When FromSoftware’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice was announced at E3 this year, a few fans expressed concern that it was being published by Activision, worried that the larger publisher would negatively influence the direction of the upcoming action-adventure game.
Since then, From president Hidetaki Miyazaki has assured us that this isn’t the case, and that Activision has given From total freedom to make the game that they want to make. Miyazaki’s recent interview with Eurogamer provides insight into something that the larger company did assist the Japanese developer with though – the game’s tutorial.
Miyazaki stated that Activision is providing them with “much needed support” to better explain the game’s systems to the player, something that he admits is “generally [not From’s] forte”. You don’t say.
Fans of From’s Bloodborne and Dark Souls series will know that the developer doesn’t exactly like to hold their players’ hands through their notoriously difficult games. And there’s definitely a cohort of gaming purists / masochists out there (many of whom are Souls’ fans) who take great pride in being dropped into a difficult game completely blind, uncovering the core mechanics for themselves through trial and error.
The news that Sekiro will have any kind of tutorial at all is probably something that doesn’t sit well with this group. Casual scrubs like myself however, who futilely tried to karate chop through the first enemy in Bloodborne for half an hour before realising I had to manually equip my weapon, will likely welcome this news with open arms.
However, if you think the inclusion of a tutorial means that Sekiro will be easier than previous Soulsborne games or pander to a more casual type of gamer, worry not! In the same interview, Miyazaki made sure to emphasise that in the game, “the intention is the player will die a lot.” It will also adopt a similar, interconnected level design to Dark Souls and take the same approach to its story-telling. Translation: you’ll likely will have no idea what is going on unless you dig through the clues and read every item description in the game, or watch a lore video.
Given I had to consult a few online guides before I had any idea what I was doing in Bloodborne, I am very okay with a clearer tutorial system in Sekiro, but I can understand why this may rub some people the wrong way. What are your thoughts – are you okay with a game explicitly explaining it’s mechanics to you, or would you prefer to discover them for yourself?
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will be available on the PS4, Xbox One and PC early next year.