Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is From Software’s first non-Souls game in a decade. While part of the fan base is excited to see them switch things up a bit after all this time, others are concerned about how they’ll manage in these strange waters. One of the things Sekiro does differently is character progression. We already knew dying wouldn’t mean loss of progress – be it monetary or experiential – but now they’ve explained how the entire system will work in detail.
The information comes from a recent interview with Gameinformer. First off, there will be no character stats like strength and dexterity. You will be able to develop the main character, but only by building up his shinobi skills.
As you defeat enemies, you’ll gain experience points. You won’t lose those when you die (even twice). They’ll fill up a bar, and once it’s full, you’ll get a single skill point. You’ll be able to spend that point on a skill tree, but not before you’ve unlocked it. This can be done by scouring the world for special items, relics that allow you to learn now abilities if you have the required points.
There are several skill trees in the game, filled with both passive and active skills (called combat arms). Choosing a skill tree to invest in will be where you sculpt your character (using the appropriately named Sculptor’s Idol). For instance, the samurai tree will make you a better warrior, the shinobi tree will let you become a sneaky assassin, and the prosthetic arm tree will improve your grappling hook/shuriken arm.
You’ll also have to collect prayer beads to increase your maximum health and stamina, and you’ll be able to use various tools to add stuff to your prosthetic arm – stuff like a flamthrower or an axe.