Review of Ghost of Tsushima

, Gaming

The island of Tsushima, remote from the central government, became the first target of the powerful combined fleet of the Mongol Empire of Kublai Khan, who began his eastern expedition. By that time, the Mongols already controlled much of Asia, including the recent Japanese ally Koryo on the Korean Peninsula. This article you can know about the ghost of Tsushima. From here, approximately from the area of ​​the bay in Busan, a fleet of, according to various estimates, from 700 to 900 ships left. They carried about 15 thousand Mongol, Chinese and Tatar warriors, reinforced by an additional 8 thousand Koreans.

Ghost of Tsushima

Ghost of Tsushima

At the end of the 13th century, it was the most powerful and most numerous fleet in history, which was subsequently surpassed only twice: during the second Mongol campaign against Japan in 1281 and the Normandy operation in 1944. When the armada approached Tsushima, about a thousand fighters landed on the shore, and they were met by samurai numbering about eighty warriors, not counting their accompanying. The forces were unequal, even taking into account the superiority of the samurai in the military discipline over the steppe people.

In this battle

The shogun-appointed ruler of Tsushima, Sokekuni So, his sons, and all followers fell. The Mongols who left after a few days left burnt ruins and mountains of corpses, especially brutally cracking down on women. Later, however, the steppe warriors, far from being the most skillful in naval affairs, paid the price, falling under a typhoon that scattered the fleet and forced Khubilai to give the order to retreat. But before that time, the Mongol army had managed to defeat the island of Iki and engage in battle with the regular troops of the shogunate in Kyushu.

Ghost of Tsushima

Ghost of Tsushima

However

The Sucker Punch team decided to get creative with the story with the Ghost of Tsushima, a new PlayStation 4 exclusive, set for public release on July 17, 2020. In this game, we find ourselves in the role of the samurai Jin Sakai, who narrowly escaped death on the beach near Komoda, the historical place where the defenders of Tsushima were killed in 1274. He also escaped death and his uncle Shimura, the head of the clan and ruler of the island, appointed by the shogun. Naturally, the legendary Sokekuni So became its prototype, in honor of whom the Japanese still shoot arrows into the sea near Tsushima every year, on November 12.

Having survived, Dzin Sakai decides to resist the army of Khan Khotun – Kublai’s brother, fictional for the game (he had three brothers, but they all died by 1274 under different circumstances, including from the hand of a successful relative) and the grandson of Genghis Khan. Observing the samurai’s code of honor. He begins to enter into open confrontations with the Mongols. But gradually, the man comes to understand that without the help of the dishonest and vile enemy, no code can be overcome – mirror actions are needed. This is how the true Ghost of Tsushima is born, grows, and grows stronger. A warrior of the new era for Japan, who is ready to do anything for the sake of his people. And the most active help in the 100-hour vendetta is provided by the players.

The art of contemplation

A couple of months ago, a twenty-minute gameplay video blew up the Internet: Sucker Punch was promised an unusual setting, a decent battle, and an incredibly beautiful world. In all respects. It turned out very similar to the Assassin’s Creed series, only a little less elegant and a little more realistic. And also – with its philosophy, visual style, and dynamics.  No, such a game cannot be ignored, even if there are generally no fantastic elements in it.

You fall in love with Tsushima at first sight. Here you want to get lost among the bamboo groves to reflect on the frailty of life. Especially at first, when the map is obscured by the fog of war. Which hides the location of the island’s secret places. Therefore, to find something interesting. The player learns to hear nature, which knows how to show the way.

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The foxes will lead Jin to the altar of the deity of abundance Inari, who will present the hero with a new amulet slot, and the golden birds will show the location of the new katana scabbard and the whole quest. The villagers are eager to share wisdom and local rumors, and the horizon is filled with plumes of smoke from the fires of those who need help. Well, the main companion of Dzin is the guiding wind, indicating the shortest path to the destination. No compasses or golden lines for you – I got on my horse and galloped where the wind blows.

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All this teaches players to see the beauty of the world around them and maintains the excitement of an explorer in them. Tsushima is full of mechanics to help you get a better feel for the setting. Writing a haiku about the beauty of nature helps the hero focus before the battle. The abandoned pilgrim’s trail offers panoramic views of the surroundings. In hot springs, you can not only patch up your health but also philosophize. Wandering storytellers will tell a story (rendered in ink) of a famous hero and his mythical artifact.

It’s amazing how, with such a set, there is almost no pointless gathering in the game – I have not found use except for Mongolian artifacts. All these questions mark organically fill the world, which makes the transition from one point to another easy to dilute with a couple of short tasks in which you can earn a new outfit or a small bonus to the attack.

And that’s if you don’t hang out for half an hour in some picturesque location. Swamps, bamboo groves, blossoming gardens, ash-capped mountains and snow-capped mountains all fit on one small island. So you try to capture all the beauties, stopping at every corner – for this, the developers have provided a special photo mode. It allows you to customize not only the depth of field and facial expression of the character. But also to choose the weather. Time of day, wind speed, and the shape of falling leaves. What did you say was the main quest?

Samurai vs. ghost

You can speed up the research process by raiding the invader’s camps – as a reward for liberating Jinu’s territory, a small piece of the map will open in Ghost of Tsushima.  Steal provisions or eliminate the enemy in a certain way – in a word, just like in Assassin’s Creed.

An impressive arsenal will help to cope with this task: Jin has at his disposal throwing knives, smoke bombs, poison, and even hallucinogens. They are forcing enemies to attack each other. Long and short bows will help to remove the sentinels. You can also distract the attention of the Mongols by setting fire to them. Again, just like Assassin’s Creed!

As you know, a pair of days samurai swords, consisting of a katana and a short dagger, is the pride of the clan, and therefore this weapon cannot be replaced. You will have to limit yourself to upgrades. But the player has four combat styles (recall that in Assassin’s Creed, the style largely depended on the type of weapon) against swordsmen. Armored heavyweights and fighters with a pike or shield – here it is just right to recall the first “Witcher.” Each provides its combos and special attacks – seven in each branch.

Ghost of Tsushima

Ghost of Tsushima

General Attack

You can also download a general attack: Parry and world exploration skills. There is also a separate branch of the ghost’s abilities. This opens up the opportunity to commit a series of stealthy kills, carry out attacks from a jump, or poke an enemy through a thin screen. As always, due to the lack of skills, at first, it is very difficult to decide what to pump first. But towards the end of the game. When you get several skills per task, you hardly think about pumping.

In addition to the gameplay in the spirit of Assassin’s Creed, Tsushima has two interesting mechanics. The first way is to challenge the enemy to a duel and cut off the extra limbs with one precise blow, pressing the button in time. But the second is a classic duel in which opponents must prove their skill with a sword. The rest of the abilities are not available during the fight but in some cases. Observing the opponent’s technique will help you learn special unblockable attacks. However, to fulfill them, you will have to spend a couple of adrenaline points. Which usually goes to replenish health.

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As for the armor, there are a dozen outfits to choose from. Moreover, you can change your outfit even in the midst of a battle and thereby adapt to a specific enemy.

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“Myths” always delight with something new: sometimes – a series of duels with the most skillful warriors of the island. Another time – some acrobatic test, and the third – a hunt for various parts of the armor.

The freshness and dynamism of the research are also evident in the usual tasks of clearing enemy camps. However, do not expect an easy victory – the level of opponents and the variety of their techniques grow as the character develops, for example, towards the end of the game. The Mongols start shooting poison arrows. Many have tame hawks that help them track down sneaking Jin.

You can relax and get a fair amount of fun while completing the main tasks. Often Jin is accompanied by his companions, who suggest how best to attack. Where to quietly slip through and which archer to eliminate first. Most of these battles turned out to be very bright. It’s even a pity that there is no way to selectively replay them.

Ghost of Tsushima

Ghost of Tsushima

Why are you so serious?

But with all the harmony of the world and the coherence of the mechanics of the game. The mainline seems rather weak. The Ghost of Tsushima tells the classic story of rebels trying to take back their home from an invader. First, you need to find allies and convince them to help in the resistance. They just won’t help, and therefore they will have to fulfill several personal requests. Which later grow into independent lines.  It remains only to oust the enemy from the island – in a word, nothing new.

The central conflict of the story is dedicated to the Ghost himself: Jin is faced with a difficult choice – to go to the enemy in the open or use new stealth techniques. The latter clearly contradicts the samurai’s code of honor. But help to achieve the main goal and recapture the island.

Complexity

But for all the complexity of the problem. Mr. Sakai himself turned out to be somehow naive-rag. For example. In order to inspire fellow party members to fight. He promises to shower them with gold (which still needs to be recaptured from the invaders) – despite the fact that most of them would rush to certain death after some motivating speech. And how many times did he follow the lead of other people? Crossing common sense? Because of such strokes of the biography. It is hard to believe that we are facing the legendary Ghost. A strong leader capable of uniting the people of the island.

Each with its own dark secret. Their stories were long, each with seven or eight parts. Deep and bitter. And most importantly. You cannot influence the course or denouement of history in any way—no matter what lines you choose.

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The same is with the rest of the side quests. Most of which are built according to the scheme “find out what happened – get rid of the Mongols – return to the customer and find that he was killed.” All this is well too hopeless and depressing, and the jokes in Tsushima can be counted on one hand. And whatever you do, whatever style you fight, Jin will still follow the path of the Ghost. From this, it is not clear why the developers added the illusion of choice. Although, maybe this is the main idea – that a person does not decide anything in this world, and everything in it is predetermined? Quite in line with the spirit of the game!

In “The Ghost of Tsushima,” you want to dissolve. It is a balanced and holistic project, albeit with minor flaws in history. But stubborn, serious, and loyal to his code, like a true samurai.

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