Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice might be a FromSoftware title, and it might very much be going for a similar flavour and tone of experience in some ways to what we’ve come to expect from the studio over the last decade- but in many ways, and significant ways, it’s setting itself apart from the style and formula the Dark Souls games hew so closely to. That is apparent in many areas, but nowhere more than it is in the combat– earlier today, we wrote a report on how the combat in Sekiro is going to differ from From’s previous games, and what challenges the studio faced while working on something so different, and now, thanks once again to the month long coverage on the game currently underway over at Game Informer, we have even more new details on the game’s combat.
And these are particularly interesting, because they describe how exploration and combat – two separate aspects of the gameplay – are actually going to be linked to each other. It’s going to be done in very interesting ways, by the looks of it. For instance, just as the game’s traversal mechanics and its increased mobility are going to drastically impact its boss fights, so too are they going to change the way players approach every combat encounter in general. By grappling onto high spots in or around an arena before getting into the thick of an encounter, players can scope out enemies and their numbers and positions, survey the battlefield, and use all that visual information to their advantage.
Something else that impacts combat scenarios in Sekiro is its greater emphasis on proper stealth mechanics. Players can, just as an example, sneak through patches of tall grass unseen to dispatch enemies quietly, which will give some obvious advantages, such as thinning out their numbers as much as possible before having to get into open combat. More interesting, though, is that while you’re sneaking around, you can listen in on conversation between enemies, and as a result pick up useful information from them. For instance, eavesdropping on a conversation might let you learn about a particular enemy type’s weakness, which you will then be able to use to your advantage when you face that enemy type yourself.
“The eavesdropping mechanic, conversations with NPCs, overhearing enemy conversations,” explains lead game designer Masaru Yamamura, “these are ways you can learn about the world, and gain hints about combat as well.”
It’ll be interesting to see how well the mechanic is implemented in the game, and if it ever ends up being anything more than just an ancillary thing, but for now, at least on paper, it sounds very promising, not to mention the fact that the game’s combination of fast paced and immediate combat, emphasized stealth, and the kind of challenge FromSoftware is usually associated with just sounds better and better the more we hear about it.
Recently, we also learned a great deal more about how the progression mechanics will work in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, while the developers also went into detail about how the game will allow for more open ended exploration than Souls titles. Read more about both stories through the links. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice launches on March 22 for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.