Ghost of Tsushima Review

3 min

Ghost of Tsushima Review
Ghost of Tsushima Review

To say we haven’t had a good Samurai game until Ghost of Tsushima would be a lie because we just had a Sekiro game in 2019. However, while they are both Samurai games, there are some noticeable differences. Ghost of Tsushima is not a Sekiro clone, so those looking for a different samurai experience after finishing Sekiro are in for a treat.

Ghost of Tsushima was published by Sony Interactive Entertainment as a PlayStation 4 exclusive developed by Sucker Punch Productions. Compared to the linear gameplay of Sekiro, this action-stealth third-person adventure game takes place in a relatively large open world. Unlike Sekiro, there are different approaches to take to combat. Instead of a souls-like brawl from enemy to enemy, players can choose stealth attacks over direct confrontation.

In Ghost of Tsushima, you play as Jin Sakai, the protagonist and head of the Sakai clan. The story takes place in 1274 during the Mongol invasion of Japan. Khotun Khan brings his invading army to the shores of the small Japanese island of Tsushima. Unfortunately, the defending Samurai of the island are killed, Jin’s Uncle, Lord Shimura, is captured, and Jin is the only survivor. Fortunately, Jin’s fate is left in the hands of a thief named Yuna, who heals Jin and delivers the unfortunate news that Tsushima is lost to the Mongols. However, Jin, whose traditional and direct samurai combat has failed him before, failed in a rescue attempt in Castle Kaneda.

Ghost of Tsushima -The Ghost | PS4

The game follows Jin as he adventures the island learning new techniques since his traditional samurai techniques are not enough to defeat the Mongols. He takes in Yuna and a host of other characters on his adventure to rescue his uncle, repel the Mongols, and bring peace back to Tsushima.

The game is as compelling as it is emotional and impactful. It isn’t just another heroic story full of lawful good protagonists. The developers put a lot of thought and research into developing a tale of honor and conflict. Sucker Punch Productions didn’t just do an excellent job of creating a gripping storyline, but the side quests themselves help flesh out the lore of the world and make you feel connected to the land. Even the side quests will leave you in a state of existential dread with some of the decisions you need to make.

Sucker Punch Productions, the studio behind Infamous First Light, wanted to try a different approach to the traditional linear samurai gameplay. The open-world feature of Ghost of Tsushima was a good move if only the studio focused more on content than breathtaking visuals. Yes, Ghost of Tsushima is a beautiful title. The game is almost too beautiful. Unfortunately, it looked like the studio put more work into making it as photorealistic as possible that they forgot to add content to their open world. Everything from the colors’ vibrancy to the physics of the wind on the trees makes players just want to walk through the entire game without killing anyone. However, Sucker Punch Productions somehow made killing Mongols and Ronin oddly beautiful too.

As mentioned before, having glistening lakes and waterfalls is nice, but it doesn’t help that the world itself feels a bit barren. It’s like walking through the entirety of the Elder Scroll’s Skyrim map with no caves or notable points to explore. Ghost of Tsushima does an amazing job of distracting you with a pretty environment while having very little substance.

If you’re going to play Ghost of Tsushima, then it’s best to play it with the Japanese audio. Nothing against the talented English cast, but the Japanese have a way of injecting more emotion into their characters. Unfortunately, the animation of Jin and the characters he’s in cutscenes with are a little disappointing and let down the work of the talented voiceover cast. Their body is basically motionless through the entirety of conversations with only their mouths moving on their faces. Again, even the cinematic shots pan to draw away from the conversation to the pleasing environment more than the characters themselves. We’re glad they put so much effort into the environment, but the immersion-breaking stick figure dialogue is a bit out of place. Fortunately, these are mainly with the side quests, while the main story has a bit more emotion placed into the animation of the characters. The stone-like dialogue animation is redeemed after watching some of the best-choreographed action scenes you can only find in old Japanese samurai movies.

The combat isn’t as hack and slash as it is tactical thinking on the fly. When enemies are about to attack, you’ll see a red indicator to help you parry or dodge. You also need to consider the different fighting stances to unlock, such as stone stance or wind stance. Each stance has its benefits depending on the type of enemy. For example, wind stance is useful to counter spearmen while the stone stance is used to counter swordsman. If you decide to take a more head-on approach, then you’ll need to master stand-offs. In stand-offs, there are no indicators, you’ll have to rely solely on their movements to defend against and counter their attacks.

Ghost of Tsushima has a great final act, but that’s something you’ll have to play to see. Don’t let the game’s dull open world, poor camera angles, or stone-like voice acting scare you away. Ghost of Tsushima is a memorable and iconic samurai game that will be hard to match.

Ghost Of Tsushima Frequently Asked Questions

  1. When is Ghost Of Tsushima coming out?

    The Ghost Of Tsushima was released on July 17, 2020.

  2. Will Ghost Of Tsushima be on PS4?

    Yes, The Ghost Of Tsushima is playable on the PS4 (Sony Playstation 4).

  3. Will Ghost Of Tsushima be on PS5?

    Yes, The Ghost Of Tsushima is playable on the PS5 (Sony Playstation 5) thanks to the backwards compatibility.

  4. Will Ghost Of Tsushima be on PC?

    No, The Ghost Of Tsushima is Playstation 4 exclusive. You can only play Ghost Of Tsushima on a Sony playstation.

  5. Will Ghost Of Tsushima be 60fps?

    No, The Ghost Of Tsushima runs at a frame rate of 30 fps. Even on a PS4 Pro you will not achieve a frame rate of 60 fps.

  6. Will Ghost Of Tsushima have DLC?

    No, Sucker Punch Studio has no plans for an GOS DLC yet. Maybe in the near future.

  7. Will The Ghost Of Tsushima have multiplayer?

    No, The Ghost Of Tsushima does not have any type of multiplayer mode nor any type of co-op mode.

  8. What is the price of The Ghost Of Tsushima?

    $59.99 for the standard edition of The Ghost Of Tsushima. The following GOS editions are available; standard edition, special edition, collector's edition, digital deluxe edition, launch edition.

  9. How many hours is Ghost of Tsushima?

    25 hours for completing the main story of the GOS without any extra side activities.

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Michael Langdon
I write about video games, television, movies and the internet.

One Comment

  1. Does Shadow Warrior count as samurai game too? Looks like a quality game and it’s in the high cost game so I would def expect great reviews from this game, really sad it’s a PS exclusive! I like games with a good fighting system, tactics for weapons, skills and for what you’ve said, I can find it here

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