Today’s State of Play was all about the PS4’s final exclusive, Ghost of Tsushima. Finally giving us a detailed look at the July 17th game, the 18-minute stream covered Ghost of Tsushima gameplay from all facets, whether it be immersive exploration, precise combat, extensive character customization, or even the game’s unique modes. You can rewatch the video right here:
Ghost of Tsushima Gameplay – Exploration
Previous reports that Ghost of Tsushima would not include traditional waypoints were accurate, at least in part. The game prompts players to explore the world of Tsushima more naturally, so when you set a marker on your map, you aren’t going to be guided to a giant blinking waypoint on your screen. The “guiding wind” in the game will gently show you which direction you need to go. “You can’t have exploration if you don’t have curiosity.” Sucker Punch wants to let the island guide the players in thematic and immersive ways.
When you mark a location on your map, players can consult the guiding wind to learn which direction they need to go, allowing players to actually focus on the environment and not a mini-map or on-screen marker. Additionally, things that you don’t know about aren’t going to be dotted on the map itself. Players will need to discover them through exploration, using unique architecture, smoke pillars, and other in-game cues. “Maybe even animals trying to get your attention.” Both birds and foxes were shown as guides to unique secret areas. Jin will be able to explore the world on foot and on horseback, which will enable him to find rare resources in hidden locations. Once discovered, Jin can travel back to a location using fast travel.
Ghost of Tsushima Gameplay – Combat
Ghost of Tsushima’s combat is meant to be quick and precise. This isn’t a brawler. Sucker Punch’s Nate Fox likens it to samurai movies where two warriors size each other up in a standoff. Gameplay is about patience; blocks and parrying that will open enemies up to taking damage. Most seem to go down with just a strike once their guard is dropped. Different stances are important for dealing additional damage against different enemy types. We see Jin move from stone stance to water stance in the video, but it’s unclear right now just how players can assess which stances are more effective against which enemies. At the end of the battle, Jin flicks the blood from his blade and can bow respectfully over the fallen body of his enemies.
Stealth combat will also play a large role, being an option players can use. Instead of honorably facing his enemies in open combat, he can take them on as the “dishonorable Ghost.” The video shows the same encampment of Mongols, but this time, Jin sneaks in for stealthy assassinations, using distractions to draw enemies away, and uses smoke bombs to gain the upper hand. The enemies actually begin to fear the “Ghost,” frantically crawling away as he bears down on them.
Ghost of Tsushima Gameplay – Character Customization
Character customization in Ghost of Tsushima will allow players to not only look but also play how they want. “The armor in this game actually gives you different mechanical advantages,” helping to “accent your chosen playstyle.” In the video, we see Jin wearing very different clothing in the exploration section versus the combat segment, where he’s sporting a full set of heavy samurai armor. Charms found throughout the world give Jin special abilities in battle, depending on which one is equipped. In the video we see one for regenerating health outside of battle and another that gives the distracting wind chime poison vapors. There’s also one that makes smoke bombs restore some of your health. Additionally, there are technique points that let players pick how to evolve Jin’s abilities.
Dye flowers found within the world let players color their armor and clothing how they want to. “Not only do you get to choose how the Ghost gameplay evolves, you can fine-tune the look as well.”
Ghost of Tsushima Photo Mode, Other Unique Modes
Being a first-party Sony game—and a Sucker Punch game at that—Ghost of Tsushima is coming with a photo mode, but it’s going to be more expanded that most photo modes we’ve seen. The new features in this photo mode focus on motion and movement within the scenes, letting the wind continue to whip around the environment and characters. Players can actually change the direction and speed of the wind, and also change the particles to different leaves, flower petals, fireflies, etc. giving each scene a very unique look. We could see gifs or even short videos with different tracks of music from the game due to this new “in-motion” photo mode, though players can still take traditional screenshots as well.
To really assist with the immersion and unique experience of the game, Ghost of Tsushima will include a Japanese voice track with English subtitles that can be enabled before you even start. It will also have a windy, gritty, high-contrast black-and-white mode full of film grain to mimic the look of classic samurai movies. Fans had asked for this mode when the game was first shown, and Sucker Punch delivered. Both of these modes are optional and can presumably be toggled at any time from the menu.
Ghost of Tsushima releases on July 17 exclusively on PS4. You can preorder the game now to get it in time for launch.
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