system, and the game is based on something different that the developer isn’t ready to detail in depth. The gameplay choices related to the character aren’t done at the beginning, but they are instead done as the player progresses through the game. You can decide what to upgrade and make your playstyle decision as you go.

Killing enemies still contributes to your power level, and there will be a lot of “finding new items, upgrading items, and acquiring abilities.”

Talking about similarities, in general, the story will be told in the same way as the Souls games. It’s more an experiential storytelling than a sequence of cutscenes, even if the protagonist has a clearer goal at the beginning (which makes the beginning of the game easier to understand).

The game is set in an interconnected world with continuous areas, and the player will have the choice in where to go, and they don’t need to beat all the maps in a set sequence, similar to the original Dark Souls. Incidentally, the engine is also the same internal one used for previous Souls games.

One last bonus reveal we got is about the title: “Sekiro” isn’t the name of the protagonist, as it just describes him. In Japanese it means “One-armed Wolf.”

Shadows Die Twice” initially wasn’t part of the title. It was simply the tagline Director Hidetaka Miyazaki came up with for the trailer revealed at The Game Awards back in December. People really latched on to it and really liked it, so it was added to the title.

Shadows” was a hint to Ninja, while “Die Twice” comes from the resurrection mechanic and the fact that players will die “a lot” in the game.

The game will come out in early 2019 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. If you want to know more, you can check out the first trailer, and the first screenshots and details.

You can already pre-order your copy on Amazon.

[Original interview by Logan Moore]

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Giuseppe Nelva

Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.

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