The game was revealed via a teaser trailer at The Game Awards 2017 in December, showing the tagline "Shadows Die Twice". The game's full title was revealed to be Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice during Microsoft's press conference at E3 2018. The game was published by Activision worldwide, with FromSoftware self-publishing it in Japan and Cube Game publishing in the Asia-Pacific region. Sekiro's soundtrack was composed by Yuka Kitamura, with some contributions from Noriyuki Asakura. The game was released for PlayStation 4, Windows, and Xbox One on 22 March 2019. A collectors edition was also released the same day and included a steelbook case, a figurine of the protagonist, an art book, a physical map of the game's world, a download code for the soundtrack, and in-game coin replicas. A port for Stadia was released in late 2020. On 31 October 2020, a free update was released that added new content to the game, such as new cosmetics for Wolf and a boss rush game mode.
According to review aggregator Metacritic, Sekiro received "universal acclaim" for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions and "generally favorable" reviews for the Windows version. Many critics praised the game's combat for departing from the typical style of FromSoftware's other similar games. In a review for Destructoid, Chris Carter described open combat as "akin to a waltz" and praised the variety of ways the combat could be approached, writing that players had more choices than in Dark Souls or Bloodborne. Brandin Tyrell from IGN praised the game's focus on "split-second swordsmanship", and although "to any Souls veteran, Sekiro's timing-based lock-on combat of strikes and slashes is familiar", the game's "sense of safety" caused the combat to feel "refreshing and new". PC Gamer journalist Tom Senior called the combat "beautiful" and praised the posture system, writing that "instead of chipping down health bars until the enemy keels over, you overwhelm their posture bar with strikes and perfect parries until an opening appears, and then finish with a deathblow". He stated that the system takes "the catharsis" of beating a great boss and "focuses all that emotion into one split second". In a review for the website GameSpot, Tamoor Hussain wrote that the game "rewrites the rules of engagement", stating that, while previous FromSoftware games demanded quick decision-making, Sekiro "pushes these demands further" than ever before. Reviewers also praised the resurrection mechanic, with Carter calling it "genius", and the stealth options, which gave the player freedom without descending into frustration. 2b1af7f3a8