It looks like Sony are looking to cap off the PS4 era with a bang. Sucker Punch’s upcoming open world samurai epic Ghost of Tsushima is almost certainly going to be the last major PS4 exclusive, and if it manages to live up to the expectations surrounding its release, it’ll be a strong note for the PS4 to sign off on.
With the promise of its rich setting, atmospheric world-building, and focus on storytelling, Ghost of Tsushima is definitely a game many – ourselves included – have had their eyes on for a while, and just days from now, the game will finally be in our hands. There’s a lot about this game that looks exciting, and so much that we can’t wait to engage with, and so, in this feature, that’s what we’ll be talking about.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
LIVE THE SAMURAI FANTASY
With Ghost of Tsushima, it’s clear that Sucker Punch are attempting to craft the ultimate samurai fantasy. The developers have talked multiple times about how much the game inspired by classic samurai films, while we also know that something Sucker Punch have emphasized quite a bit during development is getting the tone and authenticity of the locations and the setting just right.
In fact, in a recent interview, game director Nate Fox remarked that the “number one inspiration” for Ghost of Tsushima was the first Red Dead Redemption. Just as Rockstar were able to craft an incredible game around the fantasy of an outlaw in the Wild West where authenticity and atmosphere were top-notch, so too do Sucker Punch want to do with Ghost of Tsushima’s samurai setting.
And that’s something we’re incredibly excited about. For whatever reason, going all-in on the samurai motif isn’t something that games do a lot – not nearly as often as they should, that’s for sure – and the idea of this big-budget open world game tackling that stuff is an exciting one. Immersing ourselves in Ghost of Tsushima’s world and being able to live the samurai fantasy is one of the biggest reasons we’re excited for this game.
Ghost of Tsushima’s world is looking like its going to be massive, and if pre-release trailers and coverage are any indication, it’s also going to be a pretty diverse and beautiful one. Combined with something that we’ve already discussed – the world-building and authentic atmosphere that it’s looking like this game will be focusing on – exploring its world sounds like a particularly enticing prospect.
Of course, “explore this vast world” is one of the biggest motivations to play any open world game, right? But that motivation feels a little stronger with Ghost of Tsushima, because it’s looking like the game is actually going to ask you to explore. Don’t follow random markers on the map, don’t mindlessly had in the direction the compass is telling you to go, don’t look at the world like multiple sections of a deluge of map markers to cross off.
No, it looks like exploration and traversal in Sucker Punch’s open world game are going to be much more immersive and organic. From following a guiding wind, to heading in the direction of plumes of smoke, to conversing with NPCs and learning new details about a nearby point of interest, to following animals in the world that might lead you to interesting secrets- exploration in this game seems to be very grounded in its world, rather than something that feels gamefied. From what Sucker Punch have shown of the game so far, it sort of looks like a cross between Breath of the Wild and Red Dead Redemption 2– which sounds like a great combination to us.
BE A BADASS GHOST
Stealth is going to be a massive part of the experience in Ghost of Tsushima, which promises to be interesting for multiple reasons. For starters, it seems like Jin’s new tactics as a stealthy guerrilla fighter – or the Ghost – will stand in contrast to the honourable ways of the samurai he has been trained in, and the conflict that creates will be interesting to see.
From a gameplay perspective, it’s exciting for a very simple reason- when done right, stealth in video games can be the most incredible thing ever. Ghost of Tsushima looks like it’s looking to do just that. With various tools and weapons at his disposal – from kunai knives to smoke bombs – Jin seems to be well equipped to transform into the Ghost. Striking fear into the hearts of Mongols is an interesting idea that could work very well for both gameplay and story, while the game’s seemingly Assassin’s Creed-esque parkour might add another layer of depth to silently dispatching a camp full of enemies.
With stealth games, you can never be too sure how well it’ll turn out until you’ve actually played it, tested out an AI, got a feel for how harmoniously the stealth mechanics are working with other aspects of the experience- so here’s hoping Ghost of Tsushima will nail those aspects and allow players to turn into a badass samurai-turned-stealthy Ghost.
While stealth is clearly going to be a big part of gameplay in Ghost of Tsushima, Sucker Punch have said that out-and-out combat, too, is going to be an equally viable way of facing your enemies. Switching stances, parrying, deflecting, and striking with precision will be crucial- but the one, single part of combat that we’re the most curious about is duels.
If you’re familiar with samurai media, you know that those dramatic one versus one stand offs are an integral part of the whole samurai experience. In keeping with their goal to create the ultimate samurai game, Sucker Punch do, of course, have a dedicated mechanic for 1v1 duels as well, and it looks quite interesting.
These mano-a-mano fights, where two warriors look eyes and wait for the perfect moment to dispatch their foe with one quick, precise, and lethal strike are great to look at, but we’re hoping Ghost of Tsushima will find a way to make them fun to play as well. If it can make them as fun as, say, the standoff duels in the previously mentioned Red Dead Redemption 1, it’s fair to say it’ll have done its job.
MESS ABOUT WITH PHOTO MODE
Photo modes aren’t an integral part of video games on paper, because they don’t really contribute anything to the story or gameplay element, but games over the last few years – especially open world games – have shown us that well-made photo modes can still add a great deal to the larger, overall experience.
Just look at games like God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, or so, so many others in the last few years, and you’ll get an idea of how much players enjoy a good photo mode in games. In Ghost of Tsushima, with is stunning visuals and its large, diverse, and beautiful-looking world, it’s clear that photo mode is going to be an even bigger draw for many.
Thankfully, it looks like Sucker Punch are aware of that. Photo mode is confirmed for Ghost of Tsushima, and it also looks like its going to be a pretty versatile one, with plenty of filters, tools, and customization options to help players create and share some truly beautiful snapshots. Sure, it’s not the first thing we think of when we think of Ghost of Tsushima, but it’s definitely something we’re really looking forward to.