I had minimal interest in Ghost of Tsushima at first, but after watching Luke stream it on YouTube on the evening before release day I was awake and out the door at 6 the following morning to pick up a copy. The opening of the game is phenomenal, possessing boundless beauty and tension, which is supported by the graphical style which is indisputably second to none.
The combat is great, varied and brilliantly bloody with every battle looking spectacular no matter when or where they take place. I appreciate the ability to change between four styles of using the katana on the fly, though I am less impressed with the fact it appears as though all weapons are unlocked in the first 10 hours of the game, so all that there is left to acquire after is upgrades and cosmetics. If there are more weapons to unlock later in the game I am yet to hear about them.
Ghost of Tsushima’s photo mode is the absolute best in class when it comes to capturing the most jaw-dropping moments possible, and despite my usual lack of interest when it comes to photo modes I have spent ages playing around with it. Every image you see in this article has been captured from my Playstation 4 Pro.
Unfortunately, I was shocked and saddened to see the return of escort missions with dumb AI who are content to idly sit and die whilst I try to defend them, forcing me to restart sections because the idea to hide in long grass (like they had JUST been doing) eludes them. I know this game has been in development for at least six years but the presence of this dated irritation effectively bars any potential of the game getting a 10/10 from me. If the ones I have experienced so far are the only ones in the game then I may retract that, but for now I can’t believe Sucker Punch included them!
One of the reasons I almost let this game pass me by entirely before watching Luke play it is because many sites who received a review copy gave the game a tough time for the amount of forced stealth sections. I have always loathed the concept of these sections and believed they held no place in modern gaming, but I must say that after experiencing them in this title that they are used so effectively that Ghost of Tsushima is the first game to use them and not hinder the overall experience of the game. At least not yet..
I am planning on reviewing the game as a complete experience, but that may be a few weeks away as I have only just reached Act 2 after around 15 hours of playtime. While I am enjoying almost everything about the game so far, the repetitive nature of the open world locations has really started getting to me so I am currently overcome with open world fatigue.
I can’t see Ghost of Tsushima clawing back on the issues I have found so far and I am currently sitting on a score of 8 out of 10, but the potential is there for it to build up to a 9. To conclude this first impressions look at it, this title gets a hearty recommendation from me to any gamer with even the most fleeting interest in its concept.