This review contains spoilers.
A true masterclass in storytelling, the newly released video game “Ghost of Tsushima” takes players on a sweeping journey filled with rich character development and stunning visuals.
“Ghost of Tsushima” is a new title from Sucker Punch Studios, released on July 17 and available exclusively on the Playstation 4 (PS4).
Set on the island of Tsushima during the first Mongol invasion of Japan, “Ghost of Tsushima” puts players in the shoes of Jin Sakai, a samurai and sworn protector of the people of Tsushima.
For Jin and his fellow samurai, the Mongol Empire represents a threat unlike any other. They are an enemy with no remorse, conscience or honor, which comes into direct conflict with the way the samurai live their lives.
Over the course of the game, Jin battles not only against the Mongol Empire but also the cultural traditions he was raised with, risking everything in order to protect his people and their island.
The main storyline takes about 30 hours to complete, and the entire game — including side missions — takes about 90 hours.
The island of Tsushima is not only beautiful to look at but impressively detailed as well, breathing life into the game’s expansive universe.
The player is provided with an engaging landscape for the journey. And trust me, it’s definitely a voyage worth taking.
Graphically, “Ghost of Tsushima” is arguably one of the best-looking games on the PS4. Every frame manages to show the island in all of its glory. From its breath-taking sunrises and sunsets to the overwhelming nature of the storms that sweep over the landscape, this scenic beauty captures all of the essential environments encompassed in the game.
But equally as amazing as the island of Tsushima are the characters who inhabit it. Both Jin’s allies and enemies alike are a reflection of himself under different circumstances. Each character challenges a different aspect of his personality while some even call his lifelong beliefs into question.
The gameplay itself is just as impressive as well. Once players are able to master the title’s combat system, swordplay and battles become an engaging and intense experience.
I will concede, there is a learning curve when it comes to combat. But once you’ve mastered Jin’s attacks and multiple stances, each battle will present a new opportunity to put your samurai skills to the test.
The real key to the game’s combat system is its ability to make every encounter feel up-close and personal. The tight camera angles make you feel like you’re a part of the action, further enhancing your immersion. You truly feel like you are a lone samurai fighting to protect your home and your people.
All things considered, “Ghost of Tsushima” is hands-down one of the best titles to come out of the PS4’s lifespan. A swan song worth hearing for yourself, this adventure into late-13th century Japan will leave players with a deep sense of connection to the characters that inhabit the world, an appreciation for the island’s natural beauty and a refined combat system that will keep them coming back for more. I give “Ghost of Tsushima” a 9.5 out of 10.
Gino Gutierrez is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @GGutierrez48