These are tense, enjoyable moments of death, violence, and honor. I did keep the Japanese dialogue option, however, especially since the actors give their lines the sort of heightened dramatic energy you’d expect from a tale of honor, betrayal, and bloodshed such as this. The build-up to the campaign is a bit slow but once it picks up you won’t be able to get your hands off that DualShock controller. It’s a fine reward for skillful play, elevated by its intensely dramatic presentation as the screen fills with red. A calm walk through the pastures will be complemented with a melodious shakuhachi (Japanese flute) score while the music picks up and instantly switches to Taiko (Japanese drums) beats when swords clash. Each successful mission gives you skill points which you can use to unlock special skills. A story that begins with a fight at the Komodahama beach takes Jin through the expansive landscapes of Tsushima where he battles not only the Mongol army but also himself. I must have had dozens or hundreds of standoffs during my time with Ghost of Tsushima, and it never once got old. Read on for our full Ghost of Tsushima review. The Ghost of Tsushima has been reviewed on the PlayStation 4. I also love the way Jin looks in his loose-fitting traveler’s attire as he moves across the landscape, his tattered cape blowing in the wind just so, as if he, too, is simply another part of the flow of life and death on the isle. Both lessons are correct, just as both lessons are wrong. If you release a button at the precise moment the enemy strikes, you’ll fell him with a single slash; if your timing is off, you’ll be gravely wounded. But for all of its atmospheric trappings, Ghost of Tsushima is not that dissimilar from Infamous — and extremely similar to Assassin’s Creed.
You’ve almost certainly played a game like Ghost of Tsushima before, and it doesn’t do enough with the formula to really stand out in a crowded field.
Her quests offer an opportunity for reflection on memory, decline, and impermanence, and they tie in beautifully with the natural splendor of the island itself. There are also character-driven “Tales,” which act like more traditional side quests. I enjoyed the honest, revealing conversation over bottles of sake between two comrades-in-arms the night before an overwhelming siege they knew they might not survive — almost as much as I enjoyed the battle itself. With its quasi-historical setting and its open world filled with activities and upgrades, comparisons to the Assassin’s Creed games are inevitable, so let’s not beat around the bush: Ghost of Tsushima is extremely reminiscent of many entries in the Ubisoft action franchise and other, similar open-world games, both in terms of its combat and its structure. As Jin gets more powerful and acquires better gear, you can defeat up to five enemies in a single standoff, like the lone hero in a samurai movie. In fact, it’s the moments between characters that I’ll remember most about my time with Ghost of Tsushima. Having to decide which skill is the most pressing and foregoing other abilities creates a great push-and-pull between “I need this now” and “I might need this later.”. You can find additional information about Polygon’s ethics policy here.
Early on, Lord Shimura warned Jin against using shady tactics in a flashback, and I abided by his words. You can also explore the entire game in black and white Kurosawa Mode to match the gameplay with classic Akira Kurosawa movies. You get both audio and visual cues before the enemy is about to attack you so that will always help you negotiate a large number of Mongols at the same time. The music consists of a lot of strings and flutes, as you might expect.
But as you learn new skills and defeat Mongol warlords, you’ll learn the “stances” that let you counter different enemy types. Rather than a near-future freedom fighter, the game casts you as a samurai in medieval Japan, substituting swords for superpowers and stealth for scaling tall buildings. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. Ghost of Tsushima ’s tale isn’t one of unambiguous victory or triumph.
I wish the developers had taken that extra step and modeled the characters against the Japanese voice-over. You’ll free bears from cages so that they can wreak havoc on their captors and make your work a little easier. If you’ve ever seen a classic samurai film, or learned about the Mongol invasion of Japan, or know the basics of a three-act story structure, there’s nothing mind-blowing here. You get to unlock stances, charms, upgrade armour and find new weapons along the way and you also get to discover special attacks by completing side-missions. It’s mostly tracking and killing enemies while jumping from one cliff to another rooftop. You might toss smoke bombs to disappear from sight, or throw a wind chime to distract a nearby enemy.
Unfortunately, the gameplay that takes up your time on Tsushima is overly safe and familiar, resulting in a game that’s packed with lovely spots to discover and offers moments of peaceful reflection, yet still struggles to differentiate itself from numerous other open-world adventures. If a golden bird wants to lead me somewhere, I want to follow. Toward the beginning of the game, I found it difficult to switch between a sword stance and a shield stance; by the end, I was switching stances effortlessly from enemy to enemy, while alternating sword strikes with bows and arrows, blow darts, sticky bombs and throwing daggers (kunai). He’s doing his best in the fiction of the game, but the only way for him to be effective is to operate in ways that go against every ounce of his training. You can switch among them at-will during battle, and I was quite impressed at how gentle the learning curve is. Ghost of Tsushima begins as an era of stability and prosperity for the samurai ends. By the end of the game, you’ll have enough points to master everything.
This is a world that, for better or worse — worse, if you ask me — lays itself out for you like a buffet crying out to be consumed. Where the gameplay gets more interesting is with the different combat stances you have to change according to your opponent. Receive news and offers from our other brands? Songbirds and foxes lead you to undiscovered locations which can help you increase your overall Health and Resolve. The character animation stands out and the colours given to the environment bring the game to life. Please refresh the page and try again. He remains open enough about his feelings that we understand how difficult the path that he follows throughout the game becomes for him. If there’s a question mark on my map, I want to find out what it is.
The English voices sound a little stilted and don’t always match the characters’ lip movements — almost as though you’re watching a dubbed movie. Everywhere you go, you’re liable to hear the telltale chirp of a golden bird, eager to lead you to yet another of the game’s hundreds of points of interest, where another collectible or another opportunity for incremental progress toward some upgrade awaits. Deceiving the AI is pretty easy even after you’re spotted and that’s where I feel the developers have missed out.
I get the impression that you’re supposed to turn on the Japanese language track and use subtitles, which is an option, although one that I used infrequently.
Combat involves a combination of heavy, light and moderate attacks.
There are strings of side quests that give you the opportunity to spend time with your closest allies, and though the combat scenarios that pepper these quests are unremarkable, the conversations between characters as you walk or ride from one spot to the next make them worthwhile. I’d often play a single mission in Kurosawa mode, find it frustrating, and change right back. Fore!
As you liberate settlements, you’ll open up more and more of the map, which is a pretty organic way to handle exploration — or you could just jump on your horse and see what’s out there.
Ghost of Tsushima offers a lovely world to explore, and there’s value in that, but it should have been so much more than a checklist of activities to accomplish. Reviewed on a standard 1080p PS4, Ghost of Tsushima looks pretty good.
While most encounters made me feel quite overpowered as I threw kunai and sticky bombs at enemies and fired explosive arrows that gave me an edge even over larger groups, my heart was often racing due to the level of focus demanded by these face-offs with Jin’s most dangerous adversaries. Jin travels across the island of Tsushima, hoping to save it by gathering what few allies remain to aid him in his battles against a formidable enemy. As such, to find your next objective, you’ll rely on the Guiding Wind: a gentle breeze that blows grass, flowers and leaves to indicate where to go next. My only real complaint was that the story doesn’t reflect the gameplay. However, like many open-world games, there is so much side content in Ghost of Tsushima that it gets repetitive long before the end — particularly since most of the rewards are meager. It’s all thematically cohesive, and the haiku spots are interesting for the way they pull your focus entirely onto a lovely environmental scene as Jin contemplates death or loss or another aspect of the human condition.
It’s easy to lose the plot of the main campaign if you get too engaged with the ‘Tales’ so tread carefully. Visit our corporate site. It feels like a mix of Assassin’s Creed and The Witcher. NY 10036. Right off the bat, in fact, Ghost of Tsushima asks if you’d like to play in what it calls Kurosawa Mode, a black-and-white filter “inspired by the movies of legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa,” making it clear from the get-go that its vision of feudal Japan owes at least as much to cinema as it does to history.
It’s not bad — it’s just rote. The adventure takes you through Japan’s most breathtakingly beautiful landscapes. One thing that might bother a few gamers is the fact that you cannot skip dialogues and cut scenes.
Sucker Punch seems to constantly be trying to lead you away from what the game does well and toward what other media has done well, from the open-world design to the look of the game itself. Deviating from the actual invasion, the story is a narrative about a samurai, Jin Sakai, voiced by the Daisuke Tsuji from the American web series The Man in the High Castle. Mongol generals will be placed right in the middle of a blistering sunset and you'll completely miss the red X used to indicate an unblockable attack. Desperate to save his people, Jin becomes caught between the ideals of honor his uncle has spent a lifetime teaching him, which dictate that a samurai always face his enemies openly and fairly, and the lessons Yuna teaches him, that such honor is a luxury not all can afford, and that to face the Mongol forces head-on can mean only defeat and death. I must have had dozens or hundreds of standoffs during my time with Ghost of Tsushima, and it never once got old. For example, the Stone Stance is effective against other swordsmen while the Moon stance is ideal for heavier rogues. The Standoff mode is a fantastic addition to combat.
But with those aforementioned birds, who chirp at you all the time — with its genuinely overwhelming number of artifacts, written records, crickets, banners, saddles, sword kits, headbands, masks, charms, and other items to collect — Ghost of Tsushima is overeager, desperate even, to constantly make me feel rewarded or to show me that I’m making meaningful progress. Ghost of Tsushima is based on the actual invasion of Japan by the Mongol empire in the 13th century. Not to mention you have your trusty bow and arrow to help you play Robin Hood along your journey. Platform: PS4. If you opt for it, Jin will call out to his foes, challenging them openly and alerting them to his presence.
Ghost of Tsushima is pretty similar to other open-world games, but a strong combat system and a solid samurai story give it some staying power.
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