In news that is likely to shock no one, the ESRB has provided Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice with a Mature rating. The ESRB’s content descriptors are brief and as expected as the rating itself. Anticipate “Blood and Gore, [and] Violence” in FromSoftware’s newest project. What’s most interesting is the rating summary, which has fans online theorizing about the overarching narrative.
Read the ESRB’s rating summary for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice below:
This is an action-adventure game in which players assume the role of a disgraced shinobi on a quest to rescue his kidnapped lord in ancient Japan. Players use swords and a prosthetic arm to battle members of an enemy clan and supernatural demons in frenetic combat. Large blood-splatter effects occur as enemies are killed; some attacks result in decapitation and/or dismemberment. Cutscenes depict additional acts of violence: a man impaled through the chest with a sword; a child stabbed with a sword off screen.
Most of the information from the ESRB’s summary has been known for some time. Yet, the summary’s last sentence, particularly the part about a child being stabbed, has fans speculating on the Sekiro subreddit. One fan has posited that the child being stabbed represents a sacrifice, which may be an event that revives the shinobi player character. Another fan agreed, noting that a “young prince” in the TGS trailer says something along the lines of “take my blood and live again.”
Of course, at present, this is all nothing short of conjecture. The ESRB’s pull of this specific moment could solely be meant to warn of the severity of violence in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
Fans will know for sure whether their theories carry weight soon enough. FromSoftware’s next game will hit the PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One early this year on March 22, 2019. What the studio has planned after Sekiro’s launch remains to be seen, as there are two more unannounced From projects in development.