Piggybacking off Xbox’s digital showcase held last week, yesterday saw PlayStation take to the interwebs to highlight one of their major upcoming releases in Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima. Because, why worry about PlayStation 5 when you still have so many great exclusives coming to PS4? We’d previously seen small nuggets of gameplay in past events, but this State of Play was our closest look yet at what promises to be one of the PS4’s biggest games of the year.
Shown was what amounted to almost 18 minutes of raw gameplay, which taught us more than a few things about what to expect when Ghost of Tsushima launches on July 17th. So, with that said, we thought it worthwhile listing out five big takeaways.
It largely plays like Assassin’s Creed… but set in Feudal Japan
For years players have been hoping that Ubisoft would eventually set an Assassin’s Creed game within the feudal Japan period, but Ghost of Tsushima has now arrived to scratch this particular itch. Last night’s State of Play gave us a better idea of how this would operate, however, and it’s clear that the game’s open world will function extremely similarly to Ubisoft’s flagship series, tasking players to explore a dense but luscious map completing samurai tasks alongside the main story.
This was demonstrated in one of Ghost of Tsushima’s many side missions, where to destroy the Mongolian’s shipyard Jin had to take down the war camp general. The in-game map will be full of quests like this that help to flesh out the world and encourage you to explore. It’s essentially the Assassin’s Creed formula, albeit in a way that’s far more polished thanks to being a PS4 exclusive.
You can approach combat scenarios stealthily or head on
The State of Play also confirmed that Jin will be able to tackle combat scenarios in a plethora of ways, giving you the freedom to take down enemies stealthily (like a ghost) or a way that’s much more direct. The gameplay demo showed off both methods playing out as part of the same mission, first showcasing the action-centric option, confronting Mongolian enemies head on using stances to engage in precise combat. Following that, Jin took down the same shipyard largely from afar.
Sucker Punch has clearly ensured that player freedom will play an important part throughout much of Ghost of Tsushima, with enemies reacting to Jin’s reputation the more the game goes on. For instance, the demo showed NPCs cowering in fear when the battle had already been one, leaving you to mop up easily however you wish. Will you play stealthily or engage in brutal melee combat?
The HUD is minimal and navigation will be driven by natural instances
To help maintain the game’s filmic feel, Ghost of Tsushima won’t feature a traditional HUD. Instead the screen will largely be kept clear of waypoint markers, health bars and such, making it easy for players to immerse themselves within a their very own Kurosawa-esque samurai experience. This approach even bleeds into how you will navigate the world, with Jin needing to simply follow the direction of the wind to reach objectives.
It was explained how your curiosity will be pulled by instances that occur in the world naturally, by the presence of a specific animal like a bird or fox. In some cases you might notice a hut burning from afar and decide to go and investigate for yourself. This is Ghost of Tsushima’s way of implementing inquisitiveness in a manner that’s relaxed and unobtrusive, compared to most other modern open world games.
Lead character Jin’s look is fully customisable
Ghost of Tsushima casts you as a pre-established character in Jin, as opposed to letting you create your own custom character. However, the State of Play confirmed that Jin’s look will be largely customisable, able to don several looks that are in-keeping with the Feudal Japan period. Some of this means being able to swap out several ancient masks, wearing a traditional conical hat, alongside various gown options. These costume options you’ll unlock gradually over time.
A photo mode will be readily available at launch
PS4 exclusives have a tendency to look so gorgeous these days, Sucker Punch has clearly taken note of how annoying it is when they don’t launch alongside a dedicated photo mode. That’s why Ghost of Tsushima will have one ready on day one, which is all the better considering the game’s various visual options, like the ability to play in 4K or even in a Black and White mode. Ghost of Tsushima will be a highly flexible play experience visually, so expect a lot of great in-game captures to be taken in it.