Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is FromSoftware’s latest game — you might know them from Dark Souls and Bloodborne — and there was a lengthy video of the game during Microsoft’s press conference at E3 2018, in which something jumped out at me a bit during the demo. Take a look at the video from Microsoft’s presentation below, and then let’s come back and discuss it.
The sneaking around the levels, the use of the grappling hook and the combat all reminded me of one game: Tenchu: Stealth Assassins.
Tenchu was a classic PlayStation game that was first released in 1995, and it gave you a score based on how well you ninja’d your way through each level. Take a look at some of the game in action:
The Tenchu series has an interesting history. Activision purchased the rights to the series from Sony Music Entertainment, and later sold those rights to ... FromSoftware. It might be a coincidence, but FromSoftware’s partner in creating Sekiro is ... Activision. The two companies co-published a Tenchu game, called Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven, in 2003, with FromSoftware handling the game in Japan and Activision handling publishing worldwide.
Pretty weird, right? I’m not saying that Sekiro is a stealth sequel to Tenchu, but I will say that you wouldn’t expect a spiritual successful to Tenchu to be released any other way. This is purely speculation, but the Tenchu connection could be a case of a business relationship where Activision didn’t want to publish a game based on an IP that FromSoftware owns.
Or it’s possible that FromSoftware just sprinkled a few elements of Tenchu into a completely new title, but I didn’t expect to be talking about Tenchu at all in 2018, so I’ll take what I can get.