Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice in a lot of ways seems to be a far more streamlined and stripped down game than the Dark Souls games were. A lot of the RPG mechanics are gone, but also gone are things like a lot of movement options. On the plus side, mechanics like fall damage are also gone.
Why did FromSoftware decide to pare back on what they were doing with the game? Put simply, it was because of their aim to remove extraneous mechanics, and just focus on something that would challenge players to get better, and give them a sense of accomplishment as they did.
In an interview with Famitsu, summarized by Frontline, the President of FromSoftware Hidetaka Miyazaki, who also directed Sekiro, notes that the whole intent with this game was to take away the distractions, and provide players with challenge that would give them the thrill of accomplishment as they surmounted it. Things like fall damage detract from that. That said, a lot of the game does take place on rooftops and the like to fully realize its setting and aesthetic, which, Miyazaki notes, FromSoftware was almost single-mindedly focussed on.
On the whole, it’s hard to argue From didn’t achieve what they set out to do, though Sekiro’s unflinching and brutal difficulty will probably end up turning many away. The game is out now on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.