Gaming

Everything we know about Ghost of Tsushima, the historical samurai epic

Live by the sword.

Ghost of Tsushima will be one of the final titles that is set for release on the PlayStation 4 before Sony launches the PlayStation 5 later in the year. The game’s developer, Sucker Punch Productions, has only offered a handful of glimpses at what to expect and everything we’ve seen so far suggests it will end the PS4’s seven year lifespan with a bang.

Ghost of Tsushima will take gamers on a journey through feudal Japan through the eyes of a lone samurai warrior who will stop at nothing to defend his home against an invading Mongolian force. Unlike the critically acclaimed Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, this samurai epic won’t include any elements of fantasy. Instead Sucker Punch has opted to give gamers an interactive interpretation of a historical event they’ve been working on for years.

Sony revealedGhost of Tsushima was in development at Paris Game Week 2017 and every teaser since then has focused on the game’s realism and cinematic presentation. The developers have teased it to contain elements from a variety of game genres, like open-word exploration, twitchy-stealthy combat, and some role-playing features to boot.

The game is shaping up to be a stunning depiction of a pivotal phase in Japanese history more than 700 years ago. Sucker Punch’s hard work on the game’s environments shines through in every trailer and gameplay teases hint at the silky swordplay gamers should expect come 2020.

Here's everything we know about the game:

When is the Ghost of Tsushima release date?

Sucker Punch Productions announced on March 5 via a story trailer that the much-anticipated game will launch on June 26, 2020.

Sucker Punch Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment

Where does Ghost of Tsushima take place?

Ghost of Tsushima is set on the island of Tsushima, an island between Japan and the Korean Peninsula. Historically, it served as a vibrant trading center for citizens and travelers. It was also a coveted by the Mongol Empire in its plans to conquer Japan.

Everything we’ve seen about the game has suggested that Sucker Punch has taken great care to ensure the environments look stunning. Players will traverse fields of bright flowers, dense forests, snowy mountains, and smoldering ruins.

Andrew Goldfarb, the communications manager for Sucker Punch described the world of Ghost of Tsushima as “huge” in a blog post published in December 2019. This suggests it will be a massive world to traverse, but also a beefy game to download if you’re thinking about buying it digitally.

Sucker Punch Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment

What will the Ghost of Tsushima story be about?

The events of Ghost of Tsushima can be categorized as historical fiction. In 1274, the Mongols invaded Japan for the first time. They landed in Tsushima, where a small number of samurai and residents attempted to fight back.

Reportedly, the governor of Tsushima, Sō Sukekuni, led a force of 80 cavalry units to defend the island. The island was plundered and the resistance slaughtered by the invading army that numbered in the tens of thousands. The Mongols never successfully conquered Japan despite this early victory. The battle of Tsushima and the subsequent invasion of the Island of Iki were said to give the Japanese army enough time to prepare for the incoming invasion and successfully fight it off.

Ghost of Tsushima will put players in the shoes of one of the fighters who defends his home against the invasion.

Sucker Punch Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment

Who is the Ghost of Tsushima’s main character?

Players will take the role of Jin Sakai, the last samurai left on the island of Tsushima during the Mongol invasion in 1274. What little we know about Jin comes from the trailers and snippets of gameplay Sucker Punch has shown so far.

In the TGA trailer, Jin slashes through a group of three Mongols between flashbacks of a violent past. It appears that his home village was razed by the Mongols. Jin was left for dead but managed to escape with his life.

Ghost of Tsushima seems to be a story of preservation and revenge. The Mongols threaten to destroy time-honored traditions Jin is solely responsible for passing on, if he’s able to survive the onslaught of the Mongol forces.

Sucker Punch Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment

Who are the other characters in Ghost of Tsushima?

The E3 2018 gameplay debut of Ghost of Tsushima introduced Masako, a deadly archer and former friend of Jin. She helps Jin rescue monks from a temple but turns on him after you try to help one of the injured. She reveals that the monks betrayed her family, and Jin responds that any fighting amongst themselves would be a victory for the invading forces.

Masako responds with, “They’ve already won!” and draws her sword to fight Jin. They two exchange blows until they’re interrupted by a Mongol attack. They seem to put aside their differences at the end, but Masako has clearly lost hope in resisting the invasion. She will likely be an important secondary character, but the tension between them could lead to dicey situations.

Sucker Punch Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment

Can I play Ghost of Tsushima in Japanese?

Yes! When Ghost of Tsushima launches it will come packaged with dual audio settings. You can play in either English or Japanese from the outset. Notably, non-Japanese characters like the Mongolians will speak their native tongue within the Japanese track, adding to the game's accuracy. According to Sucker Punch, they want the Japanese track to feel like a historically accurate time machine to the era the game is based on.

For some additional excitement, the lead character is voiced by the actor behind One Piece's Roronoa Zoro, Kazuya Nakai in the Japanese dub.

What will Ghost of Tsushima‘s gameplay be like?

Based on the footage Sucker Punch has revealed so far, Jin is a master swordsman. The E3 2018 gameplay reveal made it seem like battling foes will involve patiently waiting for them to lunge in rather than aggressively striking, meaning that reading your opponent is key.

The game will also include stealth missions, where Jin can use his grappling hook to clamber atop buildings and get a jump on enemies. Jin’s time-slowing ability lets him make quick work of a group of Mongols in the trailer.

In December 2019, director Jason Connell told VG247 there would be no waypoints or quest markers in the game. Instead, the players drive the narrative forward, and not the game’s heads-up display (HUD).

“We really want you to have that choice of ‘Hey, that cool bamboo forest over there, I really wanna check it out’,” he said. “There’s no waypoint. There’s nothing that says ‘Go here and look at this bamboo forest.’”

To make Ghost of Tsushima even more realistic, Sucker Punch also revealed that players choices will impact Jin's relationship with other characters and how the story unfolds. This RPG features was teased in the latest issue of PlayStation Magazine and explained that depending on how gamers carry themselves can result in strong relationships with companions or devolve into bitter arguments that turn to violence.

The teaser also explained that players will have the choice to go about missions, like invading a Mongol camp, stealthily or straight through the front door. Jin will have a grappling hook and stick arrows to assist whatever approach users decided on.

Sucker Punch Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment

Will Ghost of Tsushima be available on any other consoles?

Ghost of Tsushima was announced as a PS4 exclusive and will likely remain that way based on Sucker Punch’s history with Sony.

The developer is independently owned but has exclusively worked with Sony since 2000. It has produced six PS exclusives during that time, including Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus and Infamous. Ghost of Tsushima will most likely follow suit, and it will likely be remastered for the upcoming PlayStation 5.

The samurai title will launch on PS4 months before the PS5 is expected to ship, making a next-gen port a no-brainer if Sony wants Ghost of Tsushima to remain relevant. There have also been rumors that the game will be one of PS5’s premier launch titles.

So anyone who chooses not to pick Ghost of Tsushima right away can wait for vastly improved graphics in a potential PS5 re-release.

Ghost of Tsushima will be released exclusively for the PS4 on June 26, 2020.

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