We may not have the PlayStation 5 yet, but that’s because the PlayStation 4 still has gas in its tank. Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part II drops in June, and today’s main topic, Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima launches July 17th. Normally, State of Play’s covers a range of indie games and new PlayStation releases, ending with a major title. Today, PlayStation dedicated its May State of Play to Sucker Punch’s newest game. After the twenty-minute reveal, here’s what we learned:
The Environment is Your Guide
After a brief introduction, we saw the main character, Jin, looking out across Tsushima. Jin marks his destination on the map, and a gust of wind blows towards the marker. As he rides his horse to his destination, he uses an ability menu to call another gust of wind to keep guiding him towards the marker. Black, pillars of smoke tower across the landscape, and even animals may guide you towards unknown locations. There is no traditional HUD compass, Sucker Punch expects its players to rely on the natural world.
Combat and Stealth Rely on Strategy and Precision
After the exploration section completed, we go to a beachside camp. Jin approaches, and challenges the front guards to a “lethal standoff.” He quickly cuts down the guard and proceeds into the camp. As more troops realize the camp’s under attack, Jin takes a mid-range shot from his bow, sending an arrow straight through a skull. Once the troops surround him, Jin changes to a katana, assesses the soldiers, and changes his stance to deal more damage.
Once the camp is clear, Sucker Punch rewinds. Jin reapproaches the camp, but not as a samurai. Now, he’s “the dishonorable ghost,” according to Nate Fox from Sucker Punch. Fox continues and says “[Jin] will use every dirty trick he can think of to even the odds.” This time, Jin lures the guard from the front gate and kills him in darkness. Jin runs to a shed rooftop and throws a firecracker to lure guards out from underneath. As they come out, Jin “chain assassinates” them and continues on. When a nearby guard spots Jin, Jin drops a smoke bomb, letting him critically wound the guard. From there, the guard can only take one knife. As Jin runs to his next target, guards cower in fear of him.
Ghost of Tsushima’s combat and stealth seem heavily influenced by other RPG-Stealth games like Assassin’s Creed. While Sucker Punch’s systems don’t rip-off their influences, they don’t seem to push the envelope either.
How Jin Looks Affects How You’ll Play
After the main gameplay sections are done, Sucker Punch shows off the various armors Jin can wear throughout the game. Each armor has tactical advantages that others wouldn’t. Some are more geared towards the Samurai playstyle, while others build up the Ghost. He’ll find charms throughout Tsushima that give various combat advantages. More noticeably, there are numerous dye flowers throughout Tsushima that allow for cosmetic customization. Cosmetic customization equally affects gameplay and your looks.
Ghost of Tsushima is a Classic Samurai Film in a Game
This point isn’t just up here because of when and where the game takes place. Sucker Punch announced a photo mode will be available at launch, which adds new ideas. Following on the environment’s importance, players can change the wind’s direction, speed, and particles in Photo Mode. These particles range from rose petals to tree leaves, and so on. Most notably, before starting the game, players can choose to play the entire game with Japanese dialogue (and subtitles) and in the “Samurai Cinema” mode. “Samurai Cinema” mode is meant to honor decades-old samurai films with a playstyle to match.
PlayStation rarely dedicates full State of Plays to one game. However, dedicating May 2020’s State of Play to one of the last major PS4 releases was a reasonable exception. With The Last of Us Part II getting a new trailer a few weeks ago, Ghost of Tsushima understandably got the spotlight this month. To rewatch the State of Play, click here.
Ghost of Tsushima releases on July 17th, 2020.