Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima has finally arrived on PlayStation 4 after a slight delay in development, with the team pouring all its effort into the game. And based on early reviews and sales, it’s easily becoming a hit on the PlayStation 4 front.
But there’s a lot more going into this game’s release than you might expect. That’s because of the many aspects that tie into it. Let’s take a look at what makes Ghost of Tsushima so damn special.
It’s Practically the Last First-Party PlayStation 4 Release Before the PlayStation 5
There’s always a chance that we’ll see some sort of surprise release from the company. But the way it’s looking now, Ghost of Tsushima could be Sony’s last first-party release for the PlayStation 4 before the PS5 arrives later this year. That follows a trend of best-selling titles that have come out for the platform over the years, including Uncharted 4, The Last of Us Part II, Marvel’s Spider-Man, and countless others.
And what a way to go. Ghost of Tsushima didn’t get the incredible amount of hype that the Last of Us sequel did, but Sony did push online for it in a big way with behind-the-scenes footage and cinematic trailers. And word of mouth is spreading very quickly.
So while it may be Sony’s last hurrah with the current hardware, it’s one hell of a way to go out. With a bang. (And with a samurai, no less.)
Sucker Punch’s Reputation Built Up For Something Great
Ghost of Tsushima marks a huge turning point for Sucker Punch Productions, who have been making great games for the last couple of decades.
It got its start producing Rocket: Robot On Wheels for the Nintendo 64, a small sleeper hit that eventually got the attention of Sony. That prompted them to team up with the developer for a trio of Sly Cooper games on the PlayStation 2, creating a popular new franchise for the platform.
But Sucker Punch would move on to bigger things on the PlayStation 3, creating the superhero/supervillain adventure Infamous and its follow-ups. The developer would continue to work on the franchise on PS4 with two games, Second Son and First Light.
Now, with Ghost of Tsushima out for release, Sucker Punch has turned a monumental corner with its development and set itself up to continue its efforts on the PlayStation 5. We can’t wait to see what they do next.
It Pays Tribute To Arika Kurosawa In the Best Way Possible
There’s no doubt that Ghost of Tsushima is inspired by classic samurai films of old – namely Akira Kurosawa, the director of Seven Samurai and Sanjuro. In fact, one of the key modes featured in the game is Kurosawa Mode, in which the game takes a turn for the black and white, featuring original Japanese language and subtitles.
To get this mode up and running, the developers at Sucker Punch actually got the blessing of Kurosawa’s estate, so that they could pay loving tribute to the long-time director, who passed back in 1988. As a result, many fans are pleased by the end result, playing Ghost in the best way possible.
Of course, some people may prefer color, if only to see the absolute vivid details that the game is capable of. But for those that really want to get that old samurai feeling out of Ghost, Kurosawa Mode is the way to go. (Not to mention that the photo mode is surprisingly fun. Here’s to a good looking samurai!)
The Wind Is Your Guide
Usually, in video games, you have markers that give you a good idea of where to go in the open world. However, in Ghost of Tsushima, you actually have to rely on something else – the wind.
To get an idea of where your next objective lies, all you need to do is follow the wind current within the game. It’s fairly easy to see, with waves brushing over the land. It’ll also give you an idea of how you can travel within the world, whether it’s on your loyal steed or by foot, depending on the distance.
It’s a nice touch, keeping the game distinctively old-school while adding a flair that truly works in one of its nature.
Khotun Khan Is an Outstanding Villain
Finally, you know how most games feature bad guys that are letdowns and really don’t offer anything of importance to the story? We’ve seen that all too often. But Ghost of Tsushima actually has a terrific one, the terrifying Mongol warrior Khotun Khan.
Not only is Khan confident in battle and absolutely relentless in his attack style, but he’s also…sympathetic and honorable? Believe it or not, there’s some depth to Khan as he’s speaking with Jin and his uncle, as you see his motivations right upfront. Sure, he’s ruthless, just like Genghis Khan before him. But you actually get an idea of where he’s coming from. Not that you relate to someone as merciless as him, but you feel the need to bring him down, and that motivates you to continue on your journey.
And no matter what language you choose, he’s incredibly well voice acted, adding to the depth of his character. Your final battle with him is nothing short of spectacular, and it’s all about the build-up.
Ghost of Tsushima is available now for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro.