Developer FromSoftware has always been a studio that understands its audience and sticks to its ambitions. The company has enjoyed incredible and somewhat unexpected success by releasing previously-naked Soulsborne titles, which are among the most popular open-world games ever made. However, the fact that Sekiro was the least Soulsborne-like entry in the Greater Soulsborne family, which apparently makes it a member of FromSoftware''s best (and most engaging) games.
In many ways, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a strange departure from FromSoftwares'' post-Demons Souls offerings. It''s a stealth-action title that transcends several Soulsborne genre standards, such as collectible weapons, multiplayer, starting classes, and even stats. Sekiro even reintroduced traditional Soulsborne Stamina gauges with a Posture meter, which encouraged players to time attacks and guards properly, giving the titles action a
While Sekiro kept other, vital Soulsborne tropes alive (such as that genres often punishing difficulty level and narrative themes), you really have to venture outside the FromSoftware library to discover games you can easily compare it to (like the Tenchu franchise). Sekiro is still a bold experiment for FromSoftware in many ways.
You may be wondering why FromSoftware might make a sequel to Sekiro over a sequel to Elden Ring, who is quite confident that a Sekiro sequel might be beneficial for a different FromSoftware game. So far as all of that goes, it really comes down to the specific ways Sekiros Soulsborne deviations made it special, and all the things FromSoftware didnt get the chance to do with the games core concepts the first time.
Sekiro offers a variety of different weapons, such as the katana, and does not provide them with more stability. Instead, levels determine how many abilities players can utilize. Sekiro''s stats, such as attack strength, are usually concealed behind collection and combat challenges rather than an XP gate.
Those changes imply that Sekiro is more approachable than the standard Soulsborne title, since gamers don''t have to worry about min-maxing builds (or making new ones after a patch drops) while these improvements also make the games action a bit more skill-based, since players cant cheese bosses by grinding enemies to level up and increase weapon damage. If players want to defeat Sekiro, they must master the games combat rather than worry about a ludicrous character build optimizations.
This exceptional level of mechanical balance proved to be the special sauce that made Sekiro so satisfyingly challenging. Once again, FromSoftware is considering whether or not to resist that overwhelming desire to simply improve the pure Soulsborne formula. Sekiro showed that there are several methods to do things that are at least as effective if not significantly better.
Consider the design of the Sekiros movement system. When the game was introduced, it reintroduced the Soulsborne genre by the seemingly simple use of a dedicated jump button, as well as the more advanced addition of a grappling hook, and the ability to stealthily hide in tall grass. Those enhancements paved new paths of exploration and level design. Without them, irreplaceable moments like the Great Serpent encounter would have been possible.
Most Soulsborne players hide behind a fog door and aggro as soon as they enter, but backstabbing is a common strategy in Soulsborne games, which involves getting rid of most opponents from time to time. Elden Ring even had to rely on more traditional mechanics during many of its major encounters.
When you are confident that youre the one who has gained an unfair advantage, Sekiro is a matter of sneaking around, gathering intel, and striking. Ideally, a sequel might help develop it and allow players to roam around a stealth-based open-world where you can find every boss in the game for a tasty backstab. Not even Elden Ring allows you to do that.
The ultimate, and possibly greatest, argument for a Sekiro sequel is the games'' popularity and staying power. Sekiro, which is comparable to Dark Souls Remastered right out of the gate, is currently only slightly less popular than Dark Souls 3. Besides, Sekiro is currently the second-highest population of any Soulsborne titles, although few games do. In the long run, studios are really looking for such numbers to justify sequels.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice''s edition proudly declares that the title was nominated for and won over 50 awards, which isn''t a mere boast. No other Soulsborne was nominated for, or won, as many awards from as many different sources (at least until Elden Ring almost immediately did). In many ways, Sekrio was the FromSoftware game that forced even more traditionally mainstream owners of recognition to say that there is only something here that we cannot ignore or negate.
While Elden Ring is a variation of the standard Soulsborne design, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice demonstrates the genres'' modularity. It demonstrates how developers can cherry-pick Soulsborne mechanics and combine them with systems from other types to create an experience that simply feels a bit more unique.