Ghost of Tsushima is one of the best games of 2020, garnering praise from critics and players alike for its tense story and fluid combat. Just last week the multiplayer expansion, Legends, was released, and I can confidently say it is far better than anyone expected it to be. The free content update has pushed Ghost of Tsushima from a one-of-a-kind action RPG to a potentially game-changing MMORPG that could rival Destiny 2.
Sucker Punch always knew that Ghost of Tsushima would have a multiplayer aspect to it. The general gaming community wasn’t aware of Ghost of Tsushima: Legends until PlayStation made an announcement on Aug. 17, and even then, we had few details to go off of. Now that Legends is available, players are hacking and slashing through haunting story missions, clearing out waves of demonic Mongols, and collecting loot along the way.
Destiny 2 and Ghost of Tsushima: Legends are alike in more ways than one, some for the better, and some that could lead the new IP down a dark path.
Destiny 2 and Ghost of Tsushima both contain story missions that feature an assortment of puzzles, varied enemy types, and boss fights. In Destiny 2, guardians possess the power of the light to stop evil alien forces, and in Legends, ghosts take on ethereal powers to repel demons from Japan.
Both games offer classes for players to choose from, each with special abilities and ultimates. Both Ghost of Tsushima: Legends and Destiny 2 have similar gear and raid systems, the pillars of modern MMORPGs. It is easy to discuss some of the similarities between Destiny 2 and Ghost of Tsushima: Legends, but in reality, the samurai slasher feels like an improvement on the formula.
One of the common criticisms of Destiny 2 is the frustrations that arrive with new content drops. I have spent my fair share of hours diving into Destiny and Destiny 2, competing in raids, grinding to raise my light level, and trouncing through the same watered-down story missions. In a few instances, Bungie hit the nail on the head with Destiny 2’s story arch, but the constant pressure of microtransactions and rinse-and-repeat missions chipped away at the title’s longevity.
The main complaint of Destiny was the lack of content, and in Destiny 2 Bungie answered this grievance, but at the cost of a simplified combat system. The content drops are more than welcome additions, but at the end of the day, the tedious missions, un-intuitive combat, and a lack of consistency have hurt the game.
The topping on the cake is that whenever a DLC is released, it’s gated behind a high gear score that requires players to farm old activities to gain access to new content. Major content updates happen every 4-7 months in Destiny 2, leaving a period for guardians to sit around and twiddle their thumbs.
Content updates are something that can’t be spoken on yet for Ghost of Tsushima: Legends, but Legends already has an answer to two of Destiny’s glaring issues. There is no doubt that Sucker Punch excels in storytelling, and the combat of Ghost of Tsushima is fluid, challenging, and shines in the survival mode.
So far, the story mode is intriguing, and the higher the tier of a story mission, the more challenges are available for bonus loot. The story missions, to a certain degree, are randomized, and ensure that players have a new challenge every time they attempt the mission.
The survival mode is nothing game-changing, and plays out like Call of Duty’s zombie mode with boss waves every five rounds. The boss waves can feature over 50 variations of enemies with modifiers that can make them explode in a toxic cloud at death, or send out demon dogs that emit fire damage. Once players clear through the story missions and survival mode on Gold difficulty, they can then attempt it on Nightmare and compete for the highest score. Ghost of Tsushima: Legends also has a raid coming soon that will consist of three acts and will be the most trying experience available in the game.
Only time will tell if Ghost of Tsushima: Legends will be marred by some of Destiny’s issues, but so far, the new game is on a promising path. It already features a gripping story, satisfying combat, and Sucker Punch have delivered on all of their promises so far.
The source of an MMORPG’s longevity is the consistent addition of new content that keeps players coming back. So far, Legends makes me want to log in every day, and strive towards better loot in hopes of completing the Nightmare level missions. If Sucker Punch keeps up with the community and provides substantial updates, Legends has the chance to surpass Destiny 2 and take its throne.
For anyone just getting their start in Ghost of Tsushima: Legends, you can check out my beginners guide to get you chopping your way through the demonic hordes in no time.