Sucker Punch Productions wanted Ghost of Tsushima to stay realistic, differentiating the PlayStation 4 exclusive from other samurai games such as Nioh and Sekiro.
While the adventures of protagonist Jin Sakai are certainly not what a normal person can survive, Sucker Punch intentionally kept supernatural elements out of Ghost of Tsushima. Even the game’s Mythic Tales, which tasks players with uncovering the truth behind legends that involve demons and ghosts, ends with an explanation that brings the story back to reality.
“We absolutely did not want to make the game supernatural,” said Ghost of Tsushima game director Nate Fox in an interview with ComicBook.com. “We wanted to keep it grounded in reality,” though the people of Tsushima Island believe in the Mythic Tales.
Fox added that there are some “spiritual elements that push reality a little bit,” such as the Guiding Wind mechanic that tells players where to go. However, he reiterated that Sucker Punch “wanted to create a feeling of authenticity” in Ghost of Tsushima.
Another difference that makes Ghost of Tsushima more realistic compared with the likes of Nioh and Sekiro is the lack of a lock-on mechanic, which Fox explained in a separate interview with GameSpot.
When watching samurai films for inspiration, Sucker Punch noted that combat revolves around dealing with several enemies at the same time.
“If we had a lock-on you wouldn’t have been able to move as quickly between the different opponents as they came in at you,” said Fox, adding that the mechanic would have made it more difficult for players to improvise their fight plan against groups of enemies.
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