Sucker Punch’s open world epic is coming later this year- here’s what we’re hoping to see from it.
In all likeliness, Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima is going to be the last major Sony exclusive to come out on the PS4, and based on everything that we’ve seen of it so far, it looks like it’s going to be a fittingly excellent sendoff for the console. That said, there’s still plenty we don’t yet know about the game, and like everyone else, we’ve got a list of things that we really want to see in Ghost of Tsushima. Here, we’ll be talking about some of our hopes and dreams for the title.
Over the last decade, developers and publishers have flooded the market with open world games, and while many have stood out as some of the best experiences this generation has had to offer, many suffer from one common issue- they fail to utilize their large expanses of real estate properly, too often littering the map with meaningless, monotonous side activities that no one really wants to touch. Our hope for Ghost of Tsushima, then, is to see its open world being densely packed with interesting things to see and do and meaningful side quests with well writte narrative arcs of their own. While that is, admittedly, something that we can say for practically every single upcoming open world title, with Ghost of Tsushima – which looks like it’ going to have a beautiful and diverse map to explore – that seems extra essential.
Lengths of games is something that a lot of people obsess on for understandable reasons. Ghost of Tsushima, being an open world game, probably won’t lack for content, but we’re hoping that Sucker Punch will be able to find the perfect sweet spot, so that the game feels neither too short, nor too padded out. A runtime of 30-40 hours for the main story would be the absolute perfect window for the game to land in.
Sony’s first party titles have tended to feature light RPG progression mechanics over the past few years, which have been implemented to varying degrees of success. While God of War’s RPG elements felt tacked on, the likes of Horizon: Zero Dawn and Marvel’s Spider-Man implemented them far better to deliver engaging progression systems. And hopefully, Ghost of Tsushima will fall in the latter category. Going through its story and feeling like you’re constantly growing into a progressively more power (and badass) samurai feels almost like a necessity for this game.
WEAPONS AND ITEMS
This is something that ties into progression quite intricately- while getting more powerful and gaining new abilities is hopefully going to be a major part of the progression, we’re hoping that a variety of weapons and items will also come into play. Unlocking new and different kinds of things that we can make use for several purposes, whether that’s combat or traversal, would add a ton of variety to the game, so that’s exactly what we’re hoping Ghost of Tsushima will let us do. We saw a hint of this in the trailer shown off at The Game Awards, when Jin tosses a firecracker bomb (or whatever that is called) at an enemies- more of that please, Sucker Punch.
Stealth is, of course, going to be a major pillar of Ghost of Tsushima’s gameplay – you do play as a lone badass samurai going up against an insurmountable foe, after all – so it goes without saying that this is an aspect that the game needs to absolutely nail. The stealth mechanics need to be deep and polished, and everything from the AI to the tools players will have at their disposal needs to work together perfectly. Cursory stealth mechanics in games that claim to be stealth-focused can be something of a disappointment (looking at you, Assassin’s Creed), so hopefully Ghost of Tsushima won’t fall into that trap.
THE SETTING AND THE TONE
One of the most exciting things about this game is, without a question, its setting- the beautiful island of Tsushima. And Sucker Punch need to make sure that this excellent setting doesn’t go to waste, especially in terms of tone and atmosphere. Capturing the essence of this unique location and time period is an absolute must for Ghost of Tsushima. Thankfully, the trailers that we’ve seen so far give the impression that that’s exactly what the game is going to do, so it definitely seems like Sucker Punch are headed in the right direction.
NO FANTASY ELEMENTS
This ties into our previous point, because having fantasy elements might end up working against the strengths of the game’s atmosphere and tone. Ghost of Tsushima is at the very least a semi-historical game, and one of its most alluring elements is the promise of playing as skilled samurai that strikes fear into the hearts of his enemies- introducing fantasy elements into that grounded setting would most likely end up dampening the impact of that power fantasy. We have nothing against fantasy, of course, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice proved that fantasy elements in a setting such as this one can work very well. Hopefully though, Sucker Punch will try to distinguish their game and go for a more realistic and grounded take on the setting.
NO DETECTIVE VISION
Detective Vision (or Witcher Vision, or Listen Mode, or whatever you want to call it) has dominated games this generation. As a stealth-focused game open world game, there’s a very real chance that Ghost of Tsushima might have that too, but Sucker Punch need to put their foot down and ensure that Ghost of Tsushima stays away from that. Detective vision is something that’s hardly ever implemented well, mostly because games end up overusing it and relying on it as a crutch that sacrifices the quality of quest design. Most Sony games in recent years have also had a detective vision of some sort – Spider-Man, Days Gone, Horizon: Zero Dawn – but hopefully, Ghost of Tsushima will break the mould.
Nothing we’ve seen of Ghost of Tsushima so far even remotely suggests that something like this will be in the game, but if you think about it, a reputation system would fit within the game’s central premise perfectly. Jin is a lone samurai who’s fighting a dangerous enemy from the shadows, and trailers give the impression that as he does so, talk of “The Ghost” starts spreading far and wide across the island. What if players could actually have a say in how far it spreads, or what its nature is? The more effective players are in dispatching Mongols and fighting against their armies, the more they accrue a reputation as someone to be feared- it would add a whole lot not only to the gameplay, but to the story and character development of Jin as well.