Since the E3 2018 announcement of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, fans have been diligently scouring trailers and gameplay footage for any available details on FromSoftware's forthcoming action-adventure game. With its release only months away, an ESRB rating has now been assigned to the title, and the rating summary brings some additional information to fuel speculation and excitement.
ESRB ratings function to give consumers a sense of a game's content, and, as most will certainly expect, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has been given a "Mature" rating. As per the summary, violence appears to be a primary cause for this rating, and it will come as no surprise to those that have followed the game's promotional material that "large blood-splatter effects occur as enemies are killed."
However, the summary divulges a feature that has not yet been seen in trailers and gameplay footage: "some attacks result in decapitation and/or dismemberment." This may come as a surprise to the fans that have been following the project most closely, as an August interview with FromSoftware PR Manager Yasuhiro Kitao indicated that this more gruesome violence was not something the company "specifically tried to add" to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
Furthermore, the ESRB rating confirms that players will "battle members of an enemy clan and supernatural demons," and it also gives some new story details for fans to speculate upon. While somewhat vague, it is important to note that the following may act as spoilers for those looking to play Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice completely blind.
Specifically, the rating summary states that "cutscenes depict additional acts of violence: a man impaled through the chest with a sword; a child stabbed with a sword off screen." While a man being pierced with a sword seems commonplace, the mention of a child stands out, and it has some fans digging deeper.
As pointed out on Reddit, the game's trailer from the Tokyo Game Show 2018 features the voice of a child saying, "Loyal Wolf, take my blood and live again." This line, coupled with the ESRB's indication that a child is stabbed in the game, has some speculating that Sekiro is resurrected following a young prince's death.
While this theory has, of course, not been officially confirmed, fans do not have much longer to wait before the game is released and all of its mysteries are revealed. In the mean time, players may want to brush up on their combat skills, as FromSoftware has indicated that Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will be more challenging than anything the company has released before.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice releases March 22th, 2019 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.