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Ghost Of Tsushima (PS4)
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About this item
- In war-torn tsushima, ancient beauty endures: in this open-world action adventure, you'll roam vast countryside and expansive terrain to encounter rich characters, discover ancient landmarks, and uncover the hidden beauty of tsushima.
- the rise of the Ghost. In his quest to reclaim tsushima, Jin must seek support from old friends and new unlikely allies. He must break away from tradition, become a new kind of warrior, and protect what's left of his home at all costs.
- mud, Blood, and steel, challenge opponents with your katana for an immersive Samurai combat experience, master the bow to eliminate distant threats, and develop stealth tactics to disorient and ambush enemies with surprise attacks
- Rated : Ages 18 and Over
- Product Dimensions : 13.5 x 1.5 x 17.2 cm; 82 Grams
- Release date : 17 July 2020
- ASIN : B08D46HFMY
- Item model number : 9363705
- Best Sellers Rank: 588 in PC & Video Games (See Top 100 in PC & Video Games)
- 45 in PlayStation 4 Games
- Customer reviews:
In the late 13th century, a ruthless mongol army invades Tsushima in a quest to conquer all of Japan - but for Jin Sakai, one of the last surviving Samurai defenders, the battle has just begun, set aside Samurai tradition and forge a new path, the path of the ghost, as you wage an unconventional war for the freedom of Japan. ? Players 1 ? Age 18
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Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 April 2021
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The Developers "Sucker Punch" were also responsible for the Infamous series of games. This actually made me a little apprehensive as to how this game would turn out having played Infamous Second Son which i found to be very lacklustre. While graphically impressive the main character was a little dull and side quests were largely repetitive (Take control of this enemy territory, then run 5ft and take control of this other territory, destroy this camera, paint this billboard for the 15th time) you get the idea. It all just felt too structured and formulaic.
Thankfully they have improved on these shortcomings. After an hour prologue introducing us to Jin you're released into the open world and prepare for your PS4 to initiate Jet engine mode with fans running full speed (Atleast if you have the OG PS4) because this is one graphically demanding game.
The first thing you notice is how alive the open world is, the grass blowing in the wind, the trees swaying side to side (and i mean every blade of grass and tree you travel past) the mist across the fields, sunlight shining through the bamboo trees. While we have seen impressive visuals from TLOU2 just a month prior i think Ghost of Tsushima has the edge over it due to the art design, the world is full of colour from cherry blossoms, red maple trees and many more i cant list due to my lack of tree knowledge. The colours really pop and make the environments vibrant and alive. This game easily utilizes the PS4 to 100% graphical power.
As mentioned any issues i had with previous SP games has been resolved. The exploration feels much more organic. There is no hud, just a health bar in the bottom left of your screen. You can access a map in the options menu to get a vague idea where to go but you'll be relying on the wind to guide your way mostly. This is done by swiping up on the trackpad (remember how that actually has a purpose) a gust of wind will then point you in the right direction by observing the direction grass is moving and leaves are blowing. This gives the world a much better sense of openness and mystery when you don't have a mini map showing you 500 different place markers to visit. The game really encourages exploration, often you'll come across foxes or a bird will fly up near you while riding your horse, if you choose to follow them they'll lead you to secret areas. You can tell they have taken ideas from Breath of the Wild which is no bad thing.
I often find myself just walking around the map exploring instead of running or riding a horse, taking in the scenery and breath-taking vistas, looking for hidden areas, you can even find places to write poetry using your surroundings for ideas. In many ways its a relaxing and calming game to play if you just want to explore. It's so easy to get side tracked for a couple of hours.
Dark Souls/Bloodborne veterans i advise turn the difficulty on Hard mode. This should ensure you get a similar level of challenge. I've been playing on this mode from the start and its by no means impossible so far but you do have to pay that much more attention as one or two mistakes will end in death which is basically the perfect balance. The game saves fairly regularly so its not like you'll have long sections to redo.
One thing i didn't understand from trailers was how the combat was going to work and feel so i'll try to explain.
Somewhat similar to dark souls this isn't about mashing buttons, its about patience and self control. Jin believes in being an honourable samurai and wont just sneak up behind someone and stab them in the back (Atleast not initially) He'll walk straight into enemy territory and challenge opponents resulting in 5 or more enemies coming for you at once.
Parrying is essential, luring enemies and waiting for them to make the first strike is key. Pull off a successful parry and you can follow it up with a quick or heavy attack finishing an enemy off in one or two blows if they have basic armour. The combat rewards you for making clean precise strikes and becomes a finely timed dance attacking one enemy while also observing when the other is about to strike so you can dodge or parry the next depending on the weapon they have.
One other mechanic is the ability to challenge some enemies you come across to a standoff. Essentially waiting for them to make the first strike, if you time it right and hit them just before they go to attack you can take them out in one hit (Similar to the parrying method but one on one with a higher sense of tension) They'll often try and catch you out by pretending to attack so its not as easy as it sounds.
There's many other mechanics to the combat and weapons you can use but i haven't got that far yet.
Overall once you get used to it the combat is extremely fluid and rewarding. Slicing through your enemies as they stand stumbling for a few seconds holding their wounds before falling to the floor makes you feel like a real Samurai warrior.
They even added little touches where a defeated enemy wont always be dead but on the floor gasping for life. You can choose to leave them or end their suffering.
COMBAT PART 2
The more i play the more i realise just how refined the combat in this game is. It starts off relatively basic but as you progress you unlock new stances which you switch on the fly depending on your enemy, some stances are better suited to enemies attacking with swords while others are better for enemies with shields. Not only that but within each of those stances is an upgrade tree and that's not counting the main upgrade tree or the ghost skills upgrade tree, or any of the other upgrades. There's a lot of depth here.
I read one reviewer say the combat was clunky. I can confirm that person simply doesn't know how to play the game. The only way for it to feel clunky is if you just spam the square button constantly.
As mentioned im playing on hard mode and there's such a rewarding feeling of taking out 8 enemies at once without them landing a single hit on you and it can be done as long as you utilize every weapon and skill to your advantage. For example performing a perfect parry will kill an enemy in one hit, throw a kunai if an enemy starts charging you to stun them, throw a smoke bomb if you're surrounded in a tight spot and then assassinate the enemy while they are blinded, activate the slow time ability with the bow so you can get a headshot on an archer before they fire at you. With practice you'll be doing all these things almost simultaneously.
You also have the choice to use stealth tactics which you can get quite creative with, climbing atop buildings and jumping on enemies from above is always fun, throwing kunai's at an opponent before they have a chance to alert others or stabbing someone in the back through a door, you can switch up your tactics a lot.
There is an argument to be made that the stealth can be a little too easy at times and enemy A.I during these instances isn't always the best but i find if you're constantly switching your play style up you don't really notice.
SuckerPunch have taken note that people like to customize their characters in RPG games and gone the extra mile to offer various different armour and weapon designs. You can often obtain unique armour sets by completing missions and side quests which come with their own abilities to aid combat or exploration. You can make further modifications by gathering flowers to trade with a merchant who will change the colour and design of your weapons and armour. There's also masks, headbands, and hats you can obtain by exploring.
TIP: You can alter how the armour you're wearing looks even further by going to the Options Menu - Gear - Select your armour and you should see an option to press Triangle to "change armour appearance" This gives your armour a more minimalist look.
There is some room for improvement and hopefully SP will fix some of these issues in an update and others in future games. Here's just a few.
There's several areas where bamboo trees are densely populated. This is fine and looks impressive. What's not so great is how Jin can just walk straight through the actual trees. I'm not sure if this is intentional to stop the player from getting stuck while riding the horse or if its an actual bug. Either way i would prefer weaving in and out of the bamboo rather than walking through it like Jin is invisible. I'm sure there's a way to make it dense but also have a rough path going through it.
NPC's in the open world can look a bit generic. Often enemies or allies you come across have the same face and hair style. More variety would have been nice considering the amount of times you're in battle.
They also don't seem to be the smartest. I've seen some non enemy NPC's just staring at walls for no reason or some just sit in their houses doing nothing.
Some even sleep next to dead bodies that the Mongols have killed. Its a bit weird at times.
There's lots of different skills which again is a good thing. However to select the one you want you have to hold the left or right trigger and then select the skill you want with the D-Pad buttons. When you're getting rushed by 10 enemies its sometimes hard to react in time to throw a smoke bomb if its not already selected in your inventory. Perhaps a weapon wheel or slow time mechanic would have worked better just for the moments when you want to switch to something different. Or maybe its just me.
I've had occasional glitches, one where i couldn't get off my horse and it just started running back and forth in circles. Another where an enemy got stuck in-between a wall
None of these things really stand out in the grand scheme of things so don't let that put you off. I'm sure a bug fix update will be released at some point and iron out most potential glitches.
NICE TOUCHES TO GAMEPLAY
Load times are quick when fast travelling. It only takes about 5-10 seconds to travel anywhere on the island. Much faster than most open world games.
Gathering resources is fast and simple. Gathering wood, supplies and flowers can be done quickly by pressing R2 even while riding your horse so you don't have to dismount every time. This also applies to hunting so you don't have to watch the same animation hundreds of times when you skin an animal. It speeds up tasks which can get monotonous in other games.
There's an option to wipe blood from your blade after every combat encounter. Jin can even bow to defeated opponents.
You can play the game with Japanese voice actors. A nice touch but i found it hard to read the English subtitles while focusing on gameplay. The game was designed for the English voice acting also so the facial animations of characters talking doesn't match up if you choose Japanese. Still a great option for anyone who does speak Japanese as the voice actors are really good.
You can play the game in black and white for an authentic Japanese movie experience. This is the kind of thing to do after completing the full game once as the open world is too colourful to miss out on.
For now this is as far as i have reached in the game. This will be the last big exclusive for the PS4 and one you absolutely shouldn't miss.
Let me know if this was helpful with a vote and i'll be sure to continue updating as i play through the story.
Ghost of Tushima is an open world game where you can run, climb, swim, and ride through the vast grasslands, forests, mountains, and villages of the island of Tushima, in your quest to gather allies and repel the Mongol invaders.
The game prompts unguided exploration of your environment and lacks a mini map to show you nearby points of interest, relying instead on the wind to direct you to your destination. The island is littered with all manner of points of interest, including hot springs that increase your health, quiet spots where you can contemplate your adventures and compose Haiku, survivor camps filled with traders who will upgrade your weapons (for a price) or offer useful information about local events and nearby missions, random encounters with roving bands of Mongol warriors, bandits or citizens in need, towns under siege, or enemy strongholds to be attacked.
The playing area is huge with the island split up into three sections - each of which will corresponds to an associated chapter - and you're probably looking at well in excess of sixty hours of game play from start to finish if you make the effort to explore the environment to it's fullest.
As a samurai your main weapon will be your katana. Initially you will start with only basic fast and heavy attacks but as the game proceeds you will learn new combinations and techniques to add to your arsenal, including several stances - each of which is more effective against a certain type of enemy. Combat usually involves facing a number of different enemies at once, such as swordsmen, spearmen, shield bearers, and "brutes", and so the key to success is to rapidly change between stances and use the most effective technique for the job at hand. You will also obtain charms that can be attached to your weapons, each of which will provide your character with a specific buff to your abilities.
Despite your increasing skill with a blade it soon becomes apparent that winning this war is going to require a different kind of warrior, and to this end you also start to learn and adopt the tools and skills of the assassin, utilizing stealth, silent kills, and "ghost" weapons such as the kunai and black powder bomb to confuse and disorient your foes, stalking and striking from the shadows to remove your enemies with one swift blow. It reminded me a lot of the PSOne game Tenchu, for those old enough to remember that.
In most scenarios you have a free choice regarding which approach you wish to adopt. Challenging foes directly is the honourable samurai way but may result in you being vastly outnumbered by your enemies, whilst sneaking through the shadows will allow you to avoid conflict or whittle enemy numbers down one by one but is an approach that leaves Jin conflicted and shamed.
Samurai, Ghost skills, and stances have their own independent skill trees that can be upgraded each time you level up to unlock new abilities, so it is for you to decide what kind of warrior you wish to be as the story progresses. Also available are numerous upgrades for your weapons and armour, new costumes with distinct advantages, and legendary weapons and techniques that can be learned or obtained. Also important is your "resolve" - a limited but replenishing resource representing your will and tenacity that enables you to restore your health and unleash deadly attacks.
In terms of controls the game has a lot in common with Witcher 3. Combat occurs over 360 degrees with you being able to strike out in any direction with a flick of the control stick and pressing the attack buttons, using a combination of swift strikes and heavy blows that break your opponents guard as well as blocking incoming attacks with your blade, dodging or rolling out of the way, using counter strikes, and using environmental hazards such as explosive barrels and hornets nests to distract or destroy your foes. It all makes for an extremely fluid and cinematic combat experience.
There are lots of nice little touches to the game that really help to nail the genre, such as the ability to challenge opponents (think Red Dead Redemptions quick draw shoot outs but with blades!), duels where you face off against a single (usually powerful) opponent, and the ability to finish off downed enemies with a merciful killing blow.
The graphics are excellent and the environment beautiful, and the game really shows that there's still some life left in the old console yet. You even have the option of playing the game in a grainy black and white filter akin to a traditional samurai movie. Effects, soundtrack, and voice acting are equally excellent and you have the choice of playing with an English translation or Japanese language with subtitles if you are looking for a more authentic experience.
In terms of complaints there's not much to moan about. One issue is that there is no punishment or penalty for adopting the "dishonourable" ghost techniques or any reward for adopting the honourable samurai techniques even though Jin being conflicted by having to balance these two approaches is a persistent theme that runs throughout the game, although this doesn't really effect the quality of the story.
Additionally, whilst there are a number of different costumes to be obtained that provide boosts to skills like archery, exploration, and stealth, as the majority of game play will involve sword play there's little incentive to explore these and the temptation is to stick with Samurai armours that boost things like your damage, health, and damage resistance. Also, whilst your sword can be upgraded, it is the only hand to hand weapon you will use throughout the game and it would have been nice to see some of the other weapons used by samurai in the game.
Ghost of Tushima is a truly excellent and compelling gaming experience that's worth every penny and gets my highest recommendation.