Whilst Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a different beast than previous FromSoftware titles, it does share some common ground, namely the core themes of resurrection and death.
In an interview with the PlayStation Blog, Hidetaka Miyazaki—the president of FromSoftware—explained how Sekiro‘s death mechanics will differ from his previous work on the Souls series and Bloodborne. Namely, Miyazaki was keen to state that death can be used as a tactical advantage in Sekiro, particularly in the context of the game’s ninja-inspired combat:
“One of the general concepts for the game is that you can kill ingeniously—a ninja is so resourceful that he can even make use of his own death to gain an advantage. That’s kind of the idea we had.”
The concept of death has followed Miyazaki throughout the majority of his recent work, from the fatalism of Souls to the metaphysics of Bloodborne. Whilst the producer and director was tight-lipped on what exactly the resurrection system entails gameplay-wise, he did expand on the system’s wider place in Sekiro:
“There are three ways death influences Sekiro: for the gameplay purposes of keeping the flow good and being able to have this risky situation, to be able to use it creatively, and also that the story centers around the concept of resurrection.”
The “risky situation” Miyazaki speaks of relates to the gameplay, which is attempting to re-capture the high-risk combat styles of Sengoku-era ninjas. Sekiro will take place in the twilight of the Sengoku period, which signified the death of traditional Japan and its transition into modernity. Much like Ghosts of Tsushima, the title looks to draw inspiration from historical Japan as the basis of its mythos.