Ghost of Tsushima screenshotSource: Sony

Ghost of Tsushima is the first non-Infamous game from Sucker Punch Productions since 2005. While there's a lot of questions still about just what kind of game it is, here's everything we know about Ghost of Tsushima.

War-torn land

Ghost of Tsushima Launch Edition

The way of the Ghost

In Ghost of Tsushima, Jin must decide what honor and principles are worth sacrificing in order to defeat the unstoppable Mongol invaders.

What is Ghost of Tsushima?

We didn't know much about Ghost of Tsushima when Sucker Punch Productions (makers of Infamous) originally announced it at 2017's Paris Games Week. That changed as of E3 2018, with the company giving us more details and even a first look at gameplay for the upcoming game.

What's certain is that it's an open world samurai game. As you'd expect from that description, you'll be spending a lot of time with a katana, but there are also elements of stealth involved. This makes it feel like a nice swirl of Way of the Samurai mixed with a little bit of Tenchu.

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Ghost of Tsushima gameplay, story and features

You play as Jin Sakai, one of the last true remaining samurais back in the year 1274. This puts the game squarely in the middle of Feudal Japan, one of gaming's most interesting settings.Unfortunately, a rising force threatens the state of things. The Mongols are riding all over the island of Tsushima, raiding towns for the purposes of killing, pillaging, and raping.

Ghost of Tsushima screenshotSource: Sony

As the last of his kind, Jin Sakai is one of the only ones equipped to deal with the invasion, though he can't do it alone. That is, he can't do it with his more traditional Way of the Samurai. He has to adopt a new way: Way of the Ghost.

It's not yet apparent what this new way of fighting will mean for Jin and how it might compare to the ways of old. We do know that he might not be going it alone, though. He'll eventually meet an archer ally named Masako, though the two will find themselves butting heads in the future over questions of morality and revenge.

Ghost of Tsushima screenshotSource: Sony

As seen in the trailer above, Masako's issue with Jin erupts when she finds out he wants to enlist the help of a monk who somehow betrayed her family. Thus, there may be tough choices to make in the game that the character will have to make. Whether the player will get to influence those choices is up in the air. In any case, the action was enough to incite a fight between the two, one which Jin wins before gracefully sparing her life and reminding her who the true enemy is.

Jin's legend will grow bigger as the game goes on. Characters in the world will begin to murmur and whisper about the Ghost of Tsushima and the immense power he has. It almost sounds as if he'll be regarded as an urban legend, if not an outright god amongst men. And you had better believe his enemies are starting to hear about him, too.

To get an idea of the game's scope, Sucker Punch says Ghost of Tsushima completely trounces Infamous Second Son. They're referring not only to the game world, but also the story, side missions, characters, and everything in between. Mind you, Infamous Second Son was a pretty big game all on its own.

And we can already see evidence of those expectations in the gameplay reveal when Jin comes up on a horizon to see several fires raging in distant areas. Presumably, he could go right to those fires if he wanted. The developers really want you to be able to "lose yourself" on the island of Tsushima, so we're hopeful that there will be lots of little things like collectibles, lore, and more to sink our teeth into.

Authentic to the core

Ghost of Tsushima screenshotSource: Sony

For Sucker Punch, getting Feudal Japan "right" was very important for them. Their developers did a lot of research into the country and the era, their beliefs, their customs, and all the relevant tales of old.

They went as far as working with cultural guides and Kendo experts. They even sent an audio scout to Japan to record sounds, such as native birdsong and other things you may only hear when visiting Japan.

Getting Feudal Japan "right" was very important.

The end result should be a degree of authenticity that will make you feel as if you're in the middle of something very real. Adding to that authenticity is the inclusion of a Japanese audio track for every region the game is launching in.

This should also translate to the game world at large. There will be many towns and places in the game based on real places in Japan, and the people in them will hopefully represent the culture as closely as possible. We should hear a bit of Mongolian throughout the game as the two sides clash. To tie it all together, an original score will be put together by Japanese composer Shigeru Umebayashi.

In order to evoke the sense that you're watching an old samurai film, there will even be a black and white cinematic mode that you can play the game in from start to finish.

Satisfying swordplay

In one of its intitial E3 gameplay video, we saw a few different gameplay systems at play, though nothing that was so intensely new that it took us by surprise. It began with a multi-man battle, with Jin having to go up against a group of Mongolian raiders caught in the act of murdering innocents. Jin opted to forego aggression to instead play the counter game. As the first enemy lunged toward him, he unsheathed his sword and cut his throat in one smooth, swift motion. He then dispatched of the other enemies with more traditional swipes of his sword. There appears to be some sort of counter mechanic not unlike those featured in Assassin's Creed or Batman Arkham games.

Another option for fighting multiple foes was revealed later in the trailer. Some sort of slow down mechanic was engaged which allowed Jin to quickly switch between and kill 4 different targets with ease. This may be an element of his Way of the Ghost fighting style we've been hearing about.

Beyond that, stealth kills look to be an important part of survival. There's the typical approach of sneaking behind your target and quickly cutting his throat, but there was also a stalkerish mechanic that lets you wait from an elevated position and jump down for an air attack. Again, not all that dissimilar to Batman and Assassin's Creed.

Ghost of Tsushima screenshotSource: Sony

Even early on, the animations and overall gameplay seem to have a great level of polish. Combat flows fluidly, and the world around you reacts to your movement. We can't help but gush over the tall grass swaying side to side as your horse trots through the planes, or how the autumn leaves are swept away as you slash and dodge during fights.

The animations and overall gameplay seem to have a great level of polish.

The gameplay didn't seem overly involved, however, we do know there will be varying levels of difficulty. Sucker Punch says the "tourist" types of players can get just as much out of Ghost of Tsushima as the "hardcore" types. The game will still provide a challenge no matter your level of skill, but it just won't be unforgivingly hard if you don't want it to be.

Players will be able to customize Jin's armor, and the changes are more than just aesthetic. Different armor lends itself better towards different playstyles, whether you want to stealth your way through the game or attack your enemies head on.

And for people who love photo modes, you're in luck. Ghost of Tsushima will feature a dynamic photo mode that allows you to change direction of the breeze and change the music that's playing in the background if you wanted to take a quick video.

Will Ghost of Tsushima be on PS5?

With the reveal of the PlayStation 5 releasing next year, there has been speculation that Ghost of Tsushima may not actually end up being on the PS4. However, Sony President Jim Ryan has spoken out about these rumors and the game now has a release date, exclusively for PS4 at the moment.

In a blog post detailing more about the PS5, Ryan stated "while there's much more to share about PlayStation 5 in the year ahead, we have plenty of blockbuster experiences coming your way on PS4, including Death Stranding, The Last of Us Part II, and Ghost of Tsushima."

So while it certainly seems likely Ghost of Tsushima will be updated for the PS5, we don't actually have any confirmation at this point.

Ghost of Tsushima release date

Ghost Of Tsushima CeGhost Of Tsushima Special EditionSource: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Ghost of Tsushima is set to release for PlayStation 4 on July 17, 2020. There's a special edition and a collector's edition, as well as a digital deluxe if you don't want to buy games physically. Any preorder will include some digital bonuses like a PS4 theme and mini-soundtrack.

War-torn land

Ghost of Tsushima Launch Edition

The way of the Ghost

In Ghost of Tsushima, Jin must decide what honor and principles are worth sacrificing in order to defeat the unstoppable Mongol invaders.

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