Last night, developer Tango Gameworks delivered an in-depth look at the gameplay and narrative of its upcoming supernatural action-adventure game Ghostwire: Tokyo. We saw some tight abilities, some cool exploration, and some adorable kitties. We also now know that the March 25 release date that’s been floating around is true, and y’all, this might be the PS5 game I’m most stoked for next month. Ghostwire: Tokyo looks hella dope!
Ghostwire: Tokyo puts you in control of Akito, a young man who happened to survive a very random and very sudden mass extinction event in Tokyo. Everyone has vanished. The streets are empty. Stores are unmanned. All that’s left are Akito and these Visitors, malevolent beings that resemble people in silhouette only. (Oh, don’t worry, though. Cats and dogs appear to have been spared by the extinction event, so there are still plenty of cute animals for you to pet.) You have to fight these enemies, but you don’t exactly do so alone, as Akito is possessed by a spirit detective named KK, but it’s best you don’t fully trust him. KK’s an unwelcomed guest in Akito’s body, mentioning that if he leaves the host, Akito is “toast.” Well, shit.
The PlayStation Blog has a breakdown of the game, including details on how combat works. This is a supernatural thriller, so of course more traditional weaponry such as guns and swords are ineffective against these Visitors. Instead, Akito uses Ethereal Weaving, a fighting style composed of hand signs that let you throw elemental attacks like wind shots and firebombs. This makes up the bulk of the combat, though you can find other equipment through exploration, including a spirit-shooting bow and electric talisman. There are also RPG elements, with Akito gaining experience points upon defeating enemies, which you can use to increase his Ethereal Weaving skills.
The game also appears to be making great, thoughtful use of Tokyo as a setting for its creepy, lonely adventure. “The city has more than its share of urban legends and tall tales delving into humanity’s curiosity (and at times, fear of the unknown),” says director Kenji Kimura. “In many ways, Tokyo embodies the balance between modernity and nature that makes the culture of Japan so appealing to people from within and without. It is this appeal that the Ghostwire: Tokyo team works so hard to capture in our depiction of this city that tens of millions call home.”
Meanwhile, game designer Suguru Murakoshi notes that it’s a Japanese game top to bottom, a game set in modern-day Japan that’s made by a Japanese team. In fact, he likened the game to a strawberry shortcake, which also has Japanese origins. The cake, he said, “was designed from the Hinomaru rising sun design, the origins of it are truly Japanese.” And like the cake, he said, Ghostwire: Tokyo is a game in which “everyone can find something to love. With some sweet and tangy parts, just like a strawberry shortcake.”
On top of it all, this supernatural thriller is very much an immersive sim, so if you’re getting Dishonored vibes, I totally understand. Ghostwire: Tokyo is very much in that same territory, which has me hook, line, and sinker.
In fact, from the 20-minute showcase below, you can see that Ghostwire: Tokyo is closer to fellow Bethesda Softworks subsidiary Arkane Studios’ catalogue of games (Deathloop, Prey) than to Tango Gameworks’ previous stuff such as The Evil Within. That’s to say this upcoming action-adventure game looks like an immersive sim in Tokyo, and I’m so here for it.
What has me most hyped is the amalgamation of influences. It gives me Dishonored vibes in that it’s a supernatural immersive sim. It also gives me some Jujutsu Kaisen flavoring, with Akito being possessed by someone with their own agenda, similar to how Ryomen Sukuna inhabits Yuji Itadori’s body. And you know what, there seems to be a hint of Scarlet Nexus in there too, what with the enemy design, setting, and particle effects.
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So yeah, I’m pumped for Ghostwire: Tokyo. It’s the kind of game that appears to have a singular focus, putting it in the lineage of great genre classics like Deus Ex and System Shock. It appears to be very focused on just being an unsettling immersive sim, and doing that one thing well. We’ll see if the game actually delivers on its riveting premise when it hits PS5 on March 25.