FromSoftware's Action Adventure Sekiro is Still Early in Development

FromSoftware's Action Adventure Sekiro is Still Early in Development

FromSoftware's latest project Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice was revealed during Microsoft's Xbox E3 Media Showcase. The game is being published by Activision, it will be multi-platform, and is a pretty major departure from the development studio's previous games. Unlike Dark Souls and Bloodborne, there are no major RPG elements in Sekiro. You don't make your own character, and many of the bosses you face (while still larger-than-life and quite capable of killing you with ease) aren't the kind of eldritch horror that made up the bosses in the Souls games.

Sekiro was not playable at E3, not even for media, but members of the development team were on hand to show press a behind-closed-doors demo session with a member of the team at the controls. The project is being helmed by Game Director and studio President Hidetaka Miyazaki and is set in the late 1500s during the Warring States Era in Japan. That said, there are snipers, so you will need to worry about ranged attacks. However, the overall combat system is much more duel based than Souls or Bloodborne.

Players will take on the role of the protagonist, who is currently referred to only as the Shinobi, who is charged with protecting one of the fuedal lords called only the Young Lord. The names alone should give you some idea of what to expect – a fantastical tale of archetypes rather than individuals. And naturally, Shinobi is rather stealthy.

Shinbo will fight using a combination of his "shinobi prosthetic" arm and his katana. The prosthetic will be capable of working as a grappling hook, loaded axe, shuriken, and quite possibly some bombs. Between mapping jump as a dedicated button and using the grappling hook, traversal of the environment will be more key in Sekiro than previous games by the studio.


Additionally, the game will not have a stamina bar, but rather a Posture mechanic. Bad blocks, attacks, and certain hits will cause players to lose posture. Ideally, you want to run your opponent's posture down in order to execute a Shinobi Death Blow death animation sequence. In order to do that correctly, you'll have to time your blocks as a parry or choose to interrupt attacks, sometimes kickflipping off of attacks in order to drive your opponent's posture into the ground.

Part of the duel combat system includes a series of Kanji symbols that will pop up in order to notify you of status effects, heals, and incoming attacks. Once you see the "danger" symbol, you'll haveto decide to jump over the attack, interrupt, or run away to avoid getting hit. After all, you don't want to take the posture damage.

FromSoftware's Action Adventure Sekiro is Still Early in Development

Additionally, you will occasionally be able to self-rez. Once you die, your opponents will start to leave your corpse alone and walk away, back to their routine. So if you self-rez, you have the opportunity to sneak attack them or let them go and try to take them on alone.


The demo shown at E3 included a fight against the Corrupted Monk boss, which was both cinematic, gorgeous, and tricky. Pretty much exactly what you'd expect from FromSoftware.

The game is early in development, in an Alpha format. So some of this is subject to change. However, there are a few other features we didn't get to see much of that were confirmed, at least for now. Sekiro will come with cat and mouse sequences between the player and some massive, massive monsters. Including a giant snake that you'll have to avoid detection from. Additionally, there will be Shinobi doors that lead to secret passages that will drop you in unexpected places or secret areas.

The game's UI wasn't shown during the demo, as it is still being worked on, however there will be a UI for the game later on down the road. There will also be a more cinematic stripped-down version for those who like a cleaner look to their games. Additionally, the layout of the game world will be similar to that of Dark Souls 1, with interconnected areas and multiple paths between them.
The game is still in the early days, however, it looks incredible and we can't wait to play it.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is slated to release in early 2019 for Xbox, PlayStation 4, and PC. You can check out the E3 announcement trailer here.
UPDATE: For the sake of clarification, Shinobi is merely the protagonist's role, as he is a Shinobi ninja. Additionally, a representative from Activision confirmed that although "Sekiro, when translated (from two different words) refers to "one-armed wolf" – alluding to the character. However, that is not his name either."

About Madeline Ricchiuto

Madeline Ricchiuto is a gamer, comics enthusiast, bad horror movie connoisseur, writer and generally sarcastic human. She also really likes cats and is now Head Games Writer at Bleeding Cool.

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