After their beautiful adventure with the Infamous series, the SuckerPunch team heads to the country of the Rising Sun, and they see a story from the ancient samurai era, specifically while facing the Mongolian invasion, on a small island called Tsushima. An action and adventure game starring Jin Sakai, the Japanese samurai who has become at a crossroads, between adhering to the teachings of the past, and deviating to a new path, all in order to eliminate an invading enemy who wreaked havoc among his people.
It is moving art
To create an impressive technical game, you will need a group of skilled engineers, but to create a game that radiates beauty, you will need creative artists. Tsushima is not a technically impressive game, if you look closely at the details of the graphics, you will find that it is normal. But when you look at the full drawn board, you will find scenes that will captivate your imagination, I paused a lot while playing just to look at the scenery around me, I believe and for sure that players will spend a lot of time taking pictures from inside the game, especially with the amazing photography options added by the team. Although Tsushima is a small island, exploring it was fun because every region is different from the other, and even when I visit previous areas and the time of day or weather conditions are different, I live in the moment as if it was a whole new place.
Fight as a samurai
This is an open-world game in which you will find most of the intuitions that may come to your mind, from the system of collecting various resources to experience points to the development tree. But in general, when it comes to playing style, it is divided into three sections. We start it first with fighting and confrontation, and here comes the gameplay as a samurai fighter. The idea is simple here, multiple strikes to break the enemy shield, dodge button, and block button just in time for Parry. The idea of the combat system is based on switching between several modes, each of which is suitable for a specific type of enemy, such as those with shields or spears. The fighting in the game is not physical torture like it is in games like Secero, it is a combat system that welcomes all players. Most of the enemies can break their shield with two to three strikes, and the process of Parry is very easy here, you can apply it every time, and even dodging is easy as well. The game depends heavily on your position in the face of several enemies at the same time and tests your ability to change positions at the right time, and a sense of what is around you to avoid a hit from the back or throw an arrow from a distance at the right time. Overall, the combat system is elaborate and works great and the sense of hitting in the game and the friction of the swords with the shields gives a feeling of excitement. I only wished if a method had been added to lock the steering on a specific enemy, now this command works automatically, but in the latter stages of the game it was a little annoying with some enemies using dodging movement, as I find myself facing the air afterward.
The game included several boss fights, which are called Duels or Duels, and was in 1-on-1 confrontations with a different shooting style. But the combat system is completely similar to fighting ordinary enemies, and in general, facing one boss will make you ready to face the rest of the game's bosses, as their style is almost very similar, even in terms of difficulty and duration of the fight. And I come here at the biggest negative point in the game, which is the weakness of the variety of enemies, and I will add in this regard when talking about the system of missions.
Sneak like a ghost
Here comes the second major part of the gameplay, which is when you hide in the shadows and become the ghost or something like a ninja. Those who do not know Samurai do not like this method and they consider it dishonest and only belong to thieves. But for our hero, this method may be the most appropriate, especially as he confronts large numbers of Mongols sometimes alone. The stealth method here is very simple, and it does not go beyond what we see these days even in games that do not rely on stealth. You can crouch to hide among the tall grass, then wait for the right moment to assassinate an enemy from behind. You can also jump to assassinate from the top. Also, there is one distinct idea, which is the assassination behind the paper Japanese doors. Otherwise, this game does not present anything new in this regard, but rather is behind what other games have reached in this field, and the fact that the artificial intelligence of the enemies is limited, this did not help much. The hero cannot even get hung up on edges of buildings or be assassinated from this position. Fortunately, some tools will give you some variety in gameplay, like the smoke bomb to hide, and hallucinogen arrows that will make enemies turn on each other.
I'll conclude the gameplay with a small bit of it related to platform play or play forming as it is said. Throughout the game, there are high places that you will reach by climbing mountains and heights. Including temples distributed throughout the island, working as a miniature climbing stage, if you reach its summit you will get a specific gift. The climb in the game looks like something that was added to the game at the last moment of development. It is a very shallow experience, where you can climb mountains when you see some edges of a certain color, and by pressing up you will go up directly. And there is a hook (or hook) that helps you hang onto certain places and swing between heights.
Travel like a backpacker
Now that we have talked about gameplay, we can move to the open world, the method of missions, and the type of content that was presented. The missions are divided into 3 sections, the main, then the sub, and then a special type of missions, their number is limited and executed distinctively, and their rewards are important capabilities in the game or rare tools. In terms of telling my stories, the main and sub-missions are both very wonderful, but perhaps one of the best I've seen on the level of writing for a long time in similar games. The main characters in the game will have their own set of long side missions, and these missions allow you to get to know more about these characters and their history. And all of them were interesting and carefully chosen. The voice acting, especially for the main hero in English, was wonderful. As for Japan, despite not differing in the ingenuity of the main voice performer, who was famous for performing the voice of Zorro in the One Piece series, the more I tried to listen to him, the more convinced I was that it was not suitable for the character, as if adding it to a service for fans only.
The game contains an Arabic translation of the texts, an Arabic translation was generally accepted, and it suffered from some direct literal translation problems, as some sentences were unfortunately upside down in the word order.
In terms of the gameplay, most of these missions will end up with the "Eliminate the Mongols" command, and repetition seems to be a constant feature of most open-world games. But here I will return to the weakness of the diversity of enemies that I talked about earlier, with the frequent repetition of the same fighting in most of the main and sub-missions, this matter will become a boring element in the game.
There are a few aspects I should shower praise upon when talking about exploration. If the excessive beauty of the game is not a reason enough to wander and explore, there are other great reasons. For example, the ease of summoning the horse and controlling it, and the enormous loading speed in the game, when moving quickly or returning from death, the region will load in less than 3 seconds (at least this is what you encountered in the PS4 Pro). And another thing that I really liked is that every point of interest can be used as a quick navigation point. I've never found myself in the game carrying the worry of moving between regions. The way the world is designed is also exciting, as you can learn where important things are located through winds, smoke, birds, or even a tree with a distinctive color or surrounded by luminous insects. There are many things to collect and explore in the game, and the most important thing is that the exploration bonus is often satisfying. At first, I expected clothes to be just a form and decoration, but later I discovered that armor was distinguished by its capabilities. For example, backpacker clothing helps you unlock a larger portion of the blurry map on the move, while samurai armor gives you a stronger defense against enemy strikes, and so on.
Beautiful historical excursion
- The most prominent element of creativity in this game is how you present Japan in that period, and look at the problems related to social stratification and the conflict between adherents to ancient customs and traditions and those looking for a change.
- The fight with the Mongols is very bloody and full of terrifying stories, and the fighting system in the game has been beautifully presented. He enjoyed every moment I spent on the Mongols and avenged many of those who suffered both on Tsushima Island.
- The Ghost of Tsushima is a very beautiful artistic experience and an interesting adventure that holds many wonderful storylines and moments of excitement. Not to be missed, especially for those interested in Japanese culture and ancient samurai movies.