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

Ghost of Tsushima went from being one of the biggest surprise announcements of 2017 to one of the most-anticipated games of E3 2018, and it's easy to see why: for starters, the game is drop-dead gorgeous, and the recently-revealed gameplay suggests that it'll be just as fun to play as it is to watch:

It's also unique thanks to being set in feudal Japan. But if the winds of fate had blown a slightly different direction, this would not have been the case. Ever since Assassin's Creed first took us to the city of Jerusalem during the Third Crusade, fans have wondered where and when the series might go next, and at the top of fan-requested locales is Japan in the age of samurai. Seriously, every year there's a new piece of "leaked concept art" or some other rumor that this will be the year AC will unsheathe a katana. Would Ghost of Tsushima have stood out if one of modern gaming's biggest series had chosen the same setting?

"The phrase 'worst nightmare' actually comes to mind," said Sucker Punch co-founder Chris Zimmerman in a round-table interview at E3 2018. Lucky for him, Ubisoft decided to go for ancient Greece for its next installment in its time-hopping franchise. But even if it hadn't, there's more to set Ghost of Tsushima apart, and part of it ties directly into the game's title:

"We started on the idea of not just building a samurai game, but the actual Mongol invasion, which is not the go-to," Zimmerman said. "Most people do warring states, for instance, which is 15th century - which is cool! [The Mongol invasions are] great times, really interesting times, really interesting people and characters. But it’s not as well trodden a territory. So that was exciting. Then we actually looked at the details of the Mongol invasion, which seemed a good kind of, two forces clashing with each other, and discovered that the first place that they landed was Tsushima."

Be sure to check out our full list of E3 2018 games to learn more about all the excitement coming your way, or if you just wanna stick with PlayStation games, check out our PlayStation E3 2018 press conference recap.

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Sam Prell

Sam is a former News Editor here at GamesRadar. His expert words have appeared on many of the web's well-known gaming sites, including Joystiq, Penny Arcade, Destructoid, and G4 Media, among others. Sam has a serious soft spot for MOBAs, MMOs, and emo music. Forever a farm boy, forever a '90s kid.