Ghost of Tsushima Worked With the Kurosawa Estate to Create its Cinematic Mode

The creative directors for Ghost of Tsushima detail how they worked with the estate of the legendary Akira Kurosawa to create Cinematic Mode.

Jason Connell and Nate Fox, the creative directors behind the upcoming Ghost of Tsushima delve into how they found themselves working with the estate of Akira Kurosawa for approval on the black-and-white cinematic mode, called Kurosawa Mode.

“We have this great game that transports people back to feudal Japan and Akira Kurosawa was one of our reference guides, especially early on about how we wanted it to feel,” Connell explains. “As we got closer and closer to making that a reality, we were like, ‘What do we call this special mode that we created, this black-and-white throwback?’ We threw out a bunch of different words and we thought, ‘What would be awesome would be if we could call it Kurosawa Mode.’ In order to do that, we felt that we needed to reach out to the estate and see if that’s something they’d be interested in. We sent a short video showing what it generally looks like, what it feels like.”

It turned out to be an involved and difficult process, as it proved difficult to translate that directly into the game with current film-mapping technology. Connell took various black-and-white samurai films and analyzed scenes from various times of day and weather conditions to track the depth and brightness of the blacks and whites. Then the team added a film grain to make the mode appear as though it had just emerged from the age of Kurosawa, as well as an increased wind function.

Lastly the developers played around with the sound design to match the visuals. The audio team has an internal tool that “mimicked sounds of old TV and, specifically, megaphones, radios, TVs back to the ’50s.”

Recently a brand new Japanese gameplay trailer was released, which shows off some of the techniques detailed above:

As the launch of the game approaches, it would be prudent of players to free up some space on their PS4’s hard drive. Ghost of Tsushima will require players to have a minimum of 50GB available space to start playing. There’s also the fact that it could need even more space on launch day if there’s a day one patch. You can start preloading the game now ahead of its launch.

In an interview with IGN, Game Director Nate Fox talked about the game’s difficulty and stated that “We are trying to make a grounded game in that sense, so a couple blows from the enemy will kill you,” Fox said. “We watched samurai movies and people go down with one or two strikes, and that is embedded inside of the combat. Beating the Mongols in battle will be hard, but it’s that challenge that makes it feel alive and the victory rewarding. You can’t just run into a camp and fight 5 people at the same time, you will get overwhelmed and die.” Although later, we also found out that you can change these settings to suit your own playstyle better so if you don’t enjoy getting your ass kicked hard, you can do something about it.

You can also check out Chris Hawtin who has put together an incredible Ghost of Tsushima motion poster that director Akira Kurosawa would be proud of, as well as this incredible Ghost of Tsushima inspired PlayStation 4 by XboxPope. Famed Japanese artist Takashi Okazaki, the creator of the Afro Samurai manga, recently collaborated with Ghost of Tsushima to produce some gorgeous manga-style posters.

Ghost of Tsushima is slated to launch on July 17th, 2020, and will be a PS4 exclusive. If you want to pre-order the game through Amazon, you can do so here. You can also prepare for the launch by checking out this editorial on the five Samurai movies to watch before it releases.

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Allisa James

Senior Weekend Staff Writer for DualShockers. Loves JRPGs, artbooks, and anime.

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