Community Review: Ghost of Tsushima

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Community Review: Ghost of Tsushima
Ghost of Tsushima (Screenshot: Gabriel Esteves - Email)

We can thank Breath of the Wild for pushing everyone this way, but I am all for wind replacing compasses and HUD icons.

It’s just one of those things you see in a game that’s part of a smart, holistic approach. Ghost of Tsushima‘s a stunning game; that’s no surprise. What’s a little underappreciated about that is the cleverness of the choices Sucker Punch made. Rather than blowing out the polygon count on the models —  which makes sense for a game like The Last of Us 2 — Ghost of Tsushima prioritises the environments.

Even the little things, like shadows in the daytime on foliage, or the way the wind scatters individual blades of grass so it gives the impression that you’re not just looking at a flat, repeated texture.

It’s also really funny that, just as PlayStation and Xbox talk up the power of their new consoles and their super-fast SSDs, a developer ships a game where fast travel is literally a handful of seconds.

Ian’s review of Ghost of Tsushima called it a “game of compulsion”, an adventure that effortlessly flows you from one bout of repelling Mongols to the next. Similarly, Leah absolutely fell in love with Sucker Punch’s epic, particularly the soundtrack and photo mode.

If you wanted to be hyper-critical, you could definitely point to the game’s open world design. It’s very original Assassin’s Creed or modern Far Cry. It doesn’t do anything especially new with the Ubisoft bandit camp/liberate the outpost formula. The story is also probably the weakest element, from what I’ve seen — it’s just .. there. The story isn’t the focus, and that’s entirely fine. Not every game has to innovate on every single feature or system. And if you pitched a feudal Assassin’s Creed to most gamers, there’s a fair chance they’d be plenty interested.

Bit more humour wouldn’t have hurt, though. Jin’s just not interesting enough to build a franchise around. Then again, neither was Desmond Miles — but he was at least balanced out by excellent protagonists like Ezio and Edward Kenway.

But that’s just some musings from my experience. How do you feel about Ghost of Tsushima — have you finished it, how long have you played it, and what have you liked or disliked so far?

Comments

  • I’m still very much in the early game but it’s definitely been worth the wait and crowns the Sekiro, Nioh 2 and now GoT Samurai/Ninja triangle in the way that I wanted it to. Being a fan of Asian cinema, it’s been an absolute treat to see how well Sucker Punch have done with recreating the feeling of experiencing a movie firsthand from their use of colour in scenery to the settings and framing of moments, to the music which is fantastic on its own.

    Combat is a highlight as well. While I loved the dance of back and forth in Sekiro, it was ultimately samey and somewhat one note in that it relied heavily on parrying. I’m playing on hard in Ghost of Tsushima and combat has been a lovely brutal time of finding an opening and tearing an enemy (or yourself if you get it wrong) apart in seconds. It makes for a more dynamic combat system that doesn’t bog you down too much and keeps the pacing smooth.

    So far I’m loving it and even just moving from place to place is exciting as the visuals are what sets this game apart from anything else like it. It does get let down by the typical open world sandbox design though and I feel that nagging feeling that once I get midway into the game the shine will have worn off and I’ll just be moving through the story to finish it. For now though I’m just going to drink it all in and gorge my eyes and ears until they explode.

  • Im glad this turned out well, when I saw the previews I thought I could see a sort of Ubisoft style stink on it when they were talking about how you could capture camps and find collectables around the map. I thought it was going to be another dreary repetetive collectathon designed to sell time savers but I am very happy it isnt.

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