PREVIEW – Ghost of Tsushima, which was announced at Paris Games Week, offers a unique story. It already makes Sucker Punch’s (inFAMOUS) game garner attention, but there are more details that could make potentially one of the last major PlayStation 4-exclusive a winner, even if we likely won’t see it in action again until E3 in June.
We learned a lot about the game at the PlayStation Experience, where Creative Director Nate Fox, Art Director Jason Connell, Animation Director Billy Harper, and Associate Producer Ryuhei Katami were on stage to talk about the game. According to Harper, finding the voice of the Mongol Khan was a challenge, and Sucker Punch got a bit of help via a Japanese team to help their culture stay in a respected range. Katami said that something was already removed, but he didn’t clarify what it was. The trailer was intentionally made as such, and the storm in it is also a hint at something. The developers used motion capture recording for four horses, followed by three people to record them the best way possible. It was a test, but it was successful – Sucker Punch will continue with this approach.
Sucker Punch detoured from inFAMOUS because they were doing that series for a long time, and while Harper said that it was a risky move for them to switch, it paid off: when they started work on Ghost of Tsushima, a lot of pre-production was done in just one month due to being so excited. Fox says that they learn something new every day, as they try to recreate a different location in a past era. Katami thinks similarly, as Tsushima is an obscure location even within Japan.
Although there is a bit of historical reality (if I am correct, the Mongol invasion of Japan happened between 1274 and 1281), Sucker Punch will have an original story with new characters and events, and this is why there might be Edo-period (1603-1868) samurai costumes, as Connell likes movies of this era. The team visited Tsushima twice for research purposes (each time with a different group), and the second visit happened during a festival commemorating the Mongol invasion. They even visited a local high school to check out historical Mongol artifacts.
They met Nagamasa Sou, a direct descendant of the Sou clan, who was governing the island when the Mongol invasion happened. As customary, Sou and Harper swapped business cards, but Harper’s card ended up showing up in a local newspaper, Tsushima Shinbun. Thus, Harper thought he’s getting fired, but the information right in front of the public didn’t catch anyone’s eyes, so the game did not get leaked.
Sucker Punch is working together with several people, including an expert in Buddhism and Shinto, for the perfect experience, but the game’s logo has a mon (family crest) that is fictional. Katami chose the most authentic one of Connell’s concepts, matching the Tsushima mountains. Apparently, this family crest is belonging to „Jin Sakame,” which might be the name of the protagonist. Fox’s question about if the attendees would like to play the game with Japanese dialogue was regarded positively. It’s a good idea: the Japanese would get the game earlier due to less localization work, and the development would take less time (as there might not be a need for an English dub).
The surviving samurai in the Mongol invasion could be outstanding, but we’ll have yet to see how it will fare against other games in 2019 (as that’s likely the release date). An action game with a unique flavor, but how much will the crowd like it? Seeing Nioh’s success, the answer might be a positive one.
These might make it a success:
+ Sucker Punch rarely makes bad games
+ Unique plot and concept
+ The devs seemingly fully respect the culture
These might make it a disappointment:
– Won’t it arrive too late into the PlayStation 4’s lifecycle?
– „Too Japanese” for some?
– How will it fare against the other games launching close to it?
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Sucker Punch
Genre: Action, Adventure
Relase date: TBA