Miyazaki wants to ‘sharpen’ Bloodborne and Sekiro’s combat philosophy in his next games

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For me, there are two games that stand out in FromSoftware’s catalogue of games. I had played through Dark Souls 1 and 2, but it wasn’t until Bloodborne came along that I was fully enraptured by the possible expression. It was fluid and dynamic. You moved like liquid across the most memorable Miyazaki-world I’ve yet to experience, and the combat oozed style and cohesion. Four years after Bloodborne, with Dark Souls 3 wedged in-between, Sekiro came out. It evolved Bloodborne’s movement philosophy in a new direction for FromSoftware, emphasising defence through offense, and re-iterating the importance of movement.

With the imminent release of Shadow of the Erdtree, the critically acclaimed DLC for Elden Ring, having snatched everyone’s attention – Miyazaki has spoken openly about his previous games and what they mean to him. While lamenting both Bloodborne and Sekiro as two of his favourites in an interview with GameInformer, he said that “[combat has] 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.”

“Perhaps in Sekiro, it appears most obviously or its the clearest form that I can think that philosophy can embody. And 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.”

It’s hard to deny that Miyazaki’s press interactions this year have all hinted at big things coming from FromSoftware. With each and every interview, a new thread is tugged and a new clue is given. We know Miyazaki thinks Elden Ring is ‘not quite’ his ideal RPG, and we know that his next titles will incorporate bits from Elden Ring ‘that didn’t go so well’ – though it’s clear that something inside Miyazaki’s heart is hankering to revisit the design philosophy of Bloodborne and Sekiro once more too.

In our review of the Shadow expansion, we noted that new combat styles are introduced with emphatic style:

Hand-to-hand martial arts introduce Sifu-esque kicks and aerial acrobatics. Dual curved blades held upside down make you feel like an agile Ghilman. Fiery greatswords play like dex weapons. And on and on.

Tom Bardwell

I’ve not had a chance to dig into the expansion just yet, but something tells me that Miyazaki will be using it as a testing space for his next game. Aside from the throwaway comments made here and there, we know nothing about what it’s going to be, though if it’s anything like Bloodborne, Sekiro, and Elden Ring, it’s going to be alright I reckon.

About the Author

Amaar Chowdhury

Amaar loves retro hardware and boring games with more words than action. So, he writes about them daily.