For Hidetaka Miyazaki and his team at From Software, the question of where to go next was both a challenging and welcome one: just how do you follow Bloodborne and the Dark Souls series, some of the most revered video games of the past decade?
Souls, with its fierce but fair challenge and exquisite gothic world-building, casts a particularly long shadow; a game that near enough invented its own genre of role-playing action. Not that the disarmingly modest Miyazaki, director and President at From, would agree to that. “I believe this is a concept and genre that existed long before Souls,” he says. “It’s very kind of you to say, but we don’t consider ‘Souls-like’ to be the birth of this genre.”
Regardless, that success has given From, now one of the most influential studios in the world, the clout to write its own ticket. And after a brief sojourn with the fascinating virtual reality experiment Deraciné, the Tokyo-based studio has decided to return to its roots.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a shinobi adventure set in the brutal Sengoku era of medieval Japan. Its ferocious swordplay and intricate, sprawling world design are every bit the equal of Souls and Bloodborne, but the setting and characters are something altogether different.