Skip to main content

Ghost of Tsushima: Huge gameplay reveal, new release date, and everything else we know

Ghost of Tsushima gameplay details are finally out in the wild after years of anticipation thanks to the latest State of Play broadcast from PlayStation. With 18 minutes of footage that showcased exploration, combat, stealth, customization, and even details for an impressively kitted-out photo mode, it was definitely worth the wait. There was more than enough detail in the video to pore over from now to the Ghost of Tsushima release date on July 17, though developer Sucker Punch teased that it has "so much more to show" in the future. 

The open-world adventure looks as deep as it is beautiful, using the history of feudal Japan for inspiration and looks set to be one of the last big blockbusters for PS4 before the PS5 muscles its way into the limelight at the end of the year. 

"In Infamous you explore powers. In this game, we let you explore what it is to be a samurai inside of this enormous landscape of medieval Japan," says creative director Nate Fox. Jin Saka has a katana, a grappling hook, and a faithful horse to help him, but taking on one of the most intimidating armies in history is still guaranteed to be a challenge. 

Here's everything we know about the game, from gameplay details, new trailers, and fresh news. 

Fast facts

  • Release date: July 17, 2020
  • Format: PS4 
  • Developer: Sucker Punch

Ghost of Tsushima's main character is Jin Sakai

Ghost of Tsushima

To tell a good samurai story, you first need a good samurai. Protagonist Jin Sakai is one of the last line of defences against the Mongol hordes that are invading Tsushima - but fortunately, he's got katana skills befitting a one-man army. Rather than some ornate armor, Jin prefers to wear a straw raincoat to better insulate himself from the rain and winds. His red attire mirrors the red leaves that swirl and drift around the island (and feature prominently in the gameplay trailer).

Of course, Jin can't possibly fight off the Mongol army on his own. He has to gather allies - like Masako, the skilled archer who features prominently in the gameplay debut. Her allegiance with Jin goes south when he protects the monk that she wants revenge on, resulting in a duel even as the enemy forces approach. Clearly, recruiting the people of Tsushima to fight by your side won't be easy - but it's ultimately necessary.

Ghost of Tsushima gameplay has swords, stealth, and grappling hooks

Ghost of Tsushima

As you probably already guessed, Jin is a master of the sword - and there will be plenty of melee combat as you cut through the Mongol invaders and their many scouting parties. From what we've seen, the skirmishes focus on the art of the counterattack, with Jin patiently waiting for his opponents to charge him before deflecting their strikes and slicing them for the kill. When it's you against many, you'll need to properly time your counters to ward off all types of weapons, including swords, spears, and shield slams.

There are also stealth segments (which give off serious Tenchu vibes), where you can get the jump on a group of enemies and trigger a time-slowing targeting system that lets Jin execute multiple foes in quick succession. To help you reach better ambushing spots, Jin has a grappling hook to quickly scale structures. He can even throw it out mid-jump, much like Nathan Drake's acrobatic grappling in Uncharted 4.

Ghost of Tsushima difficulty

(Image credit: Sucker Punch Productions)

Ghost of Tsushima sounds like it will be a challenge for even hardcore gamers, with a difficulty that will adapt as your character grows in power. 

"The lowest Mongol in our game can kill you very quickly, even when you're very advanced,"  said Nate Fox, creative director. "This is so that the danger is always there. The reality of the world is always there. But in a world that is so dangerous, even small incremental growth, you feel it." 

Ghost of Tsushima's open-world adventure is set in Feudal Japan

Ghost of Tsushima

Sucker Punch’s new game moves away from the industrial cities of the inFamous series in favour of Feudal Japan. It’s the year 1274, and you’re on the titular island of Tsushima, Japan. And as you can see from the gameplay trailer up top, it’s rather stunning. 

You play as one of the last surviving samurai warriors, and 1274 just happens to be the year the Mongol Empire invades the island of Tsushima. So it’s time to get your samurai on and fight to protect your homeland. 

"When we hit upon the Mongol invasion of Tsushima of 1274, it all clicked," explains Nate Fox, Game Director at Sucker Punch. "Suddenly you knew who the heroes were, who the villains were, what the stakes were for the world, and you had a video game."

The decision to stay open world, following on from Sucker Punch's success with inFamous, was apparently clear from the start. 

"We wanted to stay open world, because we're giving authority and power to the player," says Fox. "We didn't want to want away from that. We think its integral to modern gaming that players are in charge." 

"All of what’s shown in our debut trailer was captured in our game engine, that’s the interactive world we’re painstakingly crafting together, that’s the world we’re going to set on fire," adds Fox. "The artists and engineers here at Sucker Punch have brought this world to life on PlayStation 4, from tall grass blowing in the wind to the call of a far off crane, we want to make it feel real."

According to Sucker Punch the action will all take place on a "huge island filled with a lot of different places, towns, people." 

Apparently as the last samurai, you’re going to have to abandon your honorable tactics of old to forge a new way of fighting - literally, the 'Way of the Ghost'. Aaah, that explains that title then. The reveal trailer shows off just some of the weapons and gameplay features, including katanas, longbows, and armored horses.

The world looks utterly stunning

Ghost of Tsushima

If you were in any doubt that Sucker Punch is gifted at created immersive worlds that are full of color, you should check out some of the concept art it released for Ghost of Tsushima. From the waterlilies to the temples, there's plenty of beauty in Feudal Japan. See for yourself:

Ghost of Tsushima

Ghost of Tsushima

Ghost of Tsushima

Will Ghost of Tsushima be on PS5?

(Image credit: Sony PlayStation)

Neither developer Sucker Punch or Sony has confirmed that Ghost of Tsushima will be on PS5, but with the game released so close to the expected release of the new console it's not unreasonable to expect a quick remaster for the new machine. We've seen this before with PlayStation titles, The Last of Us was released on PS3 in June 2014, and in July 2014 a PS4 remaster followed. 

Will Ghost of Tsushima be on PC?

(Image credit: Sucker Punch)

While some PS4 exclusives like Death Stranding have been confirmed for a PC release, it seems unlikely Ghost of Tsushima will be released on PC. Since Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus in 2002 developer Sucker Punch has only released titles on PlayStation consoles. 

Ghost of Tsushima is coming in 2020, according to this rumour

Sucker Punch has put so much thought into the tiniest details of Ghost of Tsushima that it kinda makes me want to cry

Ghost of Tsushima dev says Assassin's Creed in feudal Japan would've been studio's "worst nightmare"

Get your first look at Ghost of Tsushima gameplay with Sucker Punch's jaw-dropping E3 2018 demo

Ghost of Tsushima is the brand new game from inFamous dev Sucker Punch

I'm the lady in charge of GamesRadar, but also getting all the reviews up on the website, so you can thank me for all those shining stars – or blame me for a lack of them. I also spend my time working my SEO magic to try and coax the Google Juice to flow in our favour.