Tsushima's Ghost - Review

What does it mean to be a samurai? What methods are you willing to use to save your people? Does the end always justify the means? What if being dishonorable becomes a necessity? 

These are questions that are never easy to answer, but they represent the fulcrum of the journey of Jin Sakai - protagonist of Ghost of Tsushima, the last effort of The inevitable - last samurai who survived the Mongol attack on the island of Tsushima, who On a desperate mission to liberate his land, he must question both himself and his beliefs.

The exclusive PlayStation 4 is often accompanied at launch by very divisive feelings in the community (see the recent case of The Last of Us Part 2 ), and Ghost of Tsushima is certainly not far behind. 

In fact, since the gameplay's first reveal, the game has revealed the nose of a large chunk of gamers, with combat sequences that seemed extremely written, and a style of play that was too reminiscent of the Assassin's Creed saga. 

Pad in hand, however, many had to change their minds, since a certain Ghost of Tsushima respects and embodies every classic cliché in the open world "To Ubisoft", but it goes further, offering the player's senses a lively and impressive world, full of poetry and attention to detail, which although it often suffers in part from the repetition of the now abused genre, also shines with a clear personality and different.

The Ghost of Tsushima narrative plot

The events narrated in Ghost of Tsushima, while sometimes taking some narrative license to make everything more playful, are told with an historical eye to reality of what happened in Japan in the late 13th century. 

The Mongol invasion of Japanese territory actually left the island of Tsushima, who first experienced the ferocity and barbarism of the enemy army, which, unlike the Japanese army, was equipped with a new and fearful weapon - gunpowder.

As in most open worlds, in Ghost of Tsushima the game opens with a more cinematic and scripted sequence before launching our character into the open world. In this case it is the tragic battle of Komoda , in which a handful of samurai tried in vain to oppose the landing of the Mongols on the island, before all (or almost) were brutally massacred. 

In fact, the young man survives Jin Sakai, not by miracle or divine intervention, but simply because he was fortunate enough to receive treatment from a good Samaritan woman before it was too late.

The desperate situation that our protagonist has before his awakening seems to have no way out: the Mongols are slowly occupying all of Tsushima, the samurai have fallen in battle and the only hope that the island and its inhabitants will have to expel the invaders resides in Jin, the last man capable of opposing the invader.

Therefore, the latter will be forced to commit himself to the brave samurai honor code, until he became a fierce and ruthless warrior called "the Ghost", capable of fighting enemies with methods unsuitable to those of the noble swordsmen Japanese.

Samurai and Specter

When it comes to gameplay and close combat in an open world, the two most striking examples I can think of are the Batman titles by Rocksteady and the aforementioned Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed. 

The feel of the Ghost of Tsushima pad in hand is a well-thought-out hybrid of the two, on the one hand, especially in the early stages of the game when you don't get the various skills and stance available during the adventure - check out the system more methodical and controlled Assassin's Creed, made of parades, dodges and attacks that can be done with a few keys. 

As you proceed to unlock Jin's true potentialHowever, this changes, and our samurai, similar to the bat man, dances on the battlefield quickly and deadly, with an arsenal of weapons and devices that make the player can approach any type of enemy in a way efficient and effective. 

This perspective shows how the choice: in the game design phase - from the developers ofdo not include a block in the system for the enemies is not a simple superficiality. 

If in fact at first you feel lost without a button allowing you to keep your eyes locked on an enemy, as you continue in the game you realize that The Inevitable deliberately removed this feature to ensure that advanced skills are once again gained, so allowing Jin to move gracefully and lethally on the battlefield, the flow of the action does not slow down or stop due to staring at a single target.

A living and living world

The Ghost of Tsushima open world formula is perhaps what has made many users go crazy and still hesitate about buying the game. 

In fact, this genre has reached its saturation in recent years, and except in rare cases (see Breath of the Wild ), titles of this type look a bit like all of them.

Coming from a series like the Infamous one, it was hard to imagine that Sucker Punch would radically change the classic formula of his open world and, in fact, it did not. As anticipated in the introduction, in fact, Ghost of Tsushima respects all classic canons of the open world.

So if during a trip the player sees a column of steam, just follow it to find this point of interest. Or, again, the mechanics of the golden birds and foxes that, if followed, can lead Jin to sanctuaries or other hidden places, hidden corners of the world that otherwise on such a vast map would be practically impossible to discover.

A poem for the eyes and ears

To reinforce this sense of wonder and discovery, there is the impressive technical and artistic sector of the title, which help to raise the Phantom of Tsushima above the ranks of the open world "photocopy". 

The configuration and visions that the Japanese island offers literally take your breath away and everything is even more incredible if you think that we are talking about PlayStation 4, a console that now feels that its honors weigh seven years of service on the shoulders.

In the scenes and especially in the most important moments of the plot, the game takes an almost cinematic direction, taking inspiration from the legendary films about the samurai of Akira Kurosawa, so much so that in the options you can also set one Kurosawa Mode that turns the It plays in black and white and gives movies a 60s movie effect.

In conclusion, with Ghost of Tsushima Sucker Punch you have created a true love letter for 13th century feudal Japan. Like a sakura blossom, the combat system flourishes on Jin's progression, making splendid what at first had simply been shown as a closed cocoon. 

Very respectful of Japanese culture and customs. The title, while presenting the skeleton seen and revised from an open world in the third person, cleverly combines old and new mechanics, bringing out a product that manages to engage the player in his world with a poetic embrace, succeeding where others have failed.

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