Sony’s press conference at Paris Games Week definitely held plenty of interesting titles and trailers, including a controversial Last of Us Part 2 trailer. But there was one game that stole the show for me: Ghost of Tsushima.
The rest of the WTMG team probably grew tired of my constant speculation over what game Sucker Punch Productions has been working on for the past three years since Infamous: Second Son. As a die hard Sly Cooper fan, I’ve loved the studio since I began playing games, and news of a samurai game set in the 13th century was mind-blowing. Hey, we’ve all wanted samurai video games for a while, right?
The time period poises the game to be set when Kublai Khan attempts to invade Japan through the island of Tsushima. This backdrop sets up an opportunity for an absolutely epic and/or tragic story. I wouldn’t want the game to be nearly as cinematic as The Last of Us, but if they can give us some emotional moments and a coherent and powerful story then I’ll be incredibly happy. And please make Jin (the main character) likable. Nobody wants another Aiden Pearce. Also, battles please. I want full on battles between large numbers of NPCs.
The opportunity to design a beautiful world that players want to explore is easily present when put in the same sentence as “feudal Japan.” And that’s exactly what we want: a beautiful world that calls to us and begs to be explored. There are so many lore and replayability opportunities that can be easily seized. But in particular I’d like to see some mystical bamboo forests and multiple different Japanese fortresses that are a challenge to infiltrate.
Good combat is a must. If the combat is bad then Ghost of Tsushima is not going to be a good game. It’s a truth that Sucker Punch hopefully understands. There are a variety of previously established styles to pick from, with the top three coming to mind being Dark Souls, Arkham, and Witcher combat. Hopefully SP knows what they’re doing and can deliver a style that will fit well with the rest of the game and the supposed stealth element that will be included.
When you think “feudal Japan” you probably think of two things: samurai and ninja. And with ninja comes, inevitably, stealth. With Ghost of Tsushima described as both an action and stealth oriented game, we can’t help but speculate what the stealth aspect will be like. It could be as simple as the Middle Earth: Shadow franchise or as detailed and complex as Metal Gear Solid V. Personally, I’m hoping that it leans more towards MGS in its complexity. I want stealth to be challenging but fair, with a variety of tools to help.
The ability to swap pieces of armor and swords would definitely be awesome and incentive to complete objectives and hunt collectibles. Ninja outfits and samurai armor could have so many different designs, and the ability to mix and match would make it even better. I want to be able to design my own katana, or at least have a variety to choose from.
A problem that a lot of games face nowadays is being a mix and match of other games. We practically describe games as, “It plays like X, but in Y genre with Z’s combat system and C’s crafting system.” It gets harder and harder for games to stand on their own without being drowned in comparison. Hopefully Sucker Punch can create a game unique enough in story and game design that it stands as the definitive of its type, rather than “X game set in feudal Japan.”
Ultimately, as with all upcoming games, we’ll have to wait and see. Hopefully we’ll get a glimpse of gameplay at this year’s PlayStation Experience and begin to get a feel for how this game feels and looks. But for now all we can do is hope for the best and rewatch the epic trailer over and over again.