Ghost of Tsushima, releasing on July 17, is one of the biggest, most anticipated PlayStation 4 exclusives. It's a big change for the developer, Sucker Punch, who is known for the Infamous and Sly Cooper series. Ghost of Tsushima is set on Tsushima Island in the 13th century during the Mongol invasion of Japan.
It follows Jin Sakai, who is a last line of defense against the Mongols. He skirts the line between the honorable Samurai and the dishonorable ghost. The game's 18-minute gameplay reveal was definitely promising, as it featured exploration, combat, stealth, and customization.
10 Excited: The Exploration
Sucker Punch wants to throw waypoints in the wastebasket. In an attempt to integrate players into the game, Jin will use environmental tools to navigate the world.
Gusts of wind will direct players to their desired location and animals will guide them to secrets. Hopefully, this will make exploration feel more like discovery than looking for questions marks on a map.
9 Skeptical: Checklist Gameplay
Clearing out Mongol camps and the Destroying Shipyard objectives, based purely on speculation, scream out a checklist-style of gameplay. Many open-world games are ruined by a to-do list that drags players out of the carefully crafted world.
Objectives that are seamlessly integrated into the gameplay are much better than completing a list of objectives presented in a menu. Checklist objectives also fall victim to repetitive gameplay. If there are 50 similar shipyards to destroy then the new take on exploration will be for nothing.
8 Excited: Ghost vs. Samurai
It looks like Sucker Punch is leaving behind the black and white morality system from the Infamous games and integrating it into the ghost and samurai playstyles.
The samurai, or the straight forward katana swordplay, is more honorable than the ghost, the stealthy approach. Morality will be a gameplay decision instead of a binary good and evil choice.
7 Skeptical: Overdone Mechanics
There is a small debate online, sparked by the recent Ghost of Tsushima gameplay, about innovative gameplay mechanics and doing old mechanics well. Nothing in Ghost of Tsushima seems innovative but it's a refined take on what's been done before.
The climbing, distractions during stealth, and campfires have all been done before. Some people are disappointed that the gameplay did not show anything particularly unique. This may be cause for concern but the interesting setting and new take on waypoints should be enough to appease most people.
6 Excited: Love of Samurai/Culturally Authentic
Sucker Punch is taking the Samurai culture seriously. The developer has said to expect a culturally authentic story that is not necessarily historically accurate. This has driven Sucker Punch to include a full Japanese voice track and create a black and white mode to honor classic samurai films.
These are major details that can severely increase the enjoyment of the game. It's always disappointing when accents don't match the time period in Assassin's Creed.
5 Skeptical: Gameplay Won't Match With Realistic Tone
There is a classic problem with story-heavy video games. The gameplay does not match the narrative. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, for example, tells a compelling narrative but has rather unrealistic combat. Red Dead Redemption 2, on the other hand, has so much realism that some gamers found it took away from the fun.
There is a balance between the two and it's yet to be seen where Ghost of Tsushima falls. In Ghosts of Tsushima, gamers can pick up resources by riding over them on their horse and enemies ragdoll when they're shot by arrows. Sometimes realism has to be sacrificed for fun.
4 Excited: Graphics
Sucker Punch is so confident in its graphics that the developer spent the time to advertise their photo mode. Ghost of Tsushima is a beautiful game, as illustrated through the windblown grass and the particle effects.
The likelihood of it actually looking good is high. Sucker Punch's last major game, Infamous Second Son, is still one of the best looking games on the PlayStation 4.
3 Skeptical: It Will Be Too Short
This may seem contradictory to the messaging for the game's huge open world. Sucker Punch, though, made one of the shortest open-world games in PlayStation's library: Infamous Second Son. Second Son has a small open world and a short storyline.
It's likely, from the messaging, that Ghost of Tsushima will actually be a big game but history gives a little room to be skeptical.
2 Excited: Customization
The customization will make a difference in gameplay as well as make Jin one of the most stylish samurai's around. Heavy armor is suitable for samurai gameplay while loose clothes are suitable for ghost gameplay.
This is a fun detail that requires some strategy before entering a combat encounter. Not to mention, the ability to change clothing color by finding dye plants.
1 Skeptical: Collectable Fest
A stable of open-world games are collectibles that make completionists go crazy. In the State Of Play gameplay, Jin finds a shrine that gives him some type of upgrade.
This shows that collectibles are essential for progression. One has to hope that the journey to finding the collectibles and the rewards will be worth it.
The student who acquired the drive has been given a life sentence and others who watched it will do five years hard labor.