GHOSTS OF TSUSHIMA [Preview]: State of Samurai.

Dee Assassina

Sony dedicated a State of Play to their upcoming first party title Ghost of Tsushima. If I wasn’t already convinced that Sucker Punch was working on this gorgeous game taking place in Feudal Japan, here comes an amazing showcase of gameplay.

We start overlooking the open-world land as Jin. The cape on his back and the blades of grass beneath his feet are reacting to the wind. Jin see’s a location in the far distance and decides to go there. This open world mechanic is similar The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild when you’re standing on top of the Great Plateau looking toward Ganon’s castle or the next shrine. Then the flap of his cape intensifies as the wind is guiding Jin toward his next objective. A detail reminiscent of Shadow of the Colossus is where the light from the sword shined toward the next location. He hops on a horse and along the way, he’s guided by a bird and a fox toward hidden places in the area. There are no custom markers, the UI is minimal, exploring is very cinematic, and everything is gorgeous.

Then we see combat titled “Jin, The Samurai”. The first attacks seem to be smooth one hit slices through three enemies. He enters a camp filled with a bunch of enemies, pulls out his bow, aims, and the enemy knocks back for a satisfying kill. He changes his stance after parrying some enemies. The parrying reminded me a bit is Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and the stance changes seemed influenced from Nioh, two great games with samurai aesthetics and noteworthy combat, although I’m confident this combat will be way more forgiving. Then Jim goes into a “Ghost” combat mode that is a stealth mode with climbing like Assassin’s Creed and death from above assassinations. Ghost of Tsushima combat seems like it will have more depth to it than this stream was able to demonstrate as there were crafting items you can seamlessly picked up while riding your horse, customizable armor, different stances, and different combat modes.

Then we’re introduced to photo mode, which is a personal love of mine. During photo mode you can modify the particles around Jin to leaves or fireflies. You can change the music score to fit the scene and create a screenshot or video. They also introduce a black and white film grain filter in case you want to play the game like you’re favorite Samurai film.

Ghost of Tsushima appears to take open world exploration and combat elements that work really well from existing games. Nothing about this game seems particularly innovative but every detail they showed has intensified my excitement to play on July 17, 2020.

-Dee Assassina

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