'Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice' Vs. 'Dark Souls' Gameplay: No Corpse Runs, Character Leveling Changes

"Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" downplays RPG elements and puts even more emphasis on combat than "Bloodborne" or "Dark Souls." From Software

A new Game Informer feature on Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice reveals some major differences between the upcoming ninja action game and From Software's infamously tough Dark Souls series.

In Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, you play as a 16th-century shinobi whose arm is severed and lord kidnapped by the Ashina samurai clan. Armed with a deadly prosthetic arm, Sekiro (an abbreviation of a Japanese phrase meaning "one-armed wolf") will have his revenge. While Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice maintain's From Software's tradition of rigorously tactical and challenging combat, it strips out many of the role-playing elements found in Bloodborne or the Dark Souls series.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice vs. Dark Souls - Character Leveling

In Dark Souls and Bloodborne players earn "Souls" or "Blood Echoes" for killing enemies, each acting like a single in-game currency for both allocation of character stats and purchasing items—a combination of the experience points and currency typically found in RPGs. These points can be spent in categories like Vitality, Endurance, Strength and Dexterity to improve your character and level up. Shadows Die Twice abandons that system.

In Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, players fill an experience bar to earn "skill points" which can be used in a skill tree, assuming you have the right in-game item to unlock each skill. The full skill tree has yet to be revealed, but includes upgrades for samurai arts and your prosthetic arm. There's also special moves called "combat arts," activated by pressing both shoulder buttons simultaneously. The skill tree allows for different play styles, with samurai skills better for sword-first aggression and shinobi skills for better evasion.

More than in Dark Souls and Bloodborne, everything in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is more oriented to combat than RPG-like character customization. This focus extends to enemies in Shadows Die Twice, which don't have traditional hit points like RPG villains. Instead, players attack to offset an enemy's poise, delivering a killing blow after their opponent is off-balance.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice vs. Dark Souls - No More Corpse Runs

No more corpse runs. From Software

In Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice , enemies drop gold currency in addition to whatever experience accrues. Neither gold or experience is lost when you die. This is a departure from one of the signature features of Bloodborne and Dark Souls—no more corpse runs.

In previous From Software titles, your combined experience points/currency remain with your body after death. You have one chance to fight your way back to your corpse and reacquire Souls and Blood Echoes. According to Shadows Die Twice director Hidetaka Miyazaki, Sekiro's death will have negative consequences, but their exact nature have yet to be announced.

The gameplay differences between Dark Souls and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice are far more than the differences between Dark Souls and Bloodborne, making the new From Software game an exciting departure from once-innovative features that have been widely adopted by other developers.

You can check out the radically new gameplay in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice for yourself when the game is released March 22, 2019.