If Ikumi Nakamura’s incredibly endearing stage presence at the Bethesda conference back at E3 2019 wasn’t enough to get you interested in the new game from Tango Gameworks, then the mysterious trailer for Ghostwire: Tokyo certainly sealed the deal. This is only the third game from this team founded by legendary director Shinji Mikami (the director of Resident Evil 4 among other classic survival-horror games) and a new IP.
Ghostwire‘s plot isn’t the only aspect of the game still shrouded in mystery, however. A lot of behind-the-scenes details have shifted with this title, making solid information about it hard to pin down. We’ve pulled together all the facts we have about this upcoming survival horror title and give our best estimates on what has yet to be revealed.
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After many delays and periods of silence from the developers, they finally confirmed that we would get our hands on Ghostwire: Tokyo on March 25, 2022.
This game, along with Deathloop, was originally announced as a PS5 console exclusive alongside a PC release, but it got some people questioning whether it would remain an exclusive for Sony’s platform after Microsoft’s purchase of Bethesda, who is publishing the game. Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait long for official statements to come out, both from Bethesda and Microsoft, confirming that all the exclusivity deals made before the purchase would remain in place. We still don’t know how long Ghostwire will be console exclusive to the PS5 — it’s billed as making a “console debut” on the system — but deals like this typically range from six months to a year. After that window, we know to expect it on Xbox consoles as well.
The announcement trailer was all we had up until recently, but was plenty to get people interested in the mystery of what Ghostwire: Tokyo would present to players. We are shown modern-day Tokyo on a normal rainy day when suddenly people simply start vanishing, leaving behind their clothing as if their bodies were evaporated. However, not everyone has disappeared. Aside from the few normal people who remain, new ghostly entities appear with unknown goals, as well as another group known as Visitors who hide their faces behind masks. The trailer is full of the visual transitions and impossible spaces that we got small tastes of in the studio’s previous title The Evil Within.
The second trailer we have is the gameplay reveal shown as Sony’s Future of Gaming event in 2021. This trailer gives us a little more information on the character we will be playing as. We will apparently be playing as someone who is more aware of the spiritual world that is invading Tokyo and is therefore more capable of fighting back. Aside from more spiritual and horror elements, there seems to be a technological side to things as well as illustrated by some digital distortion and transitions. Beyond that, though, the trailer remains light on any details. It ends with the appropriate message to “face the unknown.”
Finally, we got a full-blown Ghostwire showcase in February 2022, giving us the best look at the game yet. Most importantly, we learned a lot about the story. Ghostwire: Tokyo focuses on a character named Akito who is possessed by a ghost hunter named KK that serves as his guide and conduit for his new powers. Tokyo has been overtaken by a ghastly fog that has caused the majority of the population to vanish and evil spirits known as Visitors to invade. The pair must team up to track down and defeat the masked man called Hannya to hopefully restore Tokyo to its former glory.
We had to wait a long time since the 2019 E3 reveal to really know what the gameplay of Ghostwire: Tokyo would be. Up until the gameplay trailer, we didn’t even know for sure what perspective the game would be played in, but now have a much better idea of what this game really is. According to Bethesda and Ikumi Nakamura, while she was still directing the project, Ghostwire is going to lean more on the action side of the horror genre. “Though there is an eerie element to the world, this is the studio’s first foray into the action-adventure sphere.”
This gameplay trailer, while still showing plenty of horror-inspired enemies, certainly showcases a wide range of ways the player will be able to combat these ghostly foes. Bethesda also reported, “Assisting them in creating a more action-oriented game is Shinichiro Hara, who worked on the push-forward combat and Glory Kill system in Doom (2016), and is now the combat director on Ghostwire: Tokyo. Hara and the combat team and Tango have created an intricate, combo-based system that utilizes movements inspired by traditional Kuji-kiri hand gestures.”
Our protagonist will have a suit of supernatural or magical abilities that seem to be triggered via the previously mentioned hand signs that vary from what look like melee strikes to elemental projectiles. We see multiple combo attacks that end in a takedown-style move that looks very reminiscent of the Glory Kill system from Doom. Akito will also be equipped with a bow and a few other more “traditional” weapons, but the focus seems to be on the more magical abilities.
These abilities are called ethereal weaving, and can take the form of various elements, including fire, water, and wind, which will all be upgradable. Akito can also summon a shield to block, and timing it perfectly also looks like it will cause a parry and open up the enemy to a counter or even reflect ranged attacks back.
In contrast to what the first trailer showed, the gameplay is clearly going for something leaning far more on the action side of the spectrum, as evidenced by the quote promoting the same combat director as Doom, rather than a traditional survival-horror experience.
Ghostwire: Tokyo is also an open-world game, full of side quests and things peppering the map to do outside of the main mission. To make traversal easier through the often cramped streets, Akito has a grappling ability, called tengu, he can use to yank himself up from street level to the rooftops in a flash. Cleansing torii gates will be how you repel the fog from specific areas of the map — they are more heavily guarded by Visitors, but will reward you with new powers.
There will also be a shop (run by a cat, of course) where you can purchase items.
Plus, for those who find details like this important, do not fret. Shinji Mikami himself confirmed that you will be able to pet every dog in Ghostwire: Tokyo.
Unless Tango Gameworks makes a very sudden and surprise announcement, there’s no evidence that Ghostwire: Tokyo will have any multiplayer components. The team has never implemented multiplayer in the games in the past, and nothing about the gameplay or marketing has even hinted that this will change for Ghostwire. Bethesda isn’t the type of publisher to usually force multiplayer components into games where they don’t belong, so hopefully that holds true for Ghostwire.
No DLC plans have been announced yet. For now, we can only speculate on if this title will get any additional content, and there is a strong case to say it will. The Evil Within had several DLC packs that put players in new characters’ shoes for their own campaigns, one of which was an enemy from the game that had a completely different combat system. In a world where 99% of the population has vanished, there is plenty of room in Tokyo for additional, smaller stories that don’t necessarily connect to the main plot to be added.
With the release date set, Ghostwire: Tokyo pre-orders are up! There are both a standard and deluxe editions to get, with the latter giving you three days of early access, two outfits, and a kunai weapon.
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