Sucker Punch Productions officially unveiled their latest game, Ghost of Tsushima, during Sony PlayStation's E3 2018 press conference, giving consumers their first look into a brand new open world game set in feudal Japan. Open world games have somewhat stagnated in recent years, but that's something that the developers behind beloved game franchises such as inFAMOUS and Sly Cooper are looking to change with their new title, which will eventually release exclusively on the PlayStation 4.
Instead of having a traditional press conference this year, Sony decided to put the focus on four core titles that are coming to the PS4 in the near future. One of those titles was Ghost of Tsushima, which was unveiled with a brief gameplay demo that doesn't take place too far into the game's story. There's no doubt that Ghost of Tsushima's trailer impressed both conference attendees and those watching at home - and Screen Rant got to hear more about the game during the E3 Expo in Los Angeles this week.
Sucker Punch and Ghost of Tsushima creative director Nate Fox walked us (and a handful of other outlets) through the same mission shown during Sony's press conference, but much more was revealed during the gameplay presentation, such as the fact that the mission shown was actually a side mission that isn't part of the core story. Here's everything we learned from the demo:
- Set in 1217 in feudal Japan on Tsushima island - a massive open-world setting that has dynamic weather patterns (we saw a rainstorm out in the distance).
- The game will have a HUD; it was removed for E3 demo.
- Ghost of Tsushima is heavily inspired by Akira Kurosawa movies; that's what Sucker Punch is trying to emulate.
- There will be realistic damage: players can see where they do damage, including seeing a realistic blood patterns. Players' outfits will also have blood on it.
- The game's combat is fully grounded and realistic, and the system is guided by three words: "mud, blood, and steel."
- Combat is also based on "lethal precision," according to the developers.
- Players can strike opponents down in one attack or go through a standard attack and block scenario (as seen in the trailer when Jin kills a Mongolian in one strike).
- There is a fixed story, which makes the game more like an action-adventure story, not an RPG as some might've been expecting.
- Ghost of Tsushima is a "mainstream" game; it's not as difficult as games like Bloodborne.
- It has a photo mode similar to the one in inFAMOUS: Second Son.
- Ghost of Tsushima will ship with localized Japanese on all discs, but some Mongolians will only speak Mongolian because they may not have “learned” Japanese yet.
- Jin (main character) “evolves” from being a samurai into more of a "samurai commando," which is a result of the game's progression system.
- There are no supernatural elements in the game.
- Ghost of Tsushima's story is about “good people, in dark times, doing bad things.” And the open world is built with the “sublime beauty of nature” in mind.
- Title: "Ghost" is meant to represent Jin becoming a legend/myth among the Mongolians and someone to be feared, with "Tsushima" being the name of the island in which the story is set.
- E3 gameplay trailer and hands-off presentation were the same - it’s a side mission, not part of the core story.
- The duel at the end of the demo takes place in the open world; it wasn’t pre-determined and can be affected by dynamic day/night cycle and weather patterns.
Fox also mentioned in a follow-up group Q&A that they have spent a lot of time attempting to find a way to do justice to the samurai and people who suffered during the real-life Mongol invasions of Japan in the late 13th century. However, Ghost of Tsushima, while based on a real invasion, is a fictionalized story - and the names of all the samurai in the game have had their names changed in order to honor those that died on the beaches during the Mongolian invasion.
"This is a game inspired by history; we are not recreating history stone by stone. This is an original work. We absolutely love feudal Japan; it's a place that makes our imaginations go crazy. The idea of taking on a world of samurai, especially inside this dramatic situation with the Mongol invasion, is attractive. And we want to get the details right, to transport you back in time, but we don't want to run fast and loose with [the] history that real people went through. That's why the actual names of the samurai that were killed on the beach - we don't use those because we want to be respectful."
Overall, Ghost of Tsushima's gameplay was every bit as impressive in great detail as it was shown during Sony's press conference. One of the things highlighted during the hands-off gameplay presentation was the physics-based engine and the realistic blood patterns. For instance, players will be able to see the exact spot they hit an enemy with their katana. And every individual blood particle has been designed to splatter as realistically as possible. Hopefully, we get to see more of that as the game continues to be refined in development.
Ghost of Tsushima does not yet have a release date.