Hey everyone, it’s Kent, and today we’re checking out Ghost of Tsushima, the upcoming PS4 exclusive by Sucker Punch releasing next month!
If you’ve been following the game for a while, then you might already know a few or most of these details but if that’s the case, hopefully, I can expand on some of them enough to give you guys something new.
I’ve watched every trailer and read countless articles so you guys can enjoy the video I made and know you’re getting the best information, so let’s jump right into it. Here is everything we know about the Ghost of Tsushima.
Everything We Know about Ghost of Tsushima
We’ll start off with an important feature, one that really sets the groundwork for where you’ll be spending your time in the game.
If you couldn’t guess, the game takes place in Tsushima, an island located just off of mainland Japan while still being a part of the country. In the late 13th century, the Mongol Empire led a campaign to conquer the East and they were pretty successful.
When it came to Japan, Tsushima was the defending line, protecting the island against a horde that was the Mongol army and its invasion fleet.
This is where you come in. As one of the last defending Samurai, it is your duty to retake and protect your homeland.
When you’re not spilling Mongol guts, you’ll venture through beautiful fields, ascend towering mountains, and meander through lush forests. Take a moment to breathe in the beauty before beginning your next treacherous mission.
The Hero and The Allies
Now that we’ve got the setting out of the way, let’s learn a bit about the main character and his allies.
You will play as Jin Sakai, one of the last defending Samurai on the island. Like Samurais of real-world history, Jin started training at a young age, 15 years before the Mongol invasion. As Jin, you must make the difficult decision of fighting with honor as is the way of the Samurai or doing whatever it takes as the Ghost fighting with unconventional style in order to protect the land he calls home.
Since a young age, Jin has been trained by his uncle Shimura, the jito or Lord of Tsushima. Not only did Shimura train Jin in the ways of the Samurai, but he also played the role of a father figure. With Jin beginning to abandon the Samurai traditions, he is progressively getting concerned, not only as a teacher but also in a way, as a parent.
Another compelling character we meet is an archer by the name of Masako. We can see from the trailer that she at first seems to be an ally, but turns on Jin after rescuing an important monk. This betrayal is short-lived, as they eventually team up once again as the Mongol army approaches.
Nobu is your trusty steed, always by your side when you need him to be. Nobu will take you places more quickly than you could on your own, and will allow you to perform horseback assassinations. Rest easy though, Nobu cannot die, it’s almost as if he’s a ghost…
Now that we know who you are, as well as some of your friends, let’s get into the meat… of your enemies.
The fleet of bloodthirsty Mongols we saw earlier is led by a man named Khan, but not the one who you might be thinking of. In history, as we know it a man named Kublai Khan was the Great Khan of the Mongol Empire during the time period this game is set in. Kublai Khan was the grandson of Genghis Khan… That’s who you thought it was, wasn’t it? Me too.
However, Kublai Khan’s in-game representation is Khotun Khan, the ruthless general of the Mongol army. He has an intimate knowledge of the Samurai and will use this to his advantage when trying to take Tsushima.
As I said, this fleet didn’t come empty but rather filled to the brim with adversaries for Jin to face off against. We’ll get more into these guys in the next section.
We’ve learned quite a bit about the world, which I personally think sounds amazing, and from the videos I’ve seen, looks absolutely gorgeous.
This is all fine and dandy, but if the gameplay style doesn’t suit your tastes, you probably won’t even end up playing it. It is a game after all and you’ll probably want to enjoy the gameplay. That being said, if you’re watching the video I made, you probably already have an idea of the style of gameplay and already know it’s going to be right up your alley. Basically, if you’ve enjoyed the style of combat and not necessarily the difficulty in any Souls-like game, and want a bit of the exploration from Shadow of the Colossus, this just might be for you.
Tools and Weapons in Ghost of Tsushima
As the honorable Samurai, and infamous Ghost, you’ll have a variety of tools at your disposal on your quest to retake your homeland of Tsushima.
For the offensive side of things, you’ll see a mixture of different weapons Jin can utilize. This includes his katana, half bow with arrows, longbow with heavy arrows, kunai, and possibly more. I should note that we can see Jin using a fire arrow with one of his bows to set an enemy ablaze.
Jin also has a wide variety of less-lethal tools to help him repel the Mongol invaders. Here we see the grappling hook, which will help you traverse the environment. In terms of throwables, we can see a wind chime is used to distract enemies, firecrackers that also distract foes, but possibly longer-lasting, smoke bombs to evade in or to perform surprise attacks with, and some sort of ancient grenade of sorts that can literally knock people off their feet. After investigating, this could very well be the Horokubiya, a paper or ceramic container of gunpowder that could act as a flash grenade or a ceramic fragment grenade to maim the opposing forces.
Using these various weapons and tools, Jin will be able to perform rooftop assassinations while utilizing stealth, parry incoming attacks whether melee or ranged, dodge out of harm’s way, dash to get into it, as well as change his combat stance to better suit the situation.
Armor in Ghost of Tsushima
Jin will also be able to change his armor sets and pieces to better augment the player’s chosen playstyle. Not only will this mechanically aid Jin as well as alter his visual appearance but finding dye flowers will allow him to change his colors as well.
Jin and the player will also have to level up their skills via technique points, as well as equip various charms which are small pieces of gear that change certain parts of combat such as giving the wind chime a poison vapor or having smoke bombs restore a portion of your health.
Now, all this stuff wouldn’t be any fun if there wasn’t an invading Mongol force to test them on. Opponents will also come well equipped and armed with various forms of weaponry and armor. We’ve seen weapons like swords… bows, and arrows… a spear that might be the Yari…, as well as various pieces of armor, and possibly a horn to call in reinforcements with.
At this point, you might be wondering what makes the game different from souls-like games such as Sekiro, or Nioh, and I believe what comes next is what truly will make this game stand out.
Combat is only part of the story that takes place here on the island of Tsushima.
Experience beautiful fields, forests, mountains, and more while you plan your next move. On foot or by horse, you’ll be able to use the wind as a guide towards your next destination such as a village overtaken by Mongols, or a shipyard with a cache of black powder that needs to be… decommissioned. Search for signs of need via a pillar of smoke, an animal trying to get your attention, or a bird or fox leading you to your next point of interest.
To top it off, you can play the flute. I know as soon as you saw that part of the trailer you were wondering the same thing. Luckily, we can, and I will.
Phew, I appreciate it if you guys are still with me, those were some meaty topics to go through. We’ve got a few more, but these should go by a bit quicker now that we’ve gotten the most important details out of the way.
Creative director Nate Fox stated the game could take anywhere between 30 and 50 hours to complete, but it really depends on how often you go off the beaten path to explore the island, perform various side quests, if you’re a video game photographer, experimenting with the game’s comprehensive photo mode, and so on. Which leads to the next topic.
Photo Mode, Japanese Voice Lines, Samurai Cinema
With Sucker Punch’s last title, Infamous Second Son, having a photo mode was really well received by fans and produced some gorgeous photos, so it only made sense to include it in their latest creation as well. Given that other immensely popular games have included this feature, it must have been a shoo-in.
In photo mode, you’ll be able to altar color grading, depth of field, Jin’s emotions, direction and speed of the wind, include particles such as leaves or fireflies, and add in music from the original soundtrack. You can see here that the developers have already created a few beautiful pieces and once it’s opened up to you guys, I think there will be some really great artwork to enjoy.
Speaking of pieces of art, you can play the entire game in film grain black and white so you can act as if you’re in your favorite samurai movie. Add in powerful wind and you’ve got a recipe for something beautiful.
A little extra feature, well pretty big in terms of development time now that I think of it, the game will also feature an optional Japanese voice track from the beginning.
Now, any new game being developed more than warrants a healthy dose of caution when it comes to pre-ordering or even paying full price. Luckily for us, the developer Sucker Punch has an outstanding track record when it comes to their games, whether it’s a brand new IP or a continuation in a series. Their lowest score for a mainline game according to Metacritic is 80, with games often getting into the 85+ range.
The publisher Sony Interactive Entertainment has a pedigree of well-received games as well. This includes games like The Last of Us, Nioh, God of War, Spider-Man, Horizon Zero Dawn, Uncharted, Ratchet & Clank, Bloodborne, inFamous, and Killzone, and that’s just from this current generation on the PS4.
I think we’re going to be okay.
It wouldn’t be a blockbuster hit of the 2010s if it didn’t include a few different editions to choose from or include pre-order bonuses, now would it?
There’s the standard edition we all know and love or as I like to call it, old faithful. This is available in physical or digital form and is available for $60 USD.
The digital deluxe edition includes the game, a skin set, an extra charm, technique point, and a dynamic theme for the PS4. A mini art book and director’s commentary are included as well but do note this version is all digital and will go for a price of $70 USD.
The Special Edition will include a physical steel book including the game, an in-game mask and sword skin, an extra charm, technique point, the director’s commentary, and the digital mini art book. This edition will be $70 USD as well.
Now this one is truly for the biggest of fans. Coming in at $170 USD, you’ll get a non-wearable replica mask, a 4.5-foot war banner from in the game, the steel bookcase w/ the game inside, a physical 48-page mini art book, and an artistic rendition of the game map on cloth. This edition also includes the digital content from the digital deluxe edition.
I should also add that pre-ordering any version gets you a Jin avatar, a digital mini soundtrack, and a dynamic theme for the PS4, which is different from the theme in the other versions.
Now, this one may seem fairly obvious, but I want to expand on it a bit. Ghost of Tsushima is a PS4 exclusive, but you probably already knew that. There have not been any rumors or indications of it coming to any other platform, but I do want to point out some examples that show you never know what the future may hold.
Is Ghost of Tsushima a PS-Exclusive?
Other Sony Interactive Entertainment published games like Nioh, Horizon: Zero Dawn, and possibly Bloodborne have been or will be coming to PC.
Nioh took less than a year after its initial release to show up on the PC, while Horizon: Zero Dawn is set for a Summer 2020 PC release, about 3 years after it’s initial launch, and Bloodborne is rumored to be coming soon, with that game originally launching 5 years ago in 2015. Fun little fact, I just picked up Bloodborne today for the first time for just $10, and I can’t wait to dive into it.
And with the PlayStation 5 coming at the end of this year and with it apparently supporting backward compatibility, and with this not being a typical feature for Sony, I think we can say “it’s coming to PS5”. Will it take advantage of the extra graphical and processing power in the same way the PS4 Pro does? According to Sony PS4 games should perform better on the PS5 in some way or another. This is great news all around as the PS4 has an excellent catalog of games, and I’m sure you guys want to keep playing once the PlayStation 5 releases this year.
Ghost of Tsushima had an original launch date set for June 26th of this year but was pushed back about a month, to July 17th, due to challenges like working from home, which is, of course, related to recent health issues the world is facing. Given that the delay was only for a month, and there’s no word of another, I think we’re going to be all set for July 17th.
Ghost of Tsushima: Bottom Line
Phew, so what do you think? Are you guys going to get this game? Are you so excited about it that you’ve pre-ordered it? Or are you cautiously optimistic and waiting to see the reviews before making a decision? As someone who loves learning about history, I really like seeing games set in time periods from long ago!
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