Ghosts of Tsushima was released in 2020. (same year the controversial Cyberpunk 2077 game came out) It received critical acclaim and sold millions of copies worldwide. Recently a film adaptation based on the game is in development. In response to the news, I thought about sharing my thoughts on my favorite game of 2020.
This review contains no crucial SPOILERs whatsoever. Feel free to read my non-spoiler article.
Honorable & Dishonorable Qualities
Honorable: Voice Actors all did an excellent job for their respective voiceover performances.
Graphics are gorgeous to look at as a living and breathing world. You can tell designers work their butts off perfecting an immersive experience.
Video game developer Sucker Punch (the Sly Cooper series, Infamous games) built a unique mechanic alloying to partake in an epic standoff against a small group of enemies by getting their attention. It takes a lot of patience and speed to strike down your enemies by pressing the right button. The more you press a correct button, the more enemies are mowed. If you press a button too soon, an enemy will take a chunk of your health. So be wary.
Combat is frickin’ awesome. As you progress, you’ll learn four fighting styles you need to beat difficult opponents wielding a sword, spear and shield. You can deflect, dodge and roll. To paraphrase Patches from “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.” “If you can dodge a sword, you can dodge an arrow!”
Stealth is another core element other than slaying your enemies. You can silently take down baddies.
A grappling hook helps you traverse on hard-to-reach areas.
Besides wielding a katana, you have a bow and arrow, kunai and smoke bombs.
If you successfully take out foes without getting damage, you can activate “Ghost Mode.” This makes your enemies scared allowing you to “Strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger.”
Like Sony’s previous game, “Spider-Man” on PS4/PS5, Photo Mode allows you to take cool snapshots.
Main Story is presented in Three Acts focusing on Jin Sakai’s journey. After he survives an attack by The Mongolian Army, Jin is tasked to learn new tactics against the army who kidnapped his uncle and invading Japan. He meets new allies who give him the tools to improve his skill and abilities.
Jin’s backstory is pretty interesting alongside side characters.
An upgrade system plays a big role transforming you into both a samurai and ninja. Makes you feel like “Samurai Jack.”
Side Quests contain a lot of variety content such as accompanying a specific character’s beaching quest. Shrines reward you a cosmetic look for your sword/boosts. Striking down bamboos increase your power. Hot springs increase a small portion of your health. Write your own haiku gives you a new headband.
Some Side Quests have legit rewards. Every single one is meaningful.
Outfits have special perks. Choose wisely. You can upgrade each one. Plus, your weapons.
Boss Fights are epic. Trust me, they are tough as fudge.
The game is set in The First Mongol Invasion of Japan set in 1274-1281. Which actually happened in real life. Sucker Punch did a lot of extensive research to make the game’s time period accurate.
A Black & White filter is called, “Kurosawa Mode.” Presented as an old grainy classic samurai film provided with Japanese audio as if legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa (Seven Samurai, Rashomon, Yojimbo) made a video game. If you wish to engage in an authentic experience reliving samurai films, this feature is your one-way ticket.
Primary Themes are Legacy, Honor, Family & Moral Code. All themes are handled maturely.
Once your complete the main story, New Game Plus mode significantly increases difficulty. If you’re up for a challenge, be prepared.
The touchpad on your PS4/PS5 controller has a guiding system. If you swipe up, the wind will help you get to your destination.
The final mission is presented in two outcomes. Pick your poison.
Dishonorable: I couldn’t find nothing wrong with this game. I’m giving Sucker Punch an Extra Point for making a flawless game as possible.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
Ghosts of Tsushima is arguably my favorite video game of 2020. Some of the stuff I’ve listed as honorable, indicates why this game is worth the price of admission. If you wanna play the game, I strongly recommend it. I’m completely open for a sequel and last but not least, a film adaptation.