The official strategy guide for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has finally been released, and it is nearly 600 pages long. As the game has already fostered discussions of what constitutes too difficult a game, and whether an "easy" mode should be added, the arrival of the guide is likely going to be welcomed by many players.
In order to create the highly-detailed game guide, Frank Glaser, Managing Director of Future Press and his team had access to the nearly-finished game product five months before anyone else. Although the goal of the company is to launch guide on the same date as the game, their policy prevented that from being possible.
Due to changes between the initial finished disc product and the subsequent update 1.02, Glaser affirms that there was too much to revise in terms of strategies and data, taking many more days and nights than originally planned, but ultimately, they completed the work satisfied that the material was still relevant for players. When everything was said and done, more than 10,000 hours of work was put into the guide.
The game itself attracted attention soon after its release with some calling for an easy mode "to respect its players." Ultimately, that decision lies with those who make these games. Years ago, Blizzard made the decision to add end-game raids in World of Warcraft to what is now termed "Looking For Raid (LFR)." These were simplified versions of the end-game content, with scaling power buffs granted to the raid group with each wipe. Accessibility was the key focus at the time, granting players the opportunity to experience otherwise gated content. Reception to LFR over the years has been mixed, by a broad range of opinions as to whether it belongs in the game at all or not. One thing is certain, without an LFR mode, most players would not be able to see the most coveted areas in the game, and maybe that is the point for casuals players in an MMORPG: the experience is what matters, not the many obstacles to bypassing its gating mechanics.
Therein lies the issue with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Its essence, which is to say, the way the developers envisioned their game being played, has no room for tourists. Players know exactly what manner of masochistic punishment awaits them when they delve into Dark Souls or Bloodborne, and asking for an easy mode rather defeats the purpose. Guides, like the one meticulously worked on by Future Press, offer a perfect middle ground. They in themselves offer a trove of knowledge about the complex world that awaits, but past that, does not offer any other advantages. The player still needs to put the effort into learning the game, and how best to survive.