Ghost of Tsushima Game Review

Diana Mendoza, Staff Writer

Released on July 17, 2020, Ghost of Tsushima is an action-adventure game that features an open-world setting of 13th century Japan. This gorgeous but bloody revenge story has captured the hearts of gamers everywhere. It takes the culture and traditions that Samurais uphold and how it follows them strictly. This open-world survival game allows players to become this warrior who will do whatever it takes to protect the people of Tsushima and the land itself or go against the code of the samurai and strike from within the shadows as the ghost. You play as Jin Sakai, a young samurai brought up to be the honorable guardian of the people of Tsushima. Sakai is on a quest to rescue his uncle Lord Shimura, and protect the feudal island of Tsushima during the first Mongol Invasion of 13th century Japan in the year 1274. As one of the young lords of Tsushima, you are tasked to defend your land from the horde of invaders at the beginning of the story. 

          Seemingly killed and dishonored in the battle of Komoda Beach, Jin scarcely survived the massacre with the help of a woman who becomes your ally, Yuna. Jin vows to get revenge on the invaders and portrays himself as the Ghost, a warrior who returned from the dead to avenge his people, no matter what the cost may be.

          I enjoyed and admired the cinematography in this game, it’s really amazing what people can create with technology such as motion capture, this made the characters look realistic when speaking or interacting and just the animations of the characters as they moved throughout the game, I really had to applaud the developers for their hard work and you can tell so much went into the character designs and the graphics it really is amazing. I really can’t express enough how breathtakingly beautiful this game is, the experience was amazing. The diverse environments from the Pampas grass fields, the waterfalls to the bamboo forests, Ghost of Tsushima is incredibly pleasing to look at. It’s not just because of the incredible motion capture, facial animation, and effects but the art design itself is incredible. It also includes a black and white mode that gives the game a classic film vibe.

          Besides its amazing gameplay and visuals, this game also had an amazing soundtrack that really pulls you in. The soundtrack was made by Ilan Eshkeri and Shigeru Umebayashi which consists of twenty-one tracks. The soundtrack really brought out the calm, intense, and beautiful atmosphere this game had to offer. I really loved how the composer actually implemented Mongolian throat singing in the track, it just really gives the sense that the Mongols are testing Jin’s samurai code (Bushido).  The way you can hear the flute being played against it only for it to die down as Jin becomes the Ghost. The music throughout the game really just engages the player, especially when writing the haikus (poems), throughout the game, you find fifteen different locations where Jin sits down and writes a haiku reflecting on things such as fear, hope, and revenge. As the player picks out the options for the haiku, the singing that plays as you look around at the scenery really just brings you a sense of calm and clarity. It serves as a break from all the fighting and just really taking the time to observe your surroundings, it just adds to the experience.

          When compared to other games that also came out in 2020, I don’t mean to sound biased but I really believe Ghost of Tsushima is one of the best games that came out last year. If we take Cyberpunk 2077 for example, the game was highly anticipated by fans but in its release, unfortunately for those players with last generation consoles (PS4 and Xbox One) they were left unsatisfied with how poorly the game ran. On the other hand, even though I believe Ghost of Tsushima is a good game, I admit that the storyline did tend to feel slow at times, unlike the storyline in the game Doom Eternal which also came out that same year and was also highly praised by fans. Doom Eternal had a shorter story compared to Ghost of Tsushima as well as being a first-person shooter while Ghost of Tsushima is played from a third-person perspective, but its amazing fast-paced gameplay and its amazing soundtrack made Doom Eternal worth the while. 

          Ghost of Tsushima is more than just a game, it’s an amazing experience and it almost feels as if you are going through a movie. I really can’t express enough how much of an amazing experience playing this game is, I’ve literally never been this attached to a game before. It’s true art, this game is really just a masterpiece, it’s really well done from its beautiful scenery to its amazing soundtrack, the awesome combat, and its thrilling story. I really loved the characters; although the game did feel lengthy due to the number of side quests and separate stories I had to complete. As well as trying to find all the collectibles, I wish there could’ve been fewer of those but nonetheless, it was still fun. The game is also a Playstation 4 exclusive, rated M for mature audiences of ages 18 and up. I highly recommend for people to play it as it is absolutely worth every penny, you won’t regret it.