'Sekiro was a big turning point': After Elden Ring Hidetaka Miyazaki says, 'there's one more level we can crank it up to'

Wolf examining his Shinobi Prosthetic
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

If you've ever played Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, then you'll probably remember just how rhythmic and fluid the fighting is. Armed with a samurai sword and a prosthetic arm, there's more of an onus placed on precise timing and dancing around your opponent than you may find in other souls games. But this style isn't as much of a one-off as it may seem. While later souls games like Elden Ring certainly share some DNA, studio president Hidetaka Miyazaki believes the future of souls games will build off what Sekiro tried to perfect. 

In an interview with Game Informer, Miyazaki talks about how the relationship between offense and defense during battles has changed: "It's become something much more fluid and active, I think, which was a very defining characteristic of Sekiro, and it's something I've been thinking about since Bloodborne." 

I found that one of the most significant changes to combat in Sekiro is the posture meter, which fills up each time you block an enemy's attack. If you just block without taking a break, then the meter will fill up and leave you vulnerable to an attack. At first, I opted to back up and try to slow fights down from my end, but this only worked against me, as the enemies in Sekiro are just so angry. Once I decided to join in on the rhythmic fights and literally go with the flow instead of hanging back and hoping for an opening, I finally started to actually make some ground. 

"Perhaps in Sekiro, it appears more obviously or it's the clearest form that I think that philosophy can embody," Miyazaki says. While I can certainly see this style in a more recent souls game like Elden Ring, as parrying and dodging feel more fluid and there's some rhythm to attacks, I've undoubtedly gone back to some bad habits by waiting for enemies to make an opening instead of creating one myself. But that's also probably a symptom of having spells and summons to rely on. 

But just because Elden Ring's fights may not be identical to Sekiro's, it doesn't mean that FromSoft has sidelined the idea completely: "Personally, I think there's one more level we can crank it up to and sharpen that and hone in on that mechanic even more, but I think Sekiro was a big turning point," Miyazaki continues. 

We've heard a lot of discussion recently about ideas for future FromSoft games and how Miyazaki feels as if he's still trying to capture his "ideal fantasy RPG." During this interview, Miyazaki even told us that "while Elden Ring is not quite it, it's getting close." And while he couldn't mention any further details for fear of spoiling upcoming games, it may well mean there'll be a future FromSoft title that returns to Sekiro's fighting style or at least pulls more from it. 

Elie Gould
News Writer

Elie is a news writer with an unhealthy love of horror games—even though their greatest fear is being chased. When they're not screaming or hiding, there's a good chance you'll find them testing their metal in metroidvanias or just admiring their Pokemon TCG collection. Elie has previously worked at TechRadar Gaming as a staff writer and studied at JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs about Smash Bros. or any indie game that crossed their path.