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'Ghost Of Tsushima' Gameplay Looks Brutal Yet Beautiful

'Ghost Of Tsushima' Gameplay Looks Brutal Yet Beautiful

I'm into it.

Ewan Moore

Ewan Moore

Last night Sony showed us our first in-depth look at Ghost Of Tsushima in action, and it didn't disappoint. Sucker Punch's open world samurai adventure looks to be a brutal, beautiful journey with plenty of emphasis on exploration, stealth, and of course, combat.

Seeing as Ghost Of Tsushima puts us in the boots of a samurai - one of the last, in fact - a good chunk of the gameplay presentation was focused on explaining to us exactly how combat works in the game. Essentially, you have your pick of two distinct flavours. There's direct combat (which is considered honourable), and stealth (dishonourable).

In case you missed it, you can watch the entire 18-minute deep dive below to get a better understanding of how the game is shaping up.

Game director Nate Fox explained the major differences between the two as the presentation went on. Direct combat, as you might expect, is focused entirely on swordplay. It seems there's a lot of patience and strategy involved, as each battle is a methodical encounter consisting of parries and well-timed strikes. With good enough timing, it's possible to take down multiple foes with a rapid succession of one-hit finishers. It looks awesome.

Fox said that it's possible to simply swing your sword around like there's no tomorrow, but the key to making the most out of your strikes is timing and precision. You'll also be glad to know that you can switch between combat stances, and can even swipe arrows out of the air. Once you've taken out a foe in this, the honourable way, you can pay your respects to the dead.

But who among us can really be considered honourable these days? If being a sneaky son of a B is more your speed, why not try stealth? Unlike direct combat, stealth is all about using traps and tricks to lure enemies into positions where you can strike more easily.

We saw the protagonist Jin darting between hiding spots using a grapple hook and parkour, which gave me major Arkham vibes. We also got a glimpse of Jin using smoke bombs, arrows, and fireworks to confuse and disorient enemies. Again, very much like Batman. It remains to be seen how the game will punish or reward you for playing honourably or dishonourably, but I suspect there'll be some consequences for your actions down the line.

Ghost Of Tsushima /

Ghost Of Tsushima also has an entirely unique approach to exploration, which Sucker Punch has named "Guiding Wind". Rather than chuck a load of waypoints and minimaps in your face, the studio has opted for a more subtle approach in which a gust of wind gently guides you towards any new locations, points of interest, or objectives.

There are other subtle visuals clues towards important locations too, such as billowing smoke signifying a nearby camp. Birds and other animals will also be able to lead you towards secret areas and treasure, so you'll have to keep your eyes and ears open and really engage with the world, rather than simply stare at a minimap and navigate from waypoint to waypoint.

Ghost Of Tsuhima comes to PlayStation 4 on July 17th, and it's safe to say I'm pretty much sold at this point. Engaging exploration and the freedom to approach combat in multiple ways sounds good to me. Oh, and the whole thing looks utterly gorgeous. Let me at it.

Featured Image Credit: Sucker Punch

Topics: Sucker Punch, Ghost of Tsushima, PlayStation, PS4