Sucker Punch, the developer behind Infamous and Sly Cooper, is currently at work on a brand-new IP: Ghost of Tsushima.
We got the chance to sit in a behind closed doors presentation with the co-founder of the studio and find out so much more about the gameplay mechanics and story.
Read on for everything you need to know about the upcoming open-world samurai epic.
Ghost of Tsushima – What is it?
Ghost of Tsushima is is set in Tsushima, Japan. You play as a samurai, exploring an open world and engaging in missions.
From an extended look at Ghost of Tsushima at Sony’s E3 2018 press conference in seems that stealth will to play a part in the game, as will some frankly brutal melee combat.
A tense one-on-one duel was also features, which appeared to rely on you not flinching until the exact moment it’s time to strike. It was this one-on-one fight that gave us our best look at the game’s combat, which seems to place a heavy emphasis on parrying your enemies attacks.
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Ghost of Tsushima release date – When’s it out?
Sucker Punch hasn’t revealed any sort of release date information during either of the game’s trailer, not even a vague year, which suggests this is still a significant way’s away from launch.
Ghost of Tsushima Gameplay
The Ghost of Tsushima trailer shown during Sony’s E3 2018 press conference came immediately after The Last of Us Part 2, a tough act to follow for anyone. It also left many viewers with more questions than answers.
Seeing the team behind InFamous’ vision of feudal Japan, which is a stunning huge open world and how Jin, our lead character, fits within it, was a nice first-look. But it wasn’t until a behind closed doors session with Sucker Punch co-founder, Chris Zimmerman, that I got any idea how the game will play, and an opening glimpse at the incredibly exciting story that lies in wait.
The game’s vision of feudal Japan is not hamstrung by history. Zimmerman notes during the presentation that the team are not allowing themselves to be slaves to history – the devs are taking artistic licence when it comes to historical accuracy.
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Therefore, the story that unfolds becomes inherently more interesting. You are Jin, a man raised in the art of Samurai who must defend his island from a Mongolian invasion. However, all of Jin’s masters have been slain during the conflict, thanks to the Mongolians not conforming to the rules of Samurai, leading Jin to question everything he has been taught.
This answered a big question that I had about the game. Being an open-world experience in which we played a samurai, I feared for the progression system. Sucker Punch has always delivered excellent levelling mechanics and well-paced unlocking of new abilities, but I couldn’t envision how a samurai could unlock a new outfit or special powers. Zimemrman answers this through the story: Jin must adapt and make the decision to abandon his teachings in order to beat the Mongolians, and in that lies how the game will allow new weapons and techniques to be unlocked.
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He does point out, however, that players can choose to play through the experience as a samurai, but during the post-demo Q&A notes this will not be a Dark Souls-style experience where players can end the game how they started without any form of levelling up.
We then come to the first fight in the trailer, this time being played in real time. Jin’s ‘Jutsu’, the samurai art of a strike delivered as the sword is drawn, is a skill that is earned in the game, and is shown once again. Zimmerman notes that skills such as these have the potential to intimidate other enemies in the encounter, and the two other Mongolians noticeably step back in fear as the strike lands. Zimmerman also says that every single droplet of blood that spatters after the strike is tracked in real time.
Each fight will reportedly be a stiff challenge as Sucker Punch wants every encounter to feel worthwhile and meaningful. Your success in fights comes down to timing blocks, countering and strikes. Watching the sword fight happen in real time, the game looked thrilling.
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I did have concerns about the camera though. Watching the developer controlling the demo it looks like the camera is manually controlled by the player, and attacks are done using the face buttons, which could prove fiddly during heated exchanges – though Zimmerman promised the camera is controls won’t unfairly punish the player. Time will tell whether or not this will be the case.
When Jin approaches the house to rescue the monk, Zimmerman confirms that players can approach this mission in multiple ways. If you like, you could enter via the front door and challenge all the Mongolians inside to a fight, or you could opt for a stealthy approach and enter quietly through the roof.
But the most interesting thing about this demo is the almost Darwinian approach to the story. Jin’s need to abandon his teachings in order to not only save himself but also his land will be fascinating to see unfold, both from a narrative and gameplay perspective. Seeing how it plays into the game’s RPG-esque mechanics of unlocking new weapons and abilities will be very interesting in this historical setting, particularly from a studio that’s best known for creating gorgeous worlds that focus on a supernatural lead.
It gives Ghost of Tsushima so much more potential than I thought it had, and certainly this presentation sold it in a far better light than its E3 trailer did, because of how much more room to breath it’s been given.
With Ghost of Tsushima immediately following that frankly astounding Last of Us Part 2 trailer during Sony’s conference, I was initially underwhelmed. Getting a second stab at it, and having the team at Sucker Punch guide me through the concept at much greater detail, I’m now far more interested in what this game could become.
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In other words, don’t expect to see the game in 2018.
Ghost of Tsushima Trailer – How’s it look?
Our most recent look at the game came at E3 2018, when Sony showed off a lengthy gameplay trailer for the upcoming game.
You can watch this trailer below.
Ghost of Tsushima Story – What’s it about?
While the trailers have revealed little in the way of detail, the description of the video revealed plenty more about the game:
“The year is 1274. Samurai warriors are the legendary defenders of Japan–until the fearsome Mongol Empire invades the island of Tsushima, wreaking havoc and conquering the local population. As one of the last surviving samurai, you rise from the ashes to fight back. But, honorable tactics won’t lead you to victory. You must move beyond your samurai traditions to forge a new way of fighting–the way of the Ghost–as you wage an unconventional war for the freedom of Japan.”
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There’s no doubt we’ll find out much more about the story and its lead characters as we get closer to launch.
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