Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice's Progression System Detailed
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Though Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a From Software game through and through, the studio's making sure to separate the upcoming action-adventure game from its recent titles. One way it's doing so, aside from ditching online multiplayer, is modifying how character progression works. In a feature published by Game Informer, the studio detailed the way progression works and how it differs from other games like Bloodborne and the Dark Souls series.
In Sekiro, you play as a shinobi dubbed The One-Armed Wolf. Because From has created an established character, there are no customization options in regards to changing class; players start the game with a sword and will likely end the game with a sword (though secondary equipment by way of the prosthetic arm may change). With this limitation in class customization, Sekiro will feature a skill tree that allows players to unlock new moves and abilities.
Players kill enemies to gain experience and collect gold; in other recent From games, experience and currency were one in the same. After killing enemies, new levels are achieved upon filling an experience bar. Once players unlock skill trees by finding particular items within the game's world, players can invest those experience points in one of three skill trees shown to Game Informer: samurai arts, a traditional warrior archetype that favors power and aggression; shinobi arts, skills focused on evasive and crowd-control maneuvers; and the prosthetic arm.
As noted by From's president, Hidetaka Miyazaki, during E3 2018, Sekiro is "probably even more challenging than previous From games." As such, death will likely come swift and often. However, unlike previous From games, Sekiro won't feature the infamous corpse run. Instead, experience and gold collected during that life will stay with the player upon either restarting or resurrection. While this may seem to be a strange departure for the masters of the masochistic action game, Miyazaki told Game Informer that "death will have a detrimental effect" but didn't divulge how or in what way.
Though players can use experience points to upgrade attributes and spend gold to purchase items, improving The One-Armed Wolf's other stats require more exploration. Similar to The Legend of Zelda's heart pieces, Sekiro will have prayer beads scattered throughout the world--either hidden in rooms or on enemies and mini-bosses--that increase the protagonist's health. According to From, there may also be upgrade tools for the prosthetic arm and ways to build upon the game's resurrection mechanic.
With the absence of online multiplayer and honing in on a single-player experience, From says this method of character progression allows it to fine-tune the depth of individual encounters. It also allows them to focus on character progression instead of just player progression "While you are a fixed shinobi protagonist, you do feel like there's a sense of progression, there's a sense of building your own character and finding your own playstyle, and experimenting with this throughout the game," Yasuhiro Kitao, From's manager of marketing and communications, told Game Informer.
Sekiro is scheduled to launch on March 22, 2019.
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