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Ghost of Tsushima – The Samurai game we’ve always wanted is now here

How will you take up the fight to the invading Mongols? Honourably? Dishonourably? Discover the Ghost of Tsushima, out Friday 17th.

Step into the world of 13th century Japan, where the Mongols are invading the island of Tsushima (which is a real place) and doing what Mongols do: Kill. You play as Jin Sakai, one of the last samurais (excluding Tom Cruise) who manages to survive the onslaught and seeks to honourably defend Japan against the odds. However, to overcome the obvious disadvantage, Jin (who doesn’t have the force like Qui-Gon) must cultivate the persona of the “Ghost” and move beyond traditional fighting convention in order to defeat his opponents.

I love how you use the wind to guide you in the general vicinity of where you want to go. I find it quite cool that certain birds and foxes will crop up throughout the game to lead you towards certain places and people depending on your location and context.

Ghost of Tsushima has been in the works for some time now, with reports from 2015 saying the next project for game developer Sucker Punch Productions was in early development. I still remember being in awe at the E3 2018 gameplay showcase (see video below).

This game has been influenced by screen legend Akira Kurosawa, who directed 30 films across 57 years including, “Seven Samurai”, “Rashomon” and “Throne of Blood”, and this game acts as a homage to the great samurai cinema of the past. You can even play the entire game in what Sucker Punch originally called, “Samurai Cinema”, but has since been changed to “Kurosawa mode”, an ode to the Japanese director and screenwriter. It is more than just a simple filter applied to the screen, there is black and white film grain applied and increased wind speed, amongst other things, in an attempt to replicate Kurosawa’s work. You can even put it in Japanese audio and English subtitles for a more authentic experience.

Some people have labelled Ghost of Tsushima as the feudal Japan Assassin’s Creed game that Ubisoft never made and I can sort of understand why, especially when playing as the Ghost.

As with my preview of The Last of Us: Part II, I’ve used the recent State of Play demo to best demonstrate the games ability (see video below). These videos tend to be the best in showcasing what the game has to offer and whether or not it intrigues you.

Ghost of Tsushima is an aesthetically pleasing game, it is visually stunning and I’m sure to spend hours in the photo mode which you can change things from the type of leaves falling to the direction of the wind, the expression on Jin’s face, you can even direct a short cinematic animation!

Now, the only question is, do I fight honourably or dishonourably? And I think I’ll have to try out Kurosawa mode.

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