When I first saw footage of Ghost of Tsushima, the last big Playstation 4 title before the PS5 launches later this year, I was awestruck. An open world, Red Dead Redemption-style game but with cowboys replaced by Samurai in feudal Japan? I’m in, I thought.
I’ve played enough of the game to give a rounded opinion by now, and boy does it mesmerise you. Visually, this is the most beautiful game I’ve ever played. From golden Autumn leaves framing a temple, to cliff-sides looking on to the red rays of sunset streaming over the ocean, this is the creation of one beautiful world. You play as protagonist Jin, a Samurai warrior who has survived a deadly battle with Mongol invaders circa 1274.
Your mission is to save your captured uncle from the clutches of a Mongol warlord. You pick up combat skills and techniques as the game goes on, and the in-depth approach to this is very rewarding. The sword combat, like many elements of the game, makes you feel like you’re in an old Samurai film. The mechanics of the game and its two-button approach make it pretty easy to pick up. There’s even an option to change the action to black-and-white, named ‘Kurosawa Mode’ after the great director.
Some aspects are a little disappointing, such as the cut-and-paste design of some houses and environments, and approaches to missions that are nothing new for this type of game. But riding around its landscape is nothing short of enrapturing, and will provide you with hours of blissful entertainment.
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