2020 has already been a big year for Sony, in the gaming department. From the incredibly creative Dreams to the much anticipated Last of us 2, Sony have most certainly been producing the goods this year. However, now comes probably their most awaited title in Ghost of Tsushima. From its comparisons to the great Witcher 3 and its unique setting in Feudal Japan, there is plenty to get excited about here. Thankfully, the initial reviews seem to show that this excitement was warranted. The game is comfortably sitting in the mid 80’s on Metacritic and this could go even higher, as the more reviews come in.
Mitchell Saltzman from IGN has praised the game for its stunning visuals and amazing combat, with his only real criticism being the stealth mechanics. He has scored the game at an amazing 9/10. Here is what he had to say:
“Ghost of Tsushima is an enormous and densely packed samurai adventure that often left me completely awestruck with both its visual spectacle and excellent combat. By steadily introducing new abilities instead of stat upgrades, its swordplay manages to stay challenging, rewarding, and fun throughout the entire 40 to 50 hours that it took me to beat the campaign. A few aspects are surprisingly lacking in polish in comparison to other first-party Sony games, especially when it comes to enemy AI and the stealth part of its stealth/action split. Still this is an extraordinary open-world action-adventure game that solves several issues that have long gone unaddressed in the genre, while also just being an all around samurai slashin’ good time”.
Robert Ramsay of Pushsquare has echoed IGN’s review and has also given the title an excellent 9/10 score:
“Ghost of Tsushima is a joy to play and a joy to behold. Sucker Punch has crafted one of the most memorable open world games of this generation, buoyed by an immensely satisfying combat system and an engaging, dramatic story. Unlike many of its open world peers, it's a refined and focused experience -- gripping and immaculately presented at its best. A fitting first-party swansong for the PS4”.
The positive reviews don’t stop there. Gameinformer have also highly lauded this new title, comparing it to some of the great Samurai films of years gone by:
“Ghost of Tsushima captures the mystique, fierce violence, and barely contained emotional angst of the great samurai films. The line of inspiration is clearly purposeful; Sucker Punch included a gorgeous “Kurosawa Mode,” which sets a black-and-white, film-grain, audio-treated effect that doubles down on the classic cinematic vibe. It’s well worth turning on, if only for a few missions. But even beyond that cool feature, this is a game that nails the aesthetic it’s shooting for, firmly establishing itself as the medium’s defining samurai saga”.
Not all the outlets have been this positive, however. Eurogamer have given the game a 7/10 rating but have described the game as being “clunky.” They have also noted that the open world is a “busy world, full of activities, but one that soon feels paradoxically empty of things to do”. Here is their end of review verdict:
“The problem is it's an easy, breezy, lite beer kind of fun - the kind that Sucker Punch is known for, after all - and the blanket genericism of it just doesn't sit well against such a po-faced tone. It's another game fallen victim to the palatability blender, coming out the other side as a slightly formless smudge of every genre, without a mastery of any. Going back to Ghost of Tsushima's roots, as an American game inspired by the comics and the movies of Japan, in a way it's quite apt. It's what happens when you want to pay homage, but don't want to add anything new of your own. It's Hollywood”.
It is worth pointing out that Eurogamer are one of the few sites who have truly criticised the game. Most have lauded this game with praise and just touched on some of its minor faults. We must not forget, however, that some of our favourite games all have their faults but we tend to ignore them due to how much we love the game. Ghost of Tsushima sounds like it will be one of them games.
VERDICT: MUST BUY
RELEASE DATE: 17 JULY 2020