Sekiro’s new launch trailer is great, but don’t watch it

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, the new ninja action game from Dark Souls developer FromSoftware, arrives next week, March 22. A new “launch” trailer hit today, showing off a variety of bosses, combat maneuvers, and story beats from Sekiro. It gives aways too much, and you shouldn’t watch it like me, a fool who just ruined some exciting Sekiro reveals for himself.

When it comes to the media I enjoy, I like to consider myself spoiler-averse to a healthy degree. I made sure to see Captain Marvel this weekend, so as not to have the movie’s (very good) twists and turns spoiled for me outside of the theater. I deftly avoided plot spoilers for God of War last year, even though I work for a video game website that covered God of War a lot. But I don’t consider the outcomes of sporting events or Super Smash Bros. roster reveals spoilers.

This is all to say that I wish I hadn’t watched the new Sekiro trailer, because from the get-go, it diminishes one of the best aspects of FromSoftware games: boss encounters. Within the developer’s own games, FromSoftware has introduced bosses to players by sending them into battles “blind.” Boss encounters in Dark Souls and Bloodborne often take place behind walls of fog or light, to obscure what those big, scary enemies look like.

Still, just five seconds into Sekiro’s launch trailer, there’s a boss I hadn’t seen in my recent hands-on time with the game — an intriguing, very pissed-looking steer appropriately named Blazing Bull. During that boss fight, we also see Sekiro himself pull off a new magical ninjutsu skill. Multiple additional boss reveals and two major character interactions later, I thought to myself, “Huh. I really wish I hadn’t watched this.”

This is par for the course when it comes to “Soulsborne” games, though. FromSoftware seems to be protective of revealing bosses and other enemies in its games, right up until a few days before they’re released. These sorts of marketing moments are always a delicate balancing act; game makers need to entice, while not giving everything away. The original reveal of the Great Serpent from Sekiro’s debut trailer, for example, would’ve been an amazing surprise in-game, but the boss’ appearance in a bit of marketing is part of the reason I’m interested in this game to begin with.

So, if you’ve already resisted the urge to click play on the trailer this long, maybe give it a skip. We’re a little over a week away from Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice hitting PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One, and some things are better going into with fresh eyes.

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