Writer’s note: I will not actually haunt your house like a putrid, annoying ghost. I am very busy and important.
Did you know: A lot of games came out while Elden Ring was busy taking over the gaming world. Some, like Kirby and the Forgotten Land, managed to cut through the Elden Ring craze by catering to a wholly different audience. But many more came and went with little fanfare. For me, Ghostwire: Tokyo fell squarely into this latter category.
The developers of Ghostwire: Tokyo discussed both its overall creepiness and the cuteness of its dogs and cats in a recent interview. After playing it for about 8 hours straight yesterday, I’d have to say that Tango Gameworks has struck a perfect balance between them.
That article really did predict the future in more ways than one. I ultimately managed to get a PlayStation 5 by the time Ghostwire: Tokyo came out. Despite this, it actually took me longer than I expected to get my hands on the game because I was too busy dying a lot as the fabled Fart Smella, followed by being a round pink god.
In the end, I finally picked up Ghostwire: Tokyo. I was wary at first considering reviews were, to put it charitably, are all over the place. However, it’s always important to remember that while reviews can be a good indicator of a game’s experience, at the end of the day, it remains entirely subjective. Everybody is going to have a different experience when playing a game.
And I am loving Ghostwire: Tokyo. So, I’m going to talk about why I like it without giving too much away. No story points included (the story is great), so no spoilers.
Ethereal Weaving rocks and rules
I must be the King of Mars because I simply love being a magic man. Ghostwire: Tokyo‘s Ethereal Weaving attack system is very fun to me. Throwing wind attacks and fireballs from a distance like the elemental little wimp I am? Love it. Living. Live love laughing it.
While the Ethereal Weaving attacks are fairly weak at first (sans the Fire attack, that shit is entirely OP), the levelling system does allow you to make these attacks stronger and more effective.
This also may be a huge reach, depending on who you ask, but I can see a similarity between Ghostwire: Tokyo and Bioshock. I see it in the way collecting spirits and saving/harvesting Little Sisters in Bioshock maps to spirit collecting in Ghostwire: Tokyo contributes to levelling up, boosting your Ethereal Weaving. It’s a stretch, perhaps, but I can draw the line between them and I think it’s neat!
You can pet the dog in Ghostwire: Tokyo
Speaking of little friends, there’s nothing sweeter than being able to pat a dog in a game. Hell, there’s even a whole Twitter account dedicated to whether or not you can pet the dogs in video games, and it made sure to let everyone know that you CAN pet the dogs in Ghostwire: Tokyo.
Here is a closer look at the dog petting in Ghostwire: Tokyo pic.twitter.com/AHyrefUN3V
— Can You Pet the Dog? (@CanYouPetTheDog) March 14, 2022
I think a reasonable chunk of my playtime has been seeking out dogs and cats, feeding them, patting them, and reading their thoughts. I love them all so much. They are my besties. The cat shopkeepers? Amazing. Impeccable. Showstopping.
Aside from occasionally talking to the man that lives inside you (not elaborating on this) and his friend that lives in the phone (not elaborating on this either), wandering around Tokyo can get pretty lonely. When you happen upon a dog or cat, reading their mind lets you talk to them, and feeding dogs leads to them digging up coins for you. Good boys and girls all around.
Of course, you’re not really alone outside of the critters roaming Tokyo. There are plenty of spooky Visitors too.
The Yokai in this game are cool as hell
The monsters featured in Ghostwire: Tokyo, called ‘Visitors’ in-game, are eerie without just being body horror beasties. Tango Gameworks has mentioned in the past that it was inspired by urban legends and that it wanted to go for a more ‘not everything is as it seems’ approach with them.
When playing the game, this is the exact vibe I got. If you’re not engaged in battle with the Visitors, they’re just hanging out. You’ll see the salarymen walking around, standing at ATMs, browsing stores. The headless schoolgirls will be sitting around at the shopping centre or giddily watching a projection on a wall.
While they’re terrifying when they’re running at you at full speed, there’s also something quite fascinating about how they exist outside of battle.
Should you play Ghostwire: Tokyo?
I’m not going to tell you what to do. I’m sure you’re perfectly capable of making your own decisions in life and have done well thus far. If you haven’t, bummer! What I can say is I’ve been absolutely loving Ghostwire: Tokyo and would recommend it to anybody looking for something to play.
If you like games like Dishonored, inFamous, and even Bioshock, I think you’ll enjoy Ghostwire: Tokyo. Further, if you like games where you can feed and pat dogs and cats, you will love Ghostwire: Tokyo. The game has four separate difficulty modes, so I can safely recommend it to any player and know that they’ll be able to finish it.
Ghostwire: Tokyo is a visually beautiful ode to the streets of Tokyo with the constant vibe of potential doom around the corner of every narrow alley. The critters you meet along the way are a sweet little treat, and the Visitors manage to feel both out of place and like they belong. I hope that makes sense.
All in all, I’d say give it a red hot go! Chuck it on the list!