FromSoftware is no stranger to the action RPG genre. Although it’s best known for the critically acclaimed Dark Souls series, the developer is responsible for other notable properties like Enchanted Arms, Lost Kingdoms, and Evergrace. While Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will borrow some elements from the studio’s famous dungeon crawler, the game will strive to establish its own unique identity by emphasizing action and stealth mechanics. In many ways, it will represent a departure from what From Software fans have grown accustomed to in recent years. The following are a few titles on Switch, PS4, PC, and Xbox One that may serve as great points of reference as Sekiro approaches its launch on March 22.
Games like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice | Nioh
Setting and gameplay are two elements that Sekiro shares with Team Ninja’s Nioh. Both have players journey through Japan during its Sengoku period, a time span that’s best characterized by civil war and social unrest. Supernatural beasts, including yokai, and fierce human opponents are also featured in each title. Sekiro‘s gameplay is similar to Nioh‘s in how it focuses on careful hack and slash mechanics. One wrong move could leave players open to attacks, though From Software’s title emphasizes poise and balance while Team Ninja’s title relies on a Ki stamina bar.
Games like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice | Lords of the Fallen
Sekiro and Deck13’s Lords of the Fallen are similar in how each de-emphasizes tactical combat, at least in relation to Dark Souls. Gameplay mostly revolves around melee weapons in each game, though the titles differ in what axes, swords, and hammers they offer (Sekiro‘s toys are obviously Japanese-inspired whereas Lords of the Fallen‘s are based in Nordic folklore). Each title also uses a checkpoint system that allows fans to visit earlier locations in hopes of uncovering hidden nooks and crannies they have may missed.
Games like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice | Dragon’s Dogma
Though Dragon’s Dogma incorporates more RPG elements than Sekiro, the two are similar in their history-inspired settings and gameplay quirks. Capcom’s title is also set in a feudal period and has players encounter mythical creatures and human enemies. Each game features semi-open-world environments that encourage fans to explore an area for vantage points before diving into combat. Of course, users could face opponents head-on if that’s their preferred playstyle. Similarly to how one can launch his or herself onto an enemy in Dragon’s Dogma, Sekiro players can use the protagonist’s grappling hook to latch onto far-away distances and bring themselves closer to a foe (though they can’t hook onto enemies directly).
Games like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice | Bloodborne
Sekiro and another From Software-developed title, Bloodborne, each diverge from the Dark Souls formula in meaningful ways, particularly in regards to combat. Just like Sekiro, Bloodborne is fast-paced and requires players to adopt an offensive approach when up against its diseased enemies. In both titles, fans are agile and are able to dodge by strafing, thus encouraging them to continue striking foes after the first hit. Each also marks a departure through their history-inspired settings, though Bloodborne‘s world is based more in fiction than in reality.
Games like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice | Dead Cells
Motion Twin’s Metroidvania hit Dead Cells doesn’t appear to share many similarities with Sekiro at a glance. Upon closer inspection, however, it’s clear that death is an integral feature that lies at the heart of each title. In Sekiro, players are given the option of being revived on the spot as long as they are willing to sacrifice a few items. Otherwise, they are forced to respawn at the latest checkpoint they encountered. In Dead Cells, players lose most of their belongings when they die, except for a few key upgrades they acquire as part of the game’s narrative or from the title’s merchant. Death clearly dictates how players approach each game.
Games like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice | Darksiders 3
Darksiders 3 is the most combat-focused entry in the franchise. It’s similar to Sekiro in how each protagonist relies on an array of swords and daggers to take care of business, allowing fans to treat each battle personally. However, players are allowed to escape into the game’s surrounding open world environments when the going gets tough. This is something that’s been evidenced in early previews of From Software’s title, as some enemies are simply too powerful to take on when one first meets them. Of course, as in many other semi-open-world games, exploration is encouraged in each title. Many items are hidden away from ordinary view, encouraging fans to search everywhere before continuing to the next area.
Games like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice | NieR: Automata
Platinum Games’ NieR: Automata is set in the far future and stars a combat android in a dress. It’s very different from Sekiro on the surface, seeing as how From Software’s title is set in a fictionalized version of feudal Japan. From a gameplay perspective, however, each title is similar in how it focuses itself around fluid movement and perfectly-timed button presses.
In Sekiro, players must attack opponents with precise strikes when they have an opening, lest they lose their chance and extend the battle. In Automata, fans can gain temporary invincibility and launch devastating counterattacks if they properly evade an enemy’s advancements. Though the two titles differ in terms of their emphasis on offense and defense, it’s clear that each has fans pay close attention to all the action onscreen in order to make it out of every skirmish unscathed.
Sekiro may establish another successful franchise for From Software when it releases later this month. Though Dark Souls fans are disappointed that their favorite series is dormant for now, they may find Japan’s Sengoku period to be just as challenging and rewarding. Of course, if Sekiro isn’t up their alley, these fans have two more unannounced From Software games to look forward to on the horizon. Given how busy it’s been this console generation, it’s safe to say that the studio is confident in its future as a game developer. Hopefully this will translate into quality software that maintains the company’s esteemed legacy for time to come.