Ghost of Tsushima Review Round-Up
Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tushima is coming this week 17th July 2020 and we have a wave of reviews from major websites. It has been almost 6 years since Sucker Punch Production last made Infamous 2nd Son and Infamous First Light and they have made an incredible looking period piece of ancient Japan. Does Akira Kurosawa inspired open world samurai game evoke the feelings of reviewer’s samurai spirit when playing the game? Let’s find out.
Ghost of Tsushima is an enormous and densely packed samurai adventure that often left me completely awestruck with both its visual spectacle and excellent combat. By steadily introducing new abilities instead of stat upgrades, its swordplay manages to stay challenging, rewarding, and fun throughout the entire 40 to 50 hours that it took me to beat the campaign. A few aspects are surprisingly lacking in polish in comparison to other first-party Sony games, especially when it comes to enemy AI and the stealth part of its stealth/action split. Still this is an extraordinary open-world action-adventure game that solves several issues that have long gone unaddressed in the genre, while also just being an all around samurai slashin’ good time.
Ghost of Tsushima ends the current generation of consoles on a high note. A fantastically gorgeous world sets the stage for high-stakes close quarters combat, with multiple enthralling stories told over many chapters that keep the player moving across the island. Core combat is rewarding, and while enemy AI is disappointing outside of combat, all other aspects of Ghost of Tsushima have been lovingly crafted, and will be thoroughly enjoyed by players of all types. It’s not Sekiro or Dark Souls/Bloodborne difficult, but challenge can be found for those who seek it. Ultimately, Ghost of Tsushima allows you to pick up a sword and become one badass samurai, and have fun while avenging your fallen brethren.
The Sixth Axis
Ghost of Tsushima is an artistic triumph, capturing a real cinematic feel through its visuals, immersive world and soundtrack. However, Jin is a serviceable main character and he and his journey to save Tsushima is often overshadowed by secondary characters and smaller, more personal stories found in the side quests. Throw in some formulaic missions and an awkward user interface, and Ghost of Tsushima is at times more style than substance.
Ghost of Tsushima takes the best elements of Assassins Creed and Far Cry, throws in some of the signature Sucker Punch flair that made Infamous so successful and ends up being something that is both familiar and unique at the same time. The stealth elements are not the strongest, and aside from the missions requiring stealth, I almost always took the more forward approach to combat, but the freedom to DO that is part of what makes the game so good. Sony has consistently released incredible, single player, story focused exclusives for the PS4, and Ghost of Tsushima stands tall as one of their best yet.
We Got This Covered
Ghost of Tsushima is a riveting tale complemented by infinitely fascinating combat, inventive navigation mechanics, and arresting visuals, effortlessly earning itself a spot as one of the absolute best games released on the PlayStation 4.
There aren't many things completely "new" in Ghost of Tsushima, although players likely haven't come across many navigation options as fun to use as Tsushima's Guiding Wind, or engaged in a peaceful activity like writing haiku while sitting across from a waterfall to prepare for battle, very often. It's the way Ghost of Tsushima combines elements players are both familiar and unfamiliar with that makes it such an enjoyable experience, and one which players will want to continue playing long after the credits roll. Ghost of Tsushima is the best Assassin's Creed game there is, and likely the closest many users will ever get to experiencing what it's like to be a samurai in 11th century Japan.
I don’t do it often but as of this review, I’m two trophies away from earning a Platinum. I’m making the effort to get it because that means I can spend more time with this wonderful game. With the main story and all of the tales completed, I’m just not ready to say goodbye yet. What Ghost of Tsushima lacks in terms of gameplay originality, it more than makes up for it through the high finesse of its craft. I grew obsessed with the game during the review period and when I wasn’t playing it, I was always thinking about it. The disparate mechanics seen in other games have been reshaped and retooled until no hard edges exist, creating an experience that feels smooth and responsive. Tsushima is a gorgeous setting with numerous biomes that benefit from amazing lighting effects and brilliant texture work. Jin’s story is a fascinating one as he struggles with his growing identity as the Ghost amidst others taking him to task for using tactics unbecoming of a samurai. Ghost of Tsushima is a game I could not put down because the combat is so good, the world is fun to explore, and the stories it has to tell are rich and compelling. And I’m already anxiously awaiting a sequel.
Ghost of Tsushima captures the mystique, fierce violence, and barely contained emotional angst of the great samurai films. The line of inspiration is clearly purposeful; Sucker Punch included a gorgeous “Kurosawa Mode,” which sets a black-and-white, film-grain, audio-treated effect that doubles down on the classic cinematic vibe. It’s well worth turning on, if only for a few missions. But even beyond that cool feature, this is a game that nails the aesthetic it’s shooting for, firmly establishing itself as the medium’s defining samurai saga.
It’s a bit meta, but part of reviewing a game is knowing that you likely won’t have the time to hit every objective in time for release. Ghost of Tsushima hooked me so completely that I had to finish everything. I’ve found every Shinto Temple shrine, tameshigiri (bamboo cutting) stand, hot spring, Kami shrine, found and upgraded every piece of armor and weapon, wrote every haiku, solved every tale (side missions), maxed out all skills, uncovered every Pillar of Honor (collectible sword cosmetics), and lit every lighthouse. I humbly offer my own haiku as I close the book on this phenomenal adventure.
Blossoms in the wind
My sword is sheathed and now rests
I search for flowers