Through breathtaking visuals, a beautiful soundtrack and terrific storytelling, Sucker Punch Productions’ “Ghost of Tsushima” is a masterpiece. Released July 17, players can experience this stunning video game exclusively on the PlayStation 4.
Set in 1274, the Mongols are making their first invasion of Japan. It’s up to the last samurai on the island of Tsushima, Jin Sakai, to stop them from taking over the entire country.
After a crushing defeat against Khotun Khan, Jin must rally allies all over the island to save his uncle Lord Shimura. As Sakai delves deeper into Tsushima, he risks losing his samurai code to save those he cares about and his country.
The game itself is an homage to Japan’s history and the samurai way of life. Before beginning the game, players get to choose if they want audio in English or in Japanese with English subtitles.
The game also offers “Kurosawa Mode,” a black and white filter with Japanese and English subtitles. This mode is inspired by movies of the legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa (“Seven Samurai,” “Rashomon” and “Yojimbo”).
The game’s combat consists of two different approaches: traditional samurai fights and stealthily taking out foes.
Before fighting a large group of enemies, Jin can have a “Stand Off,” which is a gameplay mechanic where one foe will approach the player waiting to strike.
These duels are about accuracy and precision, showing there’s never a dull moment on Jin’s journey. Once the “Stand Off” is over, Jin proceeds to parry and slash against incoming enemies.
In Japanese history, there are many different forms or stances a samurai can use to cross blades with their opponents. “Ghost of Tsushima” includes four such stances designed for different types of enemies: Stone, Water, Wind and Moon.
All of these forms can be unlocked as the player progresses throughout the game eliminating certain enemies and retaking captured villages.
Within Tsushima, players will get the opportunity to explore the island. There’s an in-game day/night cycle. While the island may provide its challenges, there are beautiful things to discover such as
making dyes from colorful flowers, galloping through immense fields of waving grass, liberating historically accurate buildings and far more.
Sucker Punch Productions lands a meaningful blow in world building.
The video game’s soundtrack was composed by Shigeru Umebayashi and Ilan Eshkeri. Throughout “Ghost of Tsushima” players can hear different instruments such as the flute, lute and koto, a stringed musical instrument.
The score matches Jin’s emotions. The elegant music, with undertones of frailty, show samurais aren’t just strong but they also have moments of vulnerability.
On the outside, Jin is a cunning warrior who wants the best for his people, but on the inside he’s a struggling hero pushing forward in uniting his people.
“Ghost of Tsushima” is a fantastic game containing many hours of wonder and exploration that can be played again and again.
The video game costs $59.99 and can be purchased online or at a local Game Stop.