One of the major announcements at Sony’s Paris Games Week showcase was the reveal of Sucker Punch’s new game, Ghost of Tsushima. It is an open-world, action stealth game where you play as a katana-wielding samurai in feudal Japan; the year 1274 to be exact. The year is vastly important to the game’s narrative since the story will be taking place during the Mongolan Invasion. This is a big departure from Sucker Punch’s previous efforts, and the dark tone and realism alone separates it from the likes of the colorful, fun Sly Cooper series and the Infamous franchise. How will it play? Who are we playing as? Are there any supernatural twists that await us in the island of Tsushima? Let’s find out as much as we can from the debut trailer.
From the get-go, we are transported to the barren fields and locales of Tsushima. From the wheat fields, a calming lake, and a majestic view of some high trees. Tsushima looks like a peaceful place where a samurai can settle down, for now that is. As we are treated to these wonderfully rendered vistas and villagers going about their business, we are being spoken to by a sniveling sounding man who seems to know quite a bit about us.
“You trained your whole life for this”
“And you have won battles that lesser men have called unwinnable, yes?”
This man seems to be aware of our prowess as a warrior yet he does not sound frightened or even the least bit worried. In fact, there’s almost a tinge of snarkiness in the way the voice actor growls his lines almost as if he’s trying to bait us. We capture a stunning scene of our character wiping blood off a sword using his arm, which looks pretty badass. What comes next is a chilling exchange.
“But while you were sharpening your sword, do you know how i prepared for today?”
“I learned. I know your language…” We see, who we presume is the one speaking, marking the island of Tshushima on a map with red ink. A sword still wrapped in it’s scabbard is lying on the table.
“Your traditions, Your beliefs, which villages to tame and…which to burn”
This piece of dialogue may be hinting at some gameplay elements. We know player choice and consequences are a big part of what Sucker Punch does with their games, and the Infamous games are proof of this. We indeed see a tamed village but then we also cut to a burning village which says to me you can either prevent these hellish events or even take part in them. It would certainly fall in line with what Sucker Punch has done in the past.
The locales we see are also interesting from a traversal standpoint. When you look at a game like Infamous where you can literally launch yourself up into the air and onto a rooftop and glide over the city, it’ll be interesting to see how Sucker Punch tackles movement with Ghost of Tsushima.
We see our character riding a horse which will indeed help us cross great distances but is still in no way as fast or as overwhelming as turning into particles of neon and blasting through the streets. Horse riding mechanics do not give me good feelings but i hope Sucker Punch found a way to make it feel intuitive and fluid to control.
Tsushima is an island of the Japanese archipelago in the Korean Strait, roughly halfway between the Japanese mainland and the Korean peninsula. I would not be surprised if boats are a way of getting around and since this is also a stealth game, I bet we have to use the water and the dense forests to sneak around undetected.
Combat is also major question mark. Sly Cooper had melee combat and Infamous had melee combat but it was mostly a projectiled-based combat system. Ghost of Tsushima will probably be heavily focused in close combat but knowing Sucker Punch, it will probably be a lot faster than you think especially if there is some supernatural element that we have yet to discover.
“So I ask you once again Samurai. Do you Surrender?”
This is the last we hear from this snivellus man as we cut to our character seemingly showing us he did not surrender as the fires and chaos surrounding him change to ice and snow, he looks determined and ready to quell more fires and more ruthless war chiefs. We get an oddly modern looking logo right before it cuts to some actions scenes (gameplay?), and then finally the big reveal that it is in fact Sucker Punch developing the game.
The man delivering that ominous monologue throughout the trailer really sold the tone for me and made me want to know more about our character, his relationship with the man who we can only presume is the villain, and of course this lush, historical world.
This is what dreams are made of; who doesn’t want to play as a Samurai in feudal japan? Unfortunately we don’t know much more about Ghost of Tsushima, but we know Sucker Punch has been working on it for over 3 years. Did you like what you saw? Or do you just want more Infamous? Sound off down below.