Looking for a comprehensive review of Ghost of Tsushima? We’ve got you covered! With this game, you’ll have to make a crucial decision: will you face the attacking forces as a Samurai or a Ghost? Our in-depth Ghost of Tsushima review explores both options and provides valuable insights to help you make the right choice. Don’t miss out on this exciting game – check out our full Ghost Of Tsushima Review now!
Developed by Sucker Punch and released as a PlayStation system exclusive in 2020, this tale of a fallen Samurai weaves the threads of fate that would determine the island of Tsushima’s destiny.
Enter into a world created and imagined by the incredible team at Sucker Punch known for their work on the Sly Cooper Games and InFamous. As opposed to these Ghost of Tsushima is possibly worlds apart, Sly is a stylistic stealth series in which you primarily control a raccoon who is a master thief. InFamous on the other hand you control a “Superhuman” who has a variety of powers, in a semi-realistic/ “punk rock” artistic style, the latest incarnation sees you playing as the Conduit who can control way more powers such as Smoke and Neon. As you can see these are nothing like Ghost Of Tsushima’s almost Photorealistic design path, and honestly you could just walk into the game yourself it is that “alive”.
Although it might look like a small map it really isn’t and you can really feel that are you traversing the game. The game is split into 3 acts, each one will give you 1/3 of Tsushima Island to explore, you can see the bottom part of the island below, which you will begin in once you have completed the tutorial and been given the incredible opening.
Before we even get into the separate sections or even start the game there is something that should be touched on as it was a unique and interesting way of playing. Upon starting you are asked to select an “Experience”. Now, this is nothing that you would not be familiar with in other games however the way Ghost of Tsushima handles it is a little out of the ordinary.
As highlighted above there are 4 modes in the game that can be experienced. Out of all of them the final 2, Samurai Cinema and Kurosawa Mode are probably the most interesting in what they are and do to the game.
- Traditional Japanese Dialogue
- English Subtitles
- Traditional Japanese Dialogue
- English Subtitles
- Black & White Filter
- Akira Kurosawa Inspired
Although a small part of the game, it is highly recommended to do this in one of these experiences during your New Game+ as it can change the way the game plays and how you experience the story.
Set during the First Mongolian invasion of Japan players take control of a young Samurai named Jin Sakai. Initially sent against overwhelming forces expected to fall on the shores of Tsushima, Jin’s determination sees him survive and fight back against the oppression of the Mongolians. Along Jin’s journey, he must decide whether to follow the path of the Warrior or forgo it for a more practical and dishonorable path. No matter how you play the game, either as a Samurai or a Ghost, the outcome of the story will not be affected. Saying that playing in certain ways will make sections easier than others.
As stated above the game is split into 3 acts and each with a territory to control, stories to complete and challenges to overcome. It can get some getting used to not having a set way of doing things like not having a marker on screen or being told you need to go here and there, however, that adds to the emersion of the game. There are a vast amount of things to get emerged in as you go around the game, and get lost in completing.
So let’s open this section by saying Tsushima looks like you could just walk through the screen right into the world. The team at Sucker Punch went all out with Ghost of Tsushima to make it not only look like you could live in the world but it feels like it.
Every little part of the game feels like it was expertly crafted and made to feel like you aren’t in just another game. This is only made even more impressive by the Guiding Wind, and how it impacts the world.
This is only added to by the look of the characters, who look like they are real actors rather than 3D Generated characters off an actor’s scan and Motion Capture data.
The resolve of all the characters can be seen clearly and even the sweat running down their heads can be seen.
One of the more interesting mechanics in the game is the Navigation System. Instead of an arrow that points your way like, in most games, Ghost Of Tsushima utilizes the power of both PS4 and PS5 with its guide to locations. Swiping up on the Touchpad will activate the Guiding Winds, which is a breeze that will direct you around the island of Tsushima.
Where this is a powerful and unique feature to have it’s not an unexpected addition to the game. It really makes the feeling of being there more prominent and doesn’t distract as much as an arrow or something.
The next powerful feature that should be addressed is the Stand-off. These are one on one conflicts where the first 1 to move normally meets a gruesome end, hopefully at the end of a Saki Clan Katana.
The goal of these is to walk into an enemy encampment and declare, either bravely or stupidly, that you want to fight a strong adversary. This will call one of your enemies to stand off against you.
Overall combat is as free as you would like it to be, do keep in mind that you can be an honorable Samurai of Tsushima or a Legendary Ghost. All told you can battle how you see fit, personally, it’s better to let the enemies make the first move and then land a series of devastating counterattacks, this is of course if you are forced into a battle situation. Let’s face it, if you just saw your friends and allies cut down by a Samurai wouldn’t you be just a little terrified? After all, Samurai are deadly warriors who weald pretty impressive weapons, Ghost of Tsushima is no exception to this and Jin’s abilities and skills with a Katana are impressively terrifying. This brings us to the actual combat portion of things.
Combat, as highlighted above is performed either as a Samurai or a Ghost. The headlines are Samurai tend to only do battle “honorably”, in case you don’t know what this means, in terms of the game, don’t be a wimp who uses stealth kills and hides in the shadows. There is more to it than that but really anything that can be considered “Honorable” is a Samurai act. Ghosts have way more fun however, as a Ghost you can perform Stealth kills, utilize underhanded tactics and even run away from unfavorable situations to get a better outcome. That last point you could do as a Samurai but it’s the same as Kazama Kiryu or Kratos running from a fight, not something you want to do. Let’s face it the game was designed with the best of both worlds and with the fluidity of combat it’s really easy to alter how to play in real-time without having to modify load-outs or anything. You can even put fallen enemies out of their misery if you see one crawling away, as shown below:
Needless to say, anyone who has played the game will know you are able to play in both of Jin’s Persona, the Samurai and the Ghost. We needed to differentiate between them for the purpose of the review, the games don’t really have you switching between them as such and you can, as stated, “Fluidlly” switch between how you approach the situations the game puts you against.
Finally, before we close off, I would like to draw attention to the little things in the game that make it feel more alive. One of these is being able to play the Flute.
Although it seems insignificant, it is really as powerful as the Guiding Wind. Swiping Left on the Touchpad will let you equip the flute and play one of the melodies that you have. Depending on which one you have you can actively modify the weather to be what you would like. This is really rather powerful and can be used in a variety of ways to help with how you play.
In Conclusion, the game is a graphical wonder and the emersion that can be felt really put you in the heart of the action unlike lots of other games out there. With every swing and slash of Jin’s Katana, it is like you can feel the motion and intent at times, just like when traversing the world. The team did an outstanding job at making the player feel like they were there, rather than playing a game. The only downside that, this author has encountered, is that Tsushima was meant to have been invaded but there aren’t that many enemies wandering around, sure you would expect them to be localized around settlements and the like but I do wish that there were more random encounters. Due to the lack of them, it kinda felt like when you ran into enemies killing them quickly would be too kind so keeping them alive and letting them think you were unmatched to take them was going to make up for not finding some.
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