Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima is out on PlayStation 4 in a few months, but there’s still a lot of information we don’t know about the upcoming samurai adventure. Today’s State of Play stream was centered entirely around the game and multiple members of the Sucker Punch development team provided insight into the world and gameplay of Ghost of Tsushima. Everything, from combat to customization, was fully detailed and explained. Ghost of Tsushima contains many familiar open-world tropes, but it also has a few unique twists on popular ideas we’ve seen hundreds of times before.
Being an open-world game, navigation is a core part of the Ghost of Tsushima experience. You can place waypoints and markers on the map like in other games, but Ghost of Tsushima opts for a more natural and immersive method of guiding you to your destinations. After marking a destination on your map, gusts of wind will continually blow in its direction, subtly nudging you in the right direction. Other landmarks, like pillars of smoke or strange buildings, will catch your eye as you’re out and about as well, beckoning to you to come and explore. Also, some animals will lead you to certain special locations. Foxes will guide you to shrines, for example, and birds could catch your attention before landing near interesting characters.
Combat in Ghost of Tsushima is multifaceted and complex, allowing for a variety of playstyles. During open combat, you can parry incoming attacks to make enemies vulnerable. There are multiple stances you can switch between during a fight that have different advantages and disadvantages, and you also have a bow for ranged attacks. Incoming arrows can be deflected with your sword as well.
Stealth is also an option in Ghost of Tsushima, letting you play as a ninja that utilizes distraction, deception, and fear to your advantage. Stealth appears to borrow a lot from other games; you can instantly stealth kill enemies from behind and throw objects to lure unsuspecting foes to certain locations. Where Ghost of Tsushima differs from the competition is the use of abilities and items. Getting spotted is not the end of the world. Enemies can lose sight of you if you escape or throw a smoke bomb, and being seen can actually have benefits. If you frequently employ stealth and lean into the ghost playstyle, the invading Mongols will learn to fear you and react accordingly upon spotting you. Armored enemies also cannot be instantly killed with a stealth attack, so some hide and seek style combat will be required to completely clear out camps.
Customization in Ghost of Tsushima has both gameplay purposes and cosmetic purposes. The armor that you can equip has various stats and bonuses that will help you out in combat, but each piece of armor can also be customized further so you can create your own unique look for Jin. Each armor piece has its own look already, but picking up flowers throughout the world will allow you to dye individual armor pieces and change their appearances. On top of armor customization, Ghost of Tsushima also features charms that provide buffs to your abilities both in and out of combat. One charm shown in the presentation caused smoke bombs to recover a portion of health, while another caused your health to slowly regenerate outside of combat. Customization will play a huge role in Ghost of Tsushima, and you’ll be able to fine-tune your playstyle however you see fit.
Photo Mode, Japanese Voices, and Samurai Cinema
To close out the presentation, a few additional details were shared about the game. The photo mode was shown off, and it appears to have a bit more depth to it than other recently released photo modes. The environment can be left in motion if you’d rather take a video instead of a picture, and you can play any song from the original soundtrack to get the mood just right. Everything in the scene, from Jin’s facial expression to the direction the wind blows, can be altered in some way. Then, the game was confirmed to feature dual audio, meaning that a Japanese voice track with English subtitles will be available alongside the standard English voices. Finally, a special mode called Samurai Cinema was shown off. Samurai Cinema applies a black and white filter to the game with added film grain and other effects in order to recreate the look of classic samurai movies. The entire game is playable with Samurai Cinema and Japanese voices turned on for that authentic samurai experience.
Ghost of Tsushima will be released on July 17 exclusively for PlayStation 4.