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Famitsu has published a 20 minute gameplay video of upcoming From Software game Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and an article to accompany it.

In the report, which includes “this is not Dark Souls” in the title, Famitsu’s Nishikawa reports that Sekiro inherits some of the Souls series’ genes but is also an entirely new thing.

Taking place in a fictional state during the end of Japan’s warring states period, the player character is an orphan who is adopted and raised from childhood to serve as a ninja to the “miko”, a descendant of an old bloodline with special powers, who like the ninja was also adopted and raised in solitude. The story begins with the miko being kidnapped by a samurai general, who defeats the ninja in combat and cuts off his left arm. When the ninja next awakens, he finds himself in a temple, having been saved by a mysterious old man, who had also given him a mechanical left arm. The ninja thus sets out on a journey to save the miko.

The report emphasises on how the player is always given choices, being able to not just fight enemies head-on but also sneak up on them, or confuse them with the tools available. The ninja can also use a grappling hook to climb onto roofs and trees, and can activate this mid-jump or during combat.

The player can also kill regular enemies instantly with the “ninsatsu” assassination attacks, which are available as both stealth kills and special attacks in regular combat after dealing enough stamina damage to enemies through methods such as regular attacks and parries. Ninsatsu attacks in both forms are also usable on bosses, but do not kill instantly.

Sekiro does not have a levelling system like the Souls series, but defeating bosses gives the player items that raise their stats, and defeating enemies gives the player skill points which are used to learn new skills. Dying results in the player losing all of their skill point gauge at that point, with no way of recovering it like in the Souls series, but the revival system lets the player come back to life after dying.

The player’s revive is restocked after performing several ninsatsu attacks, and can be activated at will, meaning it is possible to wait for enemies to leave before reviving and sneaking up on them for an assassination. According to the Famitsu report, the revival system, combined with how falling into bottomless pits only does health damage and returns the player to where they fell from, leads to it being harder for the player to die to gimmicks, leading to the game feeling less “unreasonable” than the Souls series. The report does say however that while the game feels fairer than the Souls series, it also feels more difficult.

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Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is to be released worldwide on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC on 22nd March 2019.

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