Ghost of Tsushima's Secretive Nature Has Me More Intrigued than Anything Else in 2020
Having first seen Ghost of Tsushima well over two years ago, there still seems to be very little we actually know about the game, which has me both excited and interested.
Sony has received endless praise this console generation for the number of stellar first-party titles that it has released, and rightly so. Games like God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Marvel’s Spider-Man stand as some of the most well-received from both critics and fans alike over the past few years. But for all of Sony’s success in the PS4 era, I think what I’ve personally loved the most from the PlayStation brand is its willingness to publish new IPs.
While the PS4 has seen its fair share of sequels or reboots of older properties from PlayStation’s past (God of War, Infamous: Second Son, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End), Sony has also brought about entirely new worlds and characters for us to fall in love with for the first time. In a time where many games that are released annually have started to feel a bit derivative and by-the-numbers, PS4 exclusives like Horizon Zero Dawn, Death Stranding, and Until Dawn have been some of the most captivating and enjoyable games for me on a personal level these past few years just because of how fresh they feel.
Now, in 2020, Sony is gearing up to publish yet another wholly new IP from Sucker Punch in Ghost of Tsushima and it’s far and away one of my most anticipated games of the year.
Sony first lifted the veil on Ghost of Tsushima back at Paris Games Week 2017 with a short trailer that let us know the game would be taking place during the Mongol invasion of Japan. The game centers around a samurai by the name of Jin Sakai, but other details of the story and characters aren’t really widely known just yet. On the gameplay front, all that Sucker Punch has opted to show us so far has been one demo at E3 2018 followed by another trailer that featured some more snippets of gameplay and a release window back at The Game Awards 2019.
All in all, we have seen very little about Ghost of Tsushima, which is why I think I have such a close eye on it this year. Compared to other major releases that are coming up in 2020 (Cyberpunk 2077, Final Fantasy VII Remake, DOOM Eternal) I feel like there are many relatively unknown factors with Ghost of Tsushima. Heck, news on the game went so quiet in 2019 that many started questioning whether or not it would end up just altogether becoming a PS5 game. That obviously won’t be the case, but it speaks to how silent Sony has been with this title.
That said, this seems to be Sony’s MO over the course of the PS4 generation when it comes to showing off new games. Despite revealing many of their projects years in advance this gen, Sony has also kept most of these games well under wraps, only releasing a new trailer or screenshots here and there before then showing quite a bit more gameplay very close to launch. Ghost of Tsushima has actually had a very similar pre-release timeline to God of War, at least when comparing the two so far. Speaking for myself, I think that this manner of being relatively silent about games that are in development for long stretches of time actually generates more excitement in the long run.
I’m also just stoked for Ghost of Tsushima though because, hey, I love action games. If you know my gaming tastes whatsoever, you’re probably aware that I have become obsessed with the Souls games in recent years. Other standout favorites of mine from recent memory include Judgment, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. While I’m unsure of how much DNA Ghost of Tsushima will share with games like this, based on the extended gameplay demo we saw in 2018, I got some major Batman: Arkham, Assassin’s Creed, and Sekiro vibes. If Ghost of Tsushima’s final version is anything close to games like these, I’m all in.
There’s also the fact that Ghost of Tsushima quite literally looks like it could be one of the prettiest games ever made. Speaking of that gameplay demo from 2018, I’m hard-pressed to actually believe that what we were shown was running on a PS4 Pro. Seriously, how is that even possible? The level of detail and the high-fidelity visuals that we were shown look like they should only be possible on a PC, or maybe an Xbox One X. If these kinds of graphics are possible on even the weakest “premium” platform around, then that’s pretty incredible. Games like this are why I invested in a 4K TV and a PS4 Pro in the first place and I’m hoping Ghost of Tsushima’s finalized iteration will look just as stunning as what we’ve been shown thus far.
The final cherry on top of my pre-release anticipation for Ghost of Tsushima has also just been due to how serious Sucker Punch is taking the source material here. Developers at the studio have talked openly about how much research has gone into this project which has included multiple trips to Japan and working with actual swordmasters. Not to mention, the full game is going to feature optional Japanese voice acting with English subtitles to really entrench yourself in the experience even further. Aspects like this won’t make or break Ghost of Tsushima, but it shows just that Sucker Punch is committed to making this not just an enjoyable game, but one that is highly-authentic as well.
Is Ghost of Tsushima going to be the best game of 2020? I’m not a fortune teller, so I have no idea. But could it be my personal favorite game of 2020? Sure, why not. Sucker Punch, for my money, is one of the best developers in the video game industry and based on what we’ve seen so far, this could be shaping up to be the true swan song for the PS4 (sorry, The Last of Us Part II).
Despite being seemingly overshadowed by countless other releases and the advent of next-gen consoles, I am ecstatic to see more of Ghost of Tsushima later this summer when it finally hits PS4.