Here’s how we’re dreaming about immersing ourselves in the island of Tsushima.
Sucker Punch have a great track record as a developer of open world games (or, you know, games in general), and it looks like their upcoming Ghost of Tsushima – their first new IP in over a decade – is looking to touch new heights. We – like everyone else – are really excited to play the game, and though we recently spoke of reasons we can’t wait to play the game, it looks like there’s just so much more to look forward to.
And so, here in this feature, we’ll be talking about five more things from Ghost of Tsushima that we’re excited about and cannot wait to try out, and hopefully spend hours being obsessed with. So without further ado, let’s get started.
THE HISTORICAL SETTING
For some time now, Ghost of Tsushima has been drawing comparisons with Assassin’s Creed, and while there are, of course, many gameplay aspects those merit those comparisons, another aspect that does the same is the game’s historical setting. And historical settings are something that’s hard not to get excited about.
With video games in particular, the idea of being able to immerse yourself in this authentic recreations (or reimaginations) of historic times is an alluring one, and as many releases have proven time and time again, there’s something special about games that can implement this aspect to perfection. Assassin’s Creed continues to be a great example of that year after year.
Ghost of Tsushima, however, is set in a particularly interesting time, in a particularly interesting location (seriously, fans have been asking for an Assassin’s Creed set in Feudal Japan for ages), and so the prospect of virtual historic tourism with Sucker Punch’s open word epic becomes even more exciting. Building an immersive world that captures the atmosphere and feel of its setting is something that Sucker Punch have said they’ve attempted to do, so here’s hoping they’ve succeeded in that.
Stealth will be an integral part of Ghost of Tsushima, but we haven’t forgotten about combat. Even though Sucker Punch have maybe spent a little less time talking about the game’s combat than they should have, they have still revealed some things that sound intriguing.
The one that catches our attention more than anything else is stances. During combat, Jin will have to keep shifting his stances in order to counter specific threats from varying enemy types, with different stances tailored to different styles of fighting and offering unique advantages and disadvantages. And this system of stances is something we can’t wait to dig into.
Of course, a lot hinges on just how much system this depth has, but if it can strike the right balance between tactics, skill, and accessibility, it could lead to some really special, dynamic combat encounters. Changing your stances on the fly and deftly countering oncoming challengers in the midst of swift and fluid combat- that’s what we’re hoping this system will allow.
THE SIDE STORIES
Side content is one of the biggest draws of any open world game, but it’s also one that so many open world titles fail to do justice to. Thankfully, these past few years have seen a surge in games with engaging, memorable side content that adds something meaningful to the larger experience, and our hope is that the same will be true for Ghost of Tsushima as well.
What we’re hoping to see is Ghost of Tsushima make use of the immersive nature of its exploration – which doesn’t seem to be impeded by gamified elements like UI or markers – with side quests and optional content as well. So what we want is an open world where organic exploration lets us uncover stories and side quests, rather than discovering them through in-game menus.
And of course, quality is more important than all that. Saying we want well-written, well-designed side quests might be easier said than done, but, well… we do. We’re hoping this is where the comparisons will Assassin’s Creed will end for Ghost of Tsushima, and that it will deliver meaningful side content instead of stuff that feels like it was hastily cobbled together in a week.
Sucker Punch have noted time and time again, that with Ghost of Tsushima, they are paying homage to classic samurai action flicks, with legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa being one of their biggest inspirations for the game. In its attempt to allow players to live out their samurai fantasies in an atmospheric and authentic world, Ghost of Tsushima is very clearly appealing hard to fans of that particular genre of film- and with Kurosawa Mode, it doubles down on that.
Rather than being a pain and simple black and white filter, Kurosawa Mode, as its name suggests, is much more elaborate. From different audio and video that attempts to emulate the style and quality of Kurosawa’s films to wind being cranked up in the mode, for those who’re looking to dive into a world and adventure that calls back to some of the greatest samurai action films of all time, this sounds like an incredibly exciting prospect.
Clearly, making the world of Ghost of Tsushima feel as authentic as possible is something Sucker Punch have devoted a lot of time and attention to. How much Kurosawa Mode will end up adding to that remains to be seen, but nonetheless, if nothing else, it’s at least a great option to have.
OUTFITS AND ARMOUR
Another aspect of gameplay that Sucker Punch have detailed quite a bit before the game’s launch is customization – both cosmetic and otherwise – and all the things we’ve seen and heard so far make us optimistic about the game. Ghost of Tsushima is not, of course, entering into full RPG territory, so customizing Jin with different armour will be limited.
What’s exciting, however, is the fact that according to Sucker Punch, what armour you’re wearing has a tangible impact on your performance during stealth and combat, with different armour pieces being suited to different things. Armour is something that might potentially add another layer of strategy to how you play- planning your approach to objectives around your armour (or vice versa) and then playing to your strengths should provide a level of freedom Ghost of Tsushima would really benefit from.
Of course, there’s some level of cosmetic customization in the game as well, with players being able to collect flowers in the open world to use them later to change the look of your armour. As is always the case with any sort of cosmetic customization, though that’s obviously going to have no tangible impact on gameplay, we imagine we will still spend a good amount of time on figuring out the right look for Jin.