Ninjas! Lore! Resurrection! Excitement!
Dark Souls is my favourite game of all time. ALL time. I know every square inch of the game by heart and I’ve done everything that’s possible in the game (twice) like challenge/speed runs, pvp, and coop. I’ve dragged friends into this hellhole of despair, and I’m only partially sorry for exposing them to constant death and respawning. I’ve just looked up how many hours I’ve spent in all the games and it amounts to more than 900 hours of playtime.
What I’m trying to say is that I’m EXTREMELY excited for another Hidetaka Miyazaki game, and the other VALUE members are too. At this year’s E3, FromSoftware revealed Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and it’s best described as Dark Souls on turbo mode with ninjas in medieval Japan. If you haven’t seen the video, you should check it out!
The Playstation Blog got a chance to interview Miyazaki and ask questions about this upcoming game, focusing on the chosen time period and the importance of lore and death. Dying is a huge part in the Souls series, but this time you don’t have to run all the way from the nearest bonfire/lantern: you resurrect on the spot! It’s clear that Miyazaki has a different playstyle in mind this time around: he compares the Souls series to a knight who’s slower and less mobile but can take a beating to the vertically-oriented and fast-but-very-fragile ninja in Sekiro. The video I linked above should give you a pretty good idea of the playstyle: fast and deadly but still recognisable as Souls-esque.
Miyazaki’s previous games, the King’s Field series, Demon’s Souls, and Dark Souls were based on Western myth and history with European looking castles and towering knights in medieval armor. This is not completely surprising, seeing that Miyazaki read a lot of Western fantasy books when he was younger and that he was heavily inspired by the Berserk manga (itself based on 17th century European history, religion, and myths). It’s important to note that Miyazaki couldn’t read every kanji letter at the time, so most of the stories he read he had to piece together by himself from passages that he could understand. This would lead to the (often praised) way Dark Souls tells its story: scraps of information scattered around the world need to be collected and pieced together to create an incomplete story about the history of the world: the imagination fills in the blanks. [This is where Bram begins reading the article. Aaaaand he explicitly mentions this in the interview. Great…] Bloodborne was utterly Lovecraftian, with direct references to H.P. Lovecraft’s works and a Victorian horror setting. The switch to a medieval Japanese setting might come as a surprise to fans of Miyazaki’s newer titles, but FromSoftware has developed games with ninjas in the past: Ninja Blade, the Otogi games, and a Tenchu game. In other words they know their way around ninjas and Japanese settings.
Use your grappling hook and swing on over to the Playstation Blog to read the interview!