Quick Takes: Sekiro Shadows Die Twice

Samurai Dark Souls!

FROM Software, developers of the Dark Souls series, recently put their newest IP on display in Sekiro Shadows Die Twice, and from early trailers and discussion, it appears to be deeply ingrained in their previous success while still diving off to be unique in it’s own way.

From translations and trailers, the story seems to revolve around a lone samurai who loses both an arm and a young lord that he was tasked to protect, and wakes up in an old temple with a “prosthetic” arm (it’s an arm and hand bones with things attached to it. This is an ancient Japanese type area, not modern medicine.) Now it’s time for vengeance and the samurai goes hunting for his ward. (Note, this is some speculation, so the story might be more or less, but nonetheless, it sounds interesting. Also, this is a FROMSoft game. How much story will be handed to the player and how much digging will need to be done to find it remains to be seen.)


Mechanically, the game looks a lot like a happy combination of Dark Souls and Bloodborne. The prosthetic arm plays a major role in combat, since it can have multiple different attachments. Some of the ones displayed so far include a collapsible shield, a hand ax to break enemy shields, a grappling hook (for use in traversing the world and combat), fireworks for a more Bloodborne-esque riposte and a hand cannon, which was only seen in concept art and not in action. Your main weapon will be your samurai sword, and, where Bloodborne had a sped up combat and Dark Souls banked on shields and dodging, Shadows Die Twice seems to focus on swordplay, with parries and other solely sword-type moves being the main way to engage and gain the upper hand in combat.

There are plenty of other things floating around the speculation sphere for this game (and being a FROMSoft game, there is already a large speculation sphere.) As a huge fan of the SoulsBorne series, Sekiro Shadows Die Twice has me extremely excited for its release (currently a large window in 2019). Gameplay looks enough like Dark Souls to be good, but different enough to be its own thing, and if there’s one thing FROMSoft has shown it can do, it is open a new IP with a rich, deep world that makes fans want more.

The images are courtesy of FROM Software and not taken by me.

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