From comics to manga – Ghost of Tsushima preview
Following the announcement at Paris Games Week 2017, new details arrive on the current Sucker Punch project
The presentation of Ghost of Tsushima at Paris Games Week 2017 surprised everyone: we knew that Sucker Punch was working on a new project, but no one expected such a turnaround from the point of view of the setting, the atmosphere and, probably, the gameplay. The inFAMOUS series, which made the development team famous, has in fact acquired great popularity over the years and it would have been easy for the American studio to focus on this franchise again with a fourth episode, an eventuality that still remains on the table for the future. But no, for this new adventure we will move to a very different place from the hypothetical future based on conduit and military control groups: feudal Japan of 1274, to be precise the island of Tsushima, in the middle of the Mongol invasion that we will have the task of countering.
Ghost of Tsushima’s debut trailer introduces us to the game’s plot, in which we control a samurai named Jin. The man lost his family during the invasion and was very close to dying, which turned him into an unstoppable killer., ready to do anything to take revenge on the Mongolian army. A ninja? The developers have not used this definition to describe the protagonist of their new title, but it is a fighter who acts in the shadows, who kills silently, who attacks by surprise and who will have to make the most of the stealth system developed to the occasion; which represents the first, substantial difference between this project and the inFAMOUS series, where every situation was faced openly.
A second variation, revealed the Sucker Punch guys, is in the approach to the open world structure: the setting of Ghost of Tsushima will be huge and we imagine it will reproduce in great detail the entire Japanese island invaded by the Mongolian army, allowing us to explore extremely fascinating places and admire Japanese medieval architecture, but apparently there will be no restrictions with respect to progression: you can go to any point on the map moved by your own personal interest rather than being directed by the game, and possibly face new missions there that can make us go deeper into history. Above all, however, we will see a profound change in terms of approach: if the atmospheres of inFAMOUS were close to the tradition of American comics, with this new project the authors go to explore a different world, with darker tones, similar to that of manga with samurai.
Work on Ghost of Tsushima began about three and a half years ago, following a survey in the Sucker Punch home that highlighted how many of the team members wanted to try their hand at an open world experience set in feudal Japan. All the scenarios that are seen in the debut trailer will actually be present in the game, which will boast a much larger map than inFAMOUS: Second Son and amazing attention to detail; suffice it to say that this is the first video game to introduce motion capture animations also for horses, a technique experimented by the authors on the occasion of the trailer and then transported into the complete product given the excellent response.
The Japanese culture will be at the center of the experience, and in this sense Sucker Punch will rely on the collaboration of experts of Japanese traditions and folklore, but to strongly characterize the game will naturally be its gameplay. As mentioned, we will be able to move freely from one area to another, riding a horse, and attack enemy positions using the dark, hiding in the shadows and eliminating our targets silently using a sword, daggers or a lethal bow for shots from a distance. These are elements that bring to mind the experience of Tenchu, the franchise created by Acquire in 1998 on PlayStation and now off the radar for several years after the unfortunate attempt to revive it in 2009 on Wii with Tenchu: Shadow Assassins. Whatever the approach chosen by Sucker Punch for Ghost of Tsushima, however, the expectations are tremendously high: will the authors of inFAMOUS manage not to disappoint them?