The Playstation 4 has had a long but great run the past 7 or so years. With this generation of console coming to a close, of course, we need to end it on a high note and have a great exclusive for the sending off of the console. Ghost of Tsushima is the last major exclusive for the PlayStation 4.
With all the hype and excitement built up, the real question here is, is Ghost of Tsushima worth buying, or is it just another game to pass on.
The game is set on Tsushima Island in the late 13th century. Following the story of Jin Sakai as kind of a one-man army against the Mongol invasion and you end up exploring the island taking out enemy camps and freeing prisoners which actually brings me to the first thing I want to talk about which is the map design
The map design in the game was you know okay. The map is essentially split into the north and the south with other regions within those but basically those are the major parts of the map.
The south part of the map is a lot more interesting in my opinion and it actually flows really well Just riding on my horse I always found myself stopping to fight enemies making a roadblock or seeing a burning village and going in to help.
The map felt easier to navigate and explore, while the north part of the map which is unlocked a little later in the game just seemed less interesting. I did still enjoy that part of the map it just had me constantly going back to the south portion.
I wanna mention that the navigation system in this game is really unique and the way they handled it works so well.
If you don’t already know basically once you set a waypoint in the map or you have a mission to go somewhere, the wind will start to pick up and visually show you where to go.
You can also swipe on the touchpad on the ps4 controller to make the wind blow if it dies down. I thought this was really cool and It made finding the areas a lot more interesting.
So, to go hand in hand with the map design is the graphics in the game. I actually think these are different than other games and the reason why is because they aren’t exactly meant to be real to life.
What I mean is the game definitely has mythical type aspects to it and so the graphics have some of that too. Like the constant pollen flying around and the crazy amount of leaves or the colors are over-exaggerated and extremely saturated, but it all fits so well
This game looks really different from others and sets itself apart. I was really impressed with the amount of moving particles on my screen at once.
The leaves can all move if you step in them and in the grass fields every single piece of grass moves in the wind. It all looks amazing and makes it really fun exploring.
Now the graphics in the world are incredible and they give the game a unique feel and look, but the facial animations are straight out of a PS2 game.
It could be that I’m spoiled and hold every other game facial expressions to the ones in Last of Us 2, but just as it stands alone the facial expressions were just odd at times. It isn’t anything game-breaking and honestly you get past that easily but it’s worth mentioning.
Of Course, a major part of this game is the combat. I’ll say it straight out, the combat in this game is really fun. I mean, basically the best part of the game kind of fun.
When hearing you couldn’t lock onto enemies in the game, I got kind of worried that it would just be a confusing mess. It really works for this game. It doesn’t feel like dark souls but the more free form and lighter.
You are fast and agile and you really can try to go head-on first or take your time on the enemy.
The dodging and parrying mechanics felt great and I’ll be honest, the game really punishes you for missing or getting greedy. the game isn’t exactly hard but if you miss time or get greedy then you are probably going to die pretty fast.
You get a really great skill tree that you can upgrade as well as a lot of secondary throwables, that actually saved my life more times then I can remember.
- There are throwing star type things that would break an enemy or enemy’s defense bar so you can kill easily.
- Sticky bombs that would take down the bigger guys.
- There was also a smoke bomb that would allow you to either get away or hide in the smoke and get an easy takedown.
These throwables were so helpful and just added to the combat.
You also had the stances which you slowly unlocked by killing leaders around the map. This actually was the reason I explored the map a lot because I wanted to find places to liberate so I can get the other stances.
- The first is the Stone stance. this helps to break down the defense bar of enemies with swords.
- Then you have the Water stance which is good to use against enemies with shields.
- Wind stance which si good for enemies with spears.
- Finally, Moon stance is good against the large brute enemies.
I was constantly switching between these in combat and it made the combat so much more interesting and involving.
Now, there is also stealth in this game and I’ve heard a lot of people say the stealth was really bad but I actually think it added to the game.
Don’t come into the game and think this is going to be a super in-depth and complicated stealth mechanic. It is definitely, definitely on the easy side of things, but I think the game would be lesser without it.
basically, what I’m saying is the stealth is definitely easy and at times too easy but I think the game benefits from this having it then it takes away from the game.
It adds another option and sometimes I actually opted to use stealth because there were too many enemies. Also, I like how you see the conflict in Jin for using stealth. Using stealth and killing an enemy not face to face is dishonorable for a samurai but Jin is basically a one-man army and needs to use it to his benefit.
I say this a lot on the podcast and just in general that the main factor in a game that will have me recommending it, the story content.
I highly value a good story and if the game has one then I really want to take something away from that. Ghost of Tsushima has a decent story. The story is there to be a catalyst for you to experience the combat and what makes the game great.
I didn’t think too highly of the story and not that it was bad or upsetting, but just because it was kind of just there to be there.
Jin was interesting, but everyone else just kind of blurred together and no one really stood out, aside from JIN. Now the story isn’t horrible and it actually will probably work for the majority of people, but I just value a good story so high that this one was mediocre.
The premise was interesting and I think that’s the best part of the story, which is the really unique setting that is constant throughout. As for supporting characters and character building it didn’t really interest me too much.
Buy or Pass
This brings me to my final thoughts and if I think the game is worth buying or passing on. As of right now, the game is 60 dollars and that’s a lot for a game. Here is my honest opinion on the game, for me, I actually think I could’ve waited for a sale on this one. I could have played it and been happy with the combat, world, graphics, and setting. If you are looking for a great story, then you won’t find one here, but if you want an incredible combat experience that never gets old and a big open world to conquer and explore as a Samurai, then this is the game for you. Obviously, still 60 dollars, but I would say that aside from the 20 or so hour main story, the game has a ton of content. I’d say this is just what the pos4 needed as a send-off before the new console.