Ghost of Tsushima: the return of Tenchu we’ve been waiting for?
Paris Gamesweek’s Sony “bomb” is a new Sucker Punch game set in Feudal Japan
Whether you’ve already attended the Paris Gamesweek Playstation conference or not, it doesn’t matter: watch the trailer for the show’s first big announcement. Are you ready to comment? Great, but we’re here to tell you to stop your pretty fingers right now. The game you just watched isn’t an attempt to emulate Onimusha (it’s a comment we’ve already read several times under the trailer, and it’s not like every game set in feudal Japan now has to imitate the Capcom series!), It’s not another Souls-like and it is not even a pure action all blows and showmanship. Ghost of Tsushima is an action-stealth … and at this point some of you must necessarily have pricked up their ears, aware of where the Sucker Punch want to slip in with their latest born. In fact, there is a nice niche in action titles that has not been covered for a very long time now, many years ago tapped with wit by a series known as Tenchu. Those video games dedicated to the ninja have long since disappeared (also due to recent chapters not exactly brilliant), but the warriors of the shadow have never lost their charm, and have continued to populate the medium in stealth games of another type – such as the excellent Mark of the Ninja – or in titles of a completely different kind. With Ghost of Tsushima, Sucker Punch therefore has the delightful opportunity to create a more evolved, spectacular, extended and exciting Tenchu than the original., without any limitation related to the brand. And if we are pushing you so hard in this direction it is not just because we want to see such a title on the shelves again: the first information on the video game has already sprung up, and they seem to give credit in all respects to our theory.
Tsushima is a Japanese island known primarily for a major naval battle during the Russo-Japanese War, but that massive sea battle isn’t the only time its shores have become soiled with blood. The Sucker Punch have in fact decided to take advantage of the island as a setting due to a documented invasion by the Mongol army in 1274 (although the troops that attacked were mainly Korean), known for its brutality. You, in all this, take on the role of a skilled lone samurai, who, unable to save his homeland from the assault of the mighty enemy, decides to defeat him by hiding in the shadows. The description of the game given by Sony and Sucker Punch, however, confirms the path taken: “you will have to abandon the traditional way of the samurai to face this enemy, and create a new way to fight”, explains the official statement, “the path of the ghost. “.
Obviously, it is less clear what this “path of the ghost” consists of, but looking at the trailer it seems to be in effect a sort of principle of the art of ninjutsu, centered on silent murder and the use of variable tools. Not much has been seen, we are aware of it, but the few battle scenes show a kill from above and the use of a smoke bomb to scare a horse, hence the likelihood of having a selection of equippable items before the various missions – as long as the game is split into quests of some kind – is pretty high. The assassination from above also ensures the possibility of reaching an elevated position, and therefore confirms the presence of verticalized maps and a fairly free movement system (although we doubt that it will be Assassin’s Creed parkour with automated climbing).
But now it is time to talk about the elephant in the room: the map. And let’s talk about the elephant because the game is an open world, where plausibly the whole island of Tsushima will be explorable. Various scenes in the trailer show after all a decent variety of settings, the ability to move around on horseback, and extremely impressive rural landscapes, not to mention that Sucker Punch is now quite familiar with extended maps, and that it would have been silly for the team to throw away. to the wind this knowledge in a period where the open world titles still sell like hotcakes. However, the application of a stealth structure to the possibility of fully exploring the island may not be a walk in the park: the Tenchus were divided into missions, with maps that were not minute, but controlled and studied in detail to maximize the effectiveness of the player’s choices and constantly put him in difficulty; proposing a sandbox experience with similar characteristics is more difficult, precisely because the limitations are fewer and it is necessary to use additional expedients to prevent everything from being broken by players willing to experiment. In any case, we are very confident, both for the quality of the team involved and for the short but intense presentation trailer. We really hope this is a game that can have its say in this golden age for video games.