When I entered Activision’s demo room for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, I briefly thought I was in the wrong room, as the home screen FromSoftware was showing off was so uncharacteristically colourful. But though Shadows Die Twice may not be as grimy as FromSoftware’s Souls series, it remixes its gameplay and idiosyncrasies with such finesse there was no doubt this game came from the same studio.
Shadows Die Twice takes place in Japan at the end of 1500s, in the warring period of Sengoku. FromSoftware is keen to stress that it’s not based on historical fact, rather, it’s a reimagining of this time period, and its primary aesthetic focus is to recreate the beauty of old Japan. It bursts through our demo in purple petals, turquoise skies and burning orange embers.