Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is going to be a tough nut to crack. We have heard it before, but the game’s director explained its reasons in a bit more detail than before.
Miyazaki told Eurogamer at E3 that despite the reviving system, we will bite that bullet several times: „The intention is the player will die a lot. That is because of the concept of the ninja protagonist at its core; as a ninja ,you’re a little less equipped than the average samurai or knight, you’re always at death’s door. We want every battle to feel intense – we want players to feel that risk and trepidation associated with battle and fighting toe to toe with these enemies. And to do that, the player has to die a lot. But when they die and respawn and die again, and then retry, that doesn’t feel good. So, we needed something to address that, and that became the resurrection system.
One thing we want everyone to understand is we don’t intend to make the game easier as a result or make the challenge any less effective. This was not created to make the player feel numb to death or make the player unafraid of death. We want them to have still ‘the stench of death’ present in every single encounter if you will, so this is something that will be tuned and tweaked as we go forward. It’s going to have its restrictions and limitations, and we’re going to have our death penalty that fits this concept.”
Regarding the combat, Sekiro will provide more differences from the Souls game. Miyazaki says: „It relates back to what we were saying about the ninja, and how they have a lot of things at their disposal and they have to master every part of their arsenal to confront these different situations. So we feel that this time, there are a lot of tools that we have prepared for the player, of various skill levels so that if they want to run in there head-on, they can do that and clash sword-to-sword. If they want to use the Shinobi Prosthetic to outsmart their opponents and find that one weakness, they can do that. If they want to use stealth to circumnavigate an encounter and get the drop on the enemy and then engage, they can do that too, so there are a lot of ways they can approach battle – it’s not just about being this high-reaction, twitch-based gamer.”
He also mentioned Activision’s involvement – they gave help with the tutorials: „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 per cent respect our vision, and they do not want to mess with that core fanbase and that core gameplay concept.”
Finally, he also talked about the game’s story: „It’s a character-driven story this time, but it’s not a story-driven game. 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.”
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will launch early next year on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.