An island invaded
The debut trailer, shown above, depicts a lush, beautiful countryside and details a young samurai warrior’s ascent toward his ultimate challenge. Sony provided a brief plot premise below the trailer:
“The year is 1274. Samurai warriors are the legendary defenders of Japan — until the fearsome Mongol Empire invades the island of Tsushima, wreaking havoc and conquering the local population. As one of the last surviving samurai, you rise from the ashes to fight back. But, honorable tactics won’t lead you to victory. You must move beyond your samurai traditions to forge a new way of fighting — the way of the ghost — as you wage an unconventional war for the freedom of Japan.”
More “real” than real
Despite the setting and the real-world event that took place in 1274, Sucker Punch isn’t strictly following history. Instead, the story will feature fictional characters and the studio’s own take on Japanese landmarks. During a panel on the game during PlayStation Experience 2017, the studio’s creative leads explained how the team created certain areas, such as a large, pristine field and an open patch of flowers, as artificially perfect versions of what actually existed during that time.
In another effort to add a layer of authenticity, Ghost of Tsushima creative director Nate Fox suggested that the game would likely give non-Japanese players the option to play the game with Japanese dialogue and subtitles.
A different kind of open world
After making three Infamous games from 2009 to 2014, the Sucker Punch team is something of an expert when it comes to open-world games. Members of the Ghost of Tsushima team said it will seek to fix certain problems that have plagued open-world games for years.
For example, the studio will move away from turn-by-turn “hand-holding” user interface and design many games have used this generation, including Sucker Punch’s past project. In a developer diary, creative and art director Jason Connell stressed that they wouldn’t use waypoint markers to reveal interesting areas to players. Instead, you’ll just have to go exploring to find what the game has to offer.
“We just, hopefully, are presenting something that’s beautiful and exotic — that’s different than the current place that you might be in,” Connell said.
Perhaps the most standout difference between Ghost of Tsushima and Sucker Punch’s previous efforts can be found in tone. The Infamous series, like Sucker Punch’s PS2- and PS3-era stealth platforming series Sly Cooper, frequently had comedic relief. Ghost of Tsushima, from the looks of this first trailer, seems completely serious and even somber at some points. With the (presumed) protagonist berated by an enemy for his inability to save his home, we see villages burning and citizens running for their lives.
“I’ll ask you once again, samurai,” the invader says in the trailer. “Do you surrender?”
When can we play it?
Sony hasn’t revealed a launch window for Ghost of Tsushima. The game has already been in development for more than three years, so it may be coming sooner than you think. The game will presumably be a PlayStation 4 exclusive, as Sucker Punch is a subsidiary of Sony Interactive Entertainment of America.