As a lover of historically stylised games, it’s safe to say that I had been waiting (not so) patiently for the release of Ghost of Tsushima for a while – and it did not disappoint.
Described as ‘a love letter to the samurai genre’ not only is the game play of this homage stunning enough on its own, but you even have the option to play through the game in the collaborative ‘Kurosawa Mode.’ Mirroring the iconic style of Akira Kurosawa, the filmmaker’s influence doesn’t stop at visuals, with the essence of classic samurai films echoing throughout the game, from atmospheric details, to fighting techniques.
Set in 13th century feudal Japan, players follow samurai Jin Sakai, through the open world landscape, during the first Mongol invasion of Tsushima.
Negotiating the war-torn landscape, players will make their way through stunning environments rich with crimson-leaved trees, sacred shrines and traditional villages – liberating the villages and building the revere of ‘The Ghost.’
A game that knows it’s beautiful, it’s no wonder that people (including me) have spent an hour or ten in the photo mode.
Building a Legend
Without giving away too much, the storytelling and character development in this game is second to none. Each character introduced is fully-realised with their own personalities and objectives which intertwine with Jin’s fate as he increases his legend throughout the game through both main story and side quests.
When beginning the game, you are given the option whether you want the characters in the game to speak English or Japanese (with subtitled options also available.) Although the Japanese dub doesn’t quite sync up, the authenticity it offers more than makes up for it, in my opinion.
Mastering the Blade
The attention to detail in this game doesn’t end with the visuals, the combat for Ghost of Tsushima was programmed with a desire to recreate the awe-inspiring fighting style samurai were renowned for. From varying stances for different enemies, to recreating the elegant, yet deadly strokes of the katana with a focus on three main disciplines: speed, sharpness and precision the combat in this game was carefully curated and the result is remarkable.