Feudal Japan has been a time period that hasn’t been explored that often by video games but that’s where games like Ghost of Tsushima come in to help players step back in time and let them play set in this part of history.
According to Sony, Ghost of Tsushima is about:
The year is 1274 CE on the island of Tsushima. Samurai warriors are the legendary defenders of Japan until the fearsome Mongol Empire invades, wreaking havoc and conquering Tsushima, defeating nearly all samurai stationed on Tsushima Island. As one of the last surviving samurai, Jin Sakai rises from the ashes to fight back with help from his allies, but the honourable tactics and code of the samurai won’t lead to a possible victory over the Mongols. Jin must move beyond samurai traditions to forge a new way of fighting – the way of the Ghost – as he wages an unconventional war for the freedom of Japan.
The gameplay of Ghost of Tsushima can be considered an action-adventure/stealth game that shares some similarities with the Assassin’s Creed series.
Before you begin your journey, you can choose your difficulty from Easy (for new players that want to experience the story), Medium (for a balanced game) and Difficult (for those wanting a challenge).
Like the Assassin’s Creed series, Ghost of Tsushima has an open world that you can explore after completing the prologue. Unlike other open-world games, the game doesn’t feature a mini-map, so you have to rely on the map in the start menu and using the wind to guide you.
It’s a bit strange at first not having a mini-map but to navigate using the wind, you swipe up on your controller’s touchpad and you’ll start to hear and see the wind pushing in the direction of your objective.
The combat in the game is mostly using the face buttons with Square for quick attach, Triangle for Heavy, Circle to doge, L1 to block/parry and X to jump. For stealth sections of the game, you can use Square to assassinate enemies.
For weapons, you’ll mostly be using Jin’s katana, along with a smaller blade for assassinations and later a bow and arrow. You can upgrade your weapons along with your gear later on in the game along with the option to change which armour Jin wears.
The controls in the game feel solid but there were a few times that it wasn’t so smooth. Like when Jin was climbing down a ladder, I was holding the left thumbstick downwards and when he got to the bottom, one would assume he would get off. However, when I tried to move the thumbstick away, he would start to climb back up.
Since I played the game on PS5, the game has support for some of the PS5’s features. When using the DualSense controller, you can actually feel the vibration of the in-game music or the wind which makes it feel more immersive.
And if you’re using the Pulse 3D headset or another 3D audio-supported headset (like Razer’s latest), the game supports 3D audio for a captivating audio experience.
There’s also a skill tree to let you upgrade different skills in the game.
With the Director’s Cut, you get some bonus content, which you can see in the image below.
From a visual standpoint, the game looks absolutely stunning. Ghost of Tsushima is running at 4K resolution at 60fps with HDR on the PS5. Most of the cutscenes are also at 60fps but some are at 30fps for a more cinematic experience.
There are just so many details in the character models and the overall landscape on the island of Tsushima. In one cutscene, I could see some sweat that was dripping down one of the character’s faces along with blood from their enemy.
The game does give you the option to play in one of two performance modes, Higher Resolution or Better Frame Rate, both are pretty self-explanatory.
If you want the game to feel like a classic Samurai film, you can turn on Kurosawa Mode, which is a nod to the late Japanese filmmaker, Akira Kurosawa. The mode adds a black and white film grain filter and changes the sound to make it like Samurai films of the ’50s.
The game also gives you the option to play with English voice acting and lip-sync for Japanese voiceover with English subtitles.
Ghost of Tsushima is a great and visually stunning game that takes players back in time to Feudal Japan to tell an epic Samurai story about Jin Sakai.
The game is available for PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 and costs $79.99 CAD for the PS4 version and $89.99 CAD for the PS5 version.
If you already own Ghost of Tsushima on PS4, you can upgrade to the Director’s Cut on PS5 for $26.99 CAD.
A PS5 review code of the game was provided ahead of launch by the game’s publisher, PlayStation Studios.
- Solid combat controls
- Great DualSense intergration
- Visually stunning world and characters
- Great cinematic story
- Kurosawa Mode makes the game feel even more cinematic
- No mini-map makes it a bit harder to navigate