Sony premiered a new 18-minute long State of Play dedicated to Sucker Punch’s upcoming Ghost of Tsushima. The video was jam-packed with new information and detailed the world the studio has crafted, the combat mechanics, and some of the additional features.
Sucker Punch has long been dormant, quietly crafting their samurai-centric game set on the Tsushima island in 1270s Japan. This was our first chance to get an in-depth peek behind the curtain before the game’s release sneaks up.
Despite its prolonged development cycle, Ghost of Tsushima has quickly become a highly-anticipated title under Sony’s catalogue. Considered to be one of PlayStation 4’s last tentpole titles, fans are looking at the studio to deliver an outstanding swan song for the console.
Sucker Punch made fantastic use of their moment in the spotlight, parsing out the 18 minutes to give the audience an overview of the most important aspects of the game. The State of Play show opened with a look at exploration.
Ghost of Tsushima is incorporating many open-world elements that are standard in today’s games, but with a slight twist. Instead of an on-screen navigation tool, players will take cues from the world itself. If you mark a location on your map, gusts of wind will lead you to your destination. Billows of smoke can also lead you to a point of interest.
Exploration is a key component in Ghost of Tsushima. Getting from one point to another will be a breeze since you’ll have access to a horse to ride throughout the game. As Jin, you can have foxes lead you to shrines and other secrets to earn XP. And before you get ahead of yourself – yes, you can, in fact, pet the fox.
You can also find resources along your journey across the Tsushima island. Those are used to craft new armor to give Jin advantage in combat. Different armor sets can affect his proficiency in sword combat and in stealth. There are also some light RPG mechanics, as you add on charms and technique points. These will grant Jin special perks and access to improved skills.
If finding loot and shrines isn’t your cup of tea, there’s also a visual incentive to roam the world of Ghost of Tsushima. Sucker Punch has developed a stunning game from a visual point of view. The sheer amount of detail in the particles in the air or blowing leaves will surely encourage players to explore all the different areas in this vast world.
The samurai’s code
Exploring is only one part of what the State of Play focused on. Sucker Punch answered the question of what the combat mechanics entail. Boiling it down, Ghost of Tsushima is part Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and part Assassin’s Creed.
You’ll be able to venture into enemy encampments directly, or take the silent approach. Sucker Punch showed examples of both options.
If you’re feeling brave, you can challenge opponents head-on: with his sword, Jin can attack and parry enemies in close range. Jin has a variety of stances that are effective against different enemy types. Being patient and waiting for the right moment to parry is very reminiscent of Sekiro. Jin also has access to a bow for long-range attacks.
Skulking through the shadows and tall grass, Jin can enter an encampment and begin dismantling enemies unnoticed. Jin is able to climb and parkour through encampments before luring enemies from their spot with firecrackers. Taking advantage of enemy positioning, he can then assassinate enemies with quick work. If things go sideways, Jin can use smoke bombs to hide his position.
An authentic experience
When you have a game that looks as visually gripping as Ghost of Tsushima, you might as well give players a full-fledged Photo Mode. Sucker Punch appears to have pulled no punches when it comes to options within Photo Mode. You’ll be able to tweak the color grading, depth of field, and swap particles in the air.
Ghost of Tsushima will also feature a full Japanese voice track with subtitles. This option will be made available before the first cutscene even plays out. Players looking for the most authentic experience should be elated by this news.
Finally, one of my favourite inclusions outlined by the presentation was the game’s ‘Samurai Cinema’ mode. Turning this on will enable a black and white visual with film grain. Harkening back to films such as Seven Samurai, this mode gives the entire experience a new visual aesthetic.
Sony’s deep dive into Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima answered a lot of the lingering questions fans (including myself) had for the game. This showcase provided a deeper look into the mechanics and features of the game, making the wait for it to come out that much harder.
Ghost of Tsushima is scheduled to launch Jul. 17 on PlayStation 4.