Sucker Punch are no strangers to open world game design, but it seems like they’re looking to touch new heights with their upcoming Ghost of Tsushima. On top of promising immersive exploration in a rich setting, Ghost of Tsushima is also supposedly the biggest game Sucker Punch have ever made. And apparently, it focuses on more than just size- apparently, it focuses just as much on quality and variety as it does on size.
In a recent update posted on the official PlayStation blog, Ghost of Tsushima’s environment art lead Joanna Wang spoke about the game’s world, describing in detail the process of designing it and what core design philosophies the developers stuck to while doing so. She explained that Tsushima island in Sucker Punch’s game isn’t meant to be an exact recreation, but instead takes “essential elements” of the location and mixes them with “some inspirations from mainland Japan.”
One thing Wang touched upon the contents of the game world, and revealed that the game’s world is divided into three distinct regions, and that collectively, these regions house over 40 diverse biomes (you can get a glimpse at some of them in the newly released images below).
“Ghost of Tsushima is by far the biggest game we have ever made,” Wang wrote. “The map is divided into three regions filled with more than forty diverse Biomes and hundreds of points of interest. Our goal when building an open world game is always “if you can see it, you can reach it,” with as few exceptions as possible. You will journey through lush forests, cross boggy swamp lands, and enter into frozen mountainous landscapes. We collected so many references from movies, games, paintings, and even travel posters to draw inspiration. We want to present you with an authentic, believable world, a world that would call out to you, inviting you to explore, a world that is rich and full of surprises.”
Later on in the post, Wang promised the world of Tsushima – which she describes as “rich in density and variety” – is going to be “constantly changing.”
“Tsushima is rich in density and variety, and it’s also constantly changing,” Wang wrote. “You might be standing on the top of a cliff and see a big storm on the horizon. You could be crossing a bridge as clouds cover the sun and rain starts to drop unexpectedly. You could be sneaking around a Mongol war camp on a misty night, but moments later end up watching a beautiful sun rise on the ocean shore with your horse… it’s dynamic.
“Exploring the world of Tsushima is a core part of our gameplay, and we treat the environment like a living character. One that’s breathing, moving, has her own personality, and is charming and plentiful.”
Ghost of Tsushima is out for the PS4 on July 17.