Ghost of Tsushima creative director explains why there isn't a karma system

(Image credit: Sucker Punch)

Ghost of Tsushima won't have a karma or morality system and will instead focus on protagonist Jin Sakai's evolution to becoming a legendary Ghost throughout the story. 

In an interview with IGN, Ghost of Tsushima's creative director Jason Connell was asked whether a "morality meter" would be featured in the upcoming adventure. Developer Sucker Punch was also behind the PS4 exclusive Infamous series, which included a karma system that enables you to earn positive or negative karma depending on your actions. 

"We thought about [a morality meter] because we had the karma system in [Infamous: Second Son], but we realized it was more important to us that we wanted to tell a human story of someone who is this way and has to evolve into something else, versus transform completely into something else..." 

The story, as Connell explains, will explore how Jin has been "born and raised into a certain way of life," with certain expectations placed upon the role you take on in the game. As one of the last Samurai who rises to take on the Mongol invaders on the island of Tsushima, the recent gameplay State of Play stream revealed that there will be two separate combat modes, samurai and Ghost. 

As a samurai, Jin uses a longbow and katana, and players will be able to switch up their fighting stance to suit the foe they're fighting. As a Ghost, you take a stealthier approach with daggers, katanas, and lures to assassinate enemies. Throughout the story, we'll see Jin evolve from a samurai into a Ghost of legend. Interestingly, Connell reveals you won't be locked into either combat mode throughout. 

"There's definitely important story moments that are more reflective of this change than others. But the reality is that even as you have gotten to some story moments, you can still play the game as this Samurai, you may just be more potent or more powerful. We don't make you choose between [samurai and Ghost]." 

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Heather Wald
Senior staff writer

I started out writing for the games section of a student-run website as an undergrad, and continued to write about games in my free time during retail and temp jobs for a number of years. Eventually, I earned an MA in magazine journalism at Cardiff University, and soon after got my first official role in the industry as a content editor for Stuff magazine. After writing about all things tech and games-related, I then did a brief stint as a freelancer before I landed my role as a staff writer here at GamesRadar+. Now I get to write features, previews, and reviews, and when I'm not doing that, you can usually find me lost in any one of the Dragon Age or Mass Effect games, tucking into another delightful indie, or drinking far too much tea for my own good.