Ghost Of Tsushima

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Find­ing the beauty in blood­shed

Ghost of tsushima ex­plores the di­chotomy be­tween beauty and blood­shed. This star­tling con­trast is ever-present in the up­com­ing Sony ex­clu­sive. The beauty of its sprawl­ing en­vi­ron­ments com­pelling you to stop at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity, its breath­tak­ing vis­ual de­sign as good a rea­son as any to take a sec­ond to pause for air. Although that seren­ity is eas­ily shat­tered in this bru­tal por­trayal of Feu­dal Ja­pan, with your sur­round­ings as likely to be stained with the blood of your en­e­mies as it is your own in any given mo­ment.

Ghost Of Tsushima tells the story of the is­land of Tsushima, of its na­tive samu­rai and their at­tempts to re­pel an en­croach­ing Mon­gol in­va­sion be­fore the land is en­gulfed en­tirely by the flames of war.

This is what hap­pens when Sucker Punch is given the space to leave In­fa­mous and the grunge aes­thetic be­hind it, tak­ing its ex­per­tise in open-world game de­sign into a more vi­brant and nat­u­ral­is­tic set­ting. The re­sults are im­pres­sive for all to see. Tsushima is stun­ning, an ac­tion-ad­ven­ture game that pits you – Jin, one of the last re­main­ing samu­rai – against an army of thou­sands, evolv­ing your skills and pro­fi­cien­cies in an at­tempt to adapt to the shift­ing en­vi­ron­ment and face down an im­pos­si­ble threat.

Lis­ten­ing to Sucker Punch tell it, the game has been built around three core tenets: mud, blood and steel. All of this is clear to see once the demon­stra­tion be­gins. Be­neath the bil­low­ing clouds of smoke that mask the hori­zon and the flit­ter of tall grass in the gen­tle winds is the thick, sick­en­ing mud. Tsushima’s

pris­tine en­vi­ron­ments trod­den by the hordes of

Mon­gol fight­ers pa­trolling the is­land, the grime and dirt splash­ing all over Jin as he dances be­tween their sweep­ing blades. Your feet make an im­pres­sion in the ground, though so too does the blood once it be­gins to spill by your steel.

There are a lot of unan­swered ques­tions about Tsushima, namely as to how its com­bat will scale be­tween large groups of en­e­mies and its in­tri­cate one-on-one du­els. It doesn’t look as hap­haz­ard as the sword-fight­ing pre­sented in early As­sas­sin’s Creed games, nor does it seem as pre­cise and con­sid­ered as the com­bat seen in For Honor – only time will tell on this front.

With the game po­si­tioned for re­lease in 2019, it’s go­ing to be (sadly) hands-off demon­stra­tions for the time be­ing. But we’ve seen enough of Tsushima to know that Sucker Punch is de­liv­er­ing some­thing the likes of which we’ve never be­fore seen in gam­ing. A beau­ti­ful and bloody por­trayal of 13th-cen­tury Ja­pan that feels as au­then­tic as is it does cin­e­matic, an ad­ven­ture that we can’t wait to lose our­selves in.

“HAV­ING EVERY­THING MOVE, IF IT CAN MOVE MAKE IT MOVE, WAS A VERY AM­BI­TIOUS GOAL FOR US FROM THE VERY BE­GIN­NING. AND WE’RE ACHIEV­ING IT! YOU WALK AROUND THE GAME WORLD AND YOU’LL BE LIKE OH MY GOD, EVERY­THING AROUND ME IS MOV­ING!”

JA­SON CON­NELL, ART DIREC­TOR, SUCKER PUNCH

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