Ghost of Tsushima Review
Welcome to my Ghost of Tsushima review. Let’s start with the one question that everyone is asking. What is Ghost of Tsushima? Ghost of Tsushima is based on the real invasion of Japan by the Mongol Empire in 1274 that began on the Island of Tsushima. Jin Sakai is the main protagonist in a third-person open-world action-stealth game developed by Sucker Punch Productions exclusively for Playstation. Sucker Punch has been making games for 20 years and is best known for Sly Cooper and InFamous series.
The game starts as the Mongol empire invades Tsushima Island led by the ambitious general Khotun Khan. Khotun Khan is the main antagonist a Mongolian general and statesman, who was the grandson and greatest successor of Genghis Khan. Tsushima Island is hit hard from the first wave of the Mongol assault. Jin Sakai is the last surviving samurai warrior. You will rise from the ashes to fight back. But honorable tactics won’t lead you to victory. You must move beyond your samurai traditions to forge a new way of fighting. The way of the Ghost.
Let’s talk about Combat. There is no karma meter. So they thought about putting in a Morality Meter or something similar to the Karma System in Infamous Second Son. But they realized it was more important to tell a human story of someone who is this way and has evolved into something else. They didn’t want the character to flip flop back and forth from good to bad.
The Samurai Way. You can challenge enemies to a direct and honorable approach with the Special Standoff System. You need to walk slowly up to somebody and call them out. This is one of my favorite parts of the game. Sucker Punch was inspired by classic Samurai films. One-on-one Duel where anyone can go down with a swift and fatal blow. After the duel, other enemies can cower or step in to avenge their fallen friend so just be careful and aware of that. There are a couple of different Stances and they can be changed at any time. The Water Stance is one-handed attacks and it is very effective against shield-bearing enemies. The Stone Stance which is two-handed attacks and works well against a swordsman. There is no dual-wield both swords at the same time. Jin was trained to fight with a single sword in a traditional style. Blocking is simple — hold L1 to block the attack. But if you Wait to press L1 just before the attack is about to hit then you will have the chance to parry the attack.
The Ghost Way. Developers describe the Ghost play style as dishonorable and full of dirty tricks. With Ghost, you will focus on stealth. You can use gadgets like firecrackers to lure enemies to another location then take them out quickly and quietly. Smoke bombs to confuse enemies leaving them open for an attack. You will be able to assassinate enemies from above but what is even better. You can do a chain assassination and slay multiple enemies. Another one of my favorite parts of the game is this has a chance to build up fear to scare enemies into surrendering or fleeing. Samurai and ghost abilities can be customized through armor pieces as well as Charms.
There are 2 different types of bows. Longbow which uses Heavy Arrows that can hit enemies the hardest. Half Bow which uses regular arrows and has a weaker attack. There are a couple of different tools like firecrackers and rocks to lure enemies to another location. Throwing knives that are useful for quick kills and Smoke bombs to confuse enemies.
Charms are items that can be equipped in dedicated locations. They offer different passive bonuses that will help you in combat giving you an edge in battle. While exploring, you will discover and find these items. To unlock a charm slot, you need to discover the location of a Shrine then Honor the Shrine. Foxes will help you find hidden shrines on the island. There are different types of charms. Example – Defense Charm where it Slowly recovers health while out of combat. Stealth Charm where it releases poison that kills enemies when they pick them up. Utility Charm which make Smoke Bombs restore 25% of your health. These charms are going to play into a big part of your combat.
The yellow circles at the bottom left corner of the screen are Jin’s Resolve. These are built up from successful kills during a standoff. Plus when you parry an attack and then immediately damage the opponent. You can make use of these by either healing up or landing a special combat move.
The Game Difficulty does feature three levels of difficulty — Easy, Normal, and Hard. On HARD, the game is fair but very challenging. Enemies are more aggressive, and players must be precise to pull off extraordinary moves. Now for EASY, this is for players who want to explore the island, enjoy the story, and still be tested by a worthy opponent. The developer stated players won’t just be able to go swords blazing into an encampment and take out a dozen of enemies. They are trying to make a grounded game in that sense, so a couple blows from the enemy will kill you, so this will make The game challenging.
When it comes to exploration, it looks like Ghost of Tsushima is taking cues from the likes of Breath of the Wild and Red Dead Redemption 2, in that it will be emphasizing contextualized, organic, and immersive means of exploration rather than the “follow the marker on the map” fare we usually see in open-world games. Visual cues in the world of the game itself will be your guide. Plumes of smoke might guide you towards places under attack by Mongols, birds could guide you to points of interest, and foxes can lead you to shrines. So while exploring, rather than following markers littered on a map or a compass, you’re going to have to pay attention to the world itself. One of the most important tools that you’ll have to make use of for exploration purposes is something called the Guiding Wind. Once you’ve marked a location on your map, a gust of wind will blow in the world itself in the direction of that marker, and you have to follow it to get to your destination. You can bring up another gust whenever you want with the press of a button. Additionally, once you’ve visited a location, you can fast travel to it whenever you want.
Sucker Punch wants you to be able to live out your greatest samurai fantasies with Ghost of Tsushima, so if you want the game to look like your favorite samurai films, you’re going to be able to do that. The game will give you the option of turning on a visual model that will apply film grain and a black and white filter to give it that authentic look. It’s unconfirmed if that’s the only alternative visual mode in the game, but that one at least is confirmed.
This game is definitely one of the best games I played this year. Top 5 and has a great chance for GOTY. Riding your horse through the beautiful open-world. One-one duels that make you feel like you are in a samurai film. It was easy to connect with Jin as he struggles to maintain samurai traditions. The cinematic graphics are outstanding and you can take it one step higher by turning on a visual mode that will apply film grain and a black and white filter to give it that authentic look. The combat is unique in its own special way. I highly recommend this game.
The official release date is July 17, 2020, and is priced at $59.99/£54.99
This game gets my seal of approval!
Need help? Check out my Trophy Guide and Tips & Tricks video.
Tips I Wish I Knew Earlier In Ghost Of Tsushima (Tips & Tricks)
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