By Adam Hood
Ghost of Tsushima, the latest game developed by Sucker Punch is a love letter to Japan and its culture. Sucker Punch themselves have also stated that Ghost of Tsushima is the accumulation of its previous open-world titles that have come from their years of working with the PS4.
With the level of talent and experience that Sucker Punch possesses, we can expect the game to be one of the consoles most advanced games. Anyone could tell this from the gameplay footage that has been released already. The game looks like it is on a whole other level from current games.
The game is currently scheduled for a ‘holiday 2020’ release. Considering that the game is going to be released on both PS4 and the PS5 through backwards compatibility.
Ghost of Tsushima takes place in the year 1274, during the Kamakura Period of Japanese History. The game is set during the Mongolian invasion of the titular island of Tsushima. You play as Jin Kasai, the last samurai of the island. You will find Jin completely outmatched by the number of enemies you would have to face from the Mongolian army. Through your journey in the game, you will come across many villages that have been ransacked and ruined by the Mongol army. While you may be a highly skilled samurai when battling a few enemies, you will have to be very wary as you could end up encountering a large mounted force of the Mongols. You would also have to watch out for alarms as it would be easy to be surrounded by enemies due to their volume. You will also find that as you progress through the game, it will constantly keep you updated on how long it has been since the start of the invasion.
When it comes to open-world games the team at Sucker Punch has an excellent track record with the biggest being the Infamous series. However, unlike those games which took place in cities, you would now be riding around a rural area on horseback. Also unlike the Infamous series, there will be no waypoints for you to navigate through the area. For this game, you will have to navigate the environment through the use of landmarks and you have to constantly pay attention to your surroundings. There will also be times where you are not being hunted as you will be able to walk amongst the populace.
When it comes to the combat in the game, Sucker Punch reportedly had a motto and it was ‘Jin might be following the Way Of The Ghost, but he’s going to get in scraps’. Jin is a samurai and this will give you access to his wide range of sword techniques such as Laido which is a technique of strikes from quick sheathing of the katana. However, in regards to Ghost of Tsushima’s combat, Sucker Punch describes it in three words and they are Mud, Blood, and Steel.
You will also find that Jin Sakai, the main protagonist of the game has ghostly powers of some sort. This is because Jin has to leave his honour as a samurai and learn the Way Of The Ghost. These new ghostly skills allow him to strike fast from the shadows to stealthily take out his enemies. You will also find that on Jin’s conquest against the Mongols his way of combat will be mainly guerilla warfare. When Jin is in combat he will also don an Oni mask. This is to further emphasize his path on the Way Of The Ghost.
You will find that in Ghost of Tsushima, where you choose to explore and when will play a big role in how you go through the game. You will find that your approach to situations will be critical. But this will be made easier will Jin’s ability to climb and grapple, which will allow Jin to move across various rooftops unseen by his enemies. You will find that you also can scale cliffs buy avoiding regular paths, thus making your approach to enemies in a more indirect yet more efficient way. Doing this will make it easier to have a more stealth approach when you want to pick off your enemies. When you start from a higher vantage point you will be able to jump down and kill an enemy instantly. This can be used to either keep yourself hidden or begin the fight with an advantage.
In order to improve the authenticity of the game, Sucker Punch sent an audio team to Japan to get authentic sounds. Their role was to gather various sounds and music such as birdsongs that you may hear in the game. But Sucker Punch did not stop there, they even got the music to be composed by Shigeru Umebayashi. Shigeru Umebayashi is a famous musician who is known for scoring Japanese and Chinese films, such as House Of Flying Daggers or Yumeji.
While you will have plenty of chances in the game to use your katana, thanks to the Way Of The Ghost, Jin now has training in a variety of different hidden weapons and tools to aid him in his adventures. For example, you have sticky grenades and smoke bombs to disorient or hinder enemies. You will also have access to a bow to pick off your enemies from a distance. You will also be able to set fire to your arrows to burn your enemies.
During the first gameplay showing for Ghost of Tsushima, we were able to see Jin face off against the female archer Masako. She betrays you after you save a monk who betrayed her family. However, the developers have suggested that the relationship between these two characters may develop in other ways. They commented about how by banding together with other residents of Tsushima will Jin become stronger.
Ghost of Tsushima is slated for a ‘holiday 2020’ release on the PS4 and will also be released on the PS5. If you like what you have seen then maybe check out our recent articles for Resident Evil 3 or Haven.