Yesterday, Sony showed off 18 minutes of Ghost of Tsushima, the new open-world Samurai game from Sucker Punch.
It looks pretty good. The combat is fast and fierce. Stealth looks like a very real option for tackling most missions. The open world has some unique mechanics, like a magical wind and helpful foxes who will guide your character, Jin, to important destinations.
I especially like the fact that you can pick up resources without any sort of accompanying animation. No tedious harvesting mechanics. Just click. This strikes me as very gamer-friendly.
There’s also a cinematic mode that emulates the black-and-white film grain of classic Samurai films like Seven Samurai that looks absolutely fantastic. I’m definitely going to play at least part of the game this way. Not the whole thing, because it just looks so pretty in living color.
Here’s the full 18 minute video if you want to watch it (sorry, embeds apparently aren’t working at the moment or I’d just post it here).
It also looks very much like the culmination of countless other open world games, all the various ideas distilled down and slightly reimagined and revised.
In some ways, it’s the Assassin’s Creed: Japan we’ve all been waiting for, which isn’t a bad thing. Granted, it isn’t exactly like Assassin’s Creed but the similarities are there.
You’re basically an assassin, at least when in “Ghost” mode. You’re fighting against the invading Mongul horde, which can stand in for the Templar. It’s open world with a major focus on exploring and finding shrines and other points of interest and it’s a period piece, rich with culture and history.
Indeed, it feels quite a bit less RPG-focused and fantastical than recent Assassin’s Creed games. It may be more Assassin’s Creed than Assassin’s Creed is these days, and without the irritating forays into the present that kill immersion in those games.
I’m not sure what I’ll think of the game when it comes out. Ghost of Tsushima looks like it could be terrific, especially if the story is engaging. It could also be too open world for my taste. I have mixed feelings about open worlds in general. If they’re done right they can be engaging, immersive and fun. They can also be a giant palette of side quests and boxes to tick off.
We’ll see when Ghost of Tsushima lands on PlayStation 4 on July 17th, 2020.