We're not sure what we were expecting next from Sucker Punch - the studio best known for the inFamous series - but an open-world game set in the history of Feudal Japan certainly caught us by surprise. Ghost of Tsushima, one of the brand new PS4 exclusives on the horizon, quickly managed to turn that surprise to frothing excitement though, with a stunning open-world rich with detail and combat that looks as brutal as it does beautiful.
"In inFamous you explore powers," explains creative director Nate Fox. "In this game, we let you explore what it is to be a samurai inside of this enormous landscape of medieval Japan."
Here’s everything we know so far about Sucker Punch’s brand new game, Ghost of Tsushima, and one of the highly anticipated upcoming PS4 games:
- Sucker Punch has put so much thought into the tiniest details of Ghost of Tsushima that it kinda makes me want to cry
- Release date: TBC
- Format: PS4 exclusive
- Developer: Sucker Punch
Ghost of Tsushima's main character is Jin Sakai
To tell a good samurai story, you first need a good samurai. Protagonist Jin Sakai is one of the last line of defenses 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
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's open-world adventure is set in Feudal Japan
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 Ghost of Tsushima release date hasn't been revealed
Before you get all excited about swinging your shiny new samurai sword, you might want to check the game’s release date. Or lack of one. Sucker Punch hasn’t yet even put a vague year on its shiny new game, let alone any kind of release window. The studio has this to say on the matter:
“We’re excited to finally be able to talk about the game and look forward to sharing more in the coming months,” says Fox. “Keeping it a secret for so long has been painful. The trailer is the perfect way to share with the world what we’ve been dying to play for so many years - fighting back invaders in feudal Japan, mastering the katana and building your legend as ‘the Ghost’.”
Until then we’ll be updating this page with everything we discover about the game, from gameplay details, new trailers and fresh news.
The world looks utterly stunning
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: