Ghost of Tsushima is a third-person open-world action-stealth video game developed by Sucker Punch Productions exclusively for the PlayStation 4. It takes place in 1274 on the island of Tsushima in Japan. The player controls the hero, Jin Sakai, as he fights back against a Mongol invasion. It was released on July 17, 2020.

A New Game+ mode was released alongside a free multiplayer expansion, Ghost of Tsushima: Legends, on October 16, 2020, in update 1.1. Free upgrades, including faster load times and framerates up to 60 frames per second (compared to 30 on PS4 and PS4 Pro), were made available to PlayStation 5 owners.[2]

Plot[edit | edit source]

This section requires expansion.

Ghost of Tsushima is a story-driven, action-adventure open world game with combat and stealth elements. An anthology of smaller side stories surrounds the main plot. It is loosely based on historical events and should not be considered an accurate re-telling of history - it's purely for entertainment purposes only.[3]

The year is 1274 CE on the island of Tsushima. Samurai warriors are the legendary defenders of Japan until the fearsome Mongol Empire invades, wreaking havoc and conquering Tsushima, defeating nearly all samurai stationed on Tsushima Island. As one of the last surviving samurai, Jin Sakai rises from the ashes to fight back with help from his allies, but the honorable tactics and code of the samurai won't lead to a possible victory over the Mongols. Jin must move beyond samurai traditions to forge a new way of fighting – the way of the Ghost – as he wages an unconventional war for the freedom of Japan.[4]

Features[edit | edit source]

  • A single player open world experience where players are encouraged to progress from location to location without guidance.
  • A progression system that includes learning various combat techniques, such as samurai tactics, stealth tactics and stances to help Jin fight a variety of different enemies.
  • The main story line branches off into multiple side quests that players can elect to pursue for additional skills, armor, weapons and experiences.
  • Experience dynamic weather and time of day.
  • Multiple difficulty settings, able to be adjusted at almost any time throughout the game.
  • Photo/Video mode with options for particle effects, wind speed and direction, and background soundtrack. (Press Right on the D-Pad).[5]
  • "Samurai Cinema": Japanese voice track option with subtitles (can be changed throughout the game)[5]
  • "Kurosawa Mode": Black-and-white windy film grain with Japanese voice track and reworked audio (can be changed throughout the game).[5]
  • Legends Multiplayer mode with unique story and survival mode and item progression system.

Languages[edit | edit source]

Ghost of Tsushima has full voice acting in either Japanese or English with multiple language options for subtitles. The English voice acting was recorded by Sucker Punch while the Japanese voice acting was overseen by SIE Japan Studio. Voice and subtitle languages can be changed throughout the game as players choose.[6]

  • English - Voice Acting
  • Japanese - Voice Acting with English subtitles

Development[edit | edit source]

Ghost of Tsushima was initially revealed at Paris Games Week on October 30, 2017 by Sucker Punch Productions.[7] Its gameplay was first revealed at E3 2018.[8] Ghost of Tsushima was originally set to release on June 26, 2020,[9] however this was pushed to July 17, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[1] The game went gold on June 22, 2020.[10]

Inspiration[edit | edit source]

Game director Nate Fox of Sucker Punch said:

The game is a love letter to the samurai genre, [...] While working on the Sly Cooper series, I was writing the dialogue for these anthropomorphized animals and, kind of as a point of inspiration, I was reading this comic called Usagi Yojimbo. [...] It's this great comic where the samurai main character wanders the landscape and he's this very quiet, soft-spoken person who uses his sword in a snap to solve problems in any town he walks into. And I remember reading it and at the time thinking, man, this would be a great video game.[11]

After finishing Infamous: First Light, Nate Fox says they were already thinking about their next project:

When we started talking about making an open-world samurai game, I remembered reading those comics -  and of course watching classic samurai movies - and thinking this is really a good marriage with the freedom of being in an open world. And when you think about an open world you'd want to explore, feudal Japan is like number one.[11]

He continues:

I would say the number one inspiration for the title was Red Dead Redemption -- not Red Dead 2, but Red Dead Redemption -- because they did such a fantastic job bringing the fantasy of being an outlaw cowboy to life.[12]

Another inspiration was:

Yojimbo by Akira Kurosawa, where it's this perfect, almost like a western, where a samurai walks into town and uses the edge of his sword to solve a problem, guile. And that seemed like the kind of thing you could replicate inside a game world, very meaningful."[11]

Authenticity[edit | edit source]

Nate Fox said:

We wanted to make the world feel authentic. And, because we're an American developer, we knew we wouldn't succeed at that just by ourselves, so we reached out to experts in different fields to help guide us in how to do things correctly from architectural standards to how people would move in the time or how clothes were created at the time. [...] Certainly we want to do the best job we can knowing that we are a bunch of Americans, but it's really handy being a member of Sony, where we have other studios we can ask for help from or guidance, [...] And working with these other teams, people, and even Japan Studios who guided us on our first research trip to Tsushima Island and helped with field recordings of audio. It's come together to have that feeling that will transport you to feudal Japan.[11]

Regarding the combat Fox explained:

Samurai movies feature these really intense, deadly battles. And for us, the three words that guide our combat are mud, blood, and steel. We want to make it grounded. We want to make it visceral. And it is a challenging space. As soon as we decided that we wanted to honor the lethality of swords – one swipe, two swipes, you're dead. And that's you killing others, and that's others killing you. The game came alive as a samurai game. The challenge was there. The threat of death was there.[11]

Release[edit | edit source]

Reception[edit | edit source]

Aggregator Score
Metacritic 84/100 [13]
Publication Score
Destructoid 9.5/10 [14]
Famitsu 40/40 [15]
Game Informer 9.5/10 [16]
GamesRadar 4.5/5 [17]
GameSpot 7/10 [18]
IGN 9/10 [19]
PlayStation Universe 9/10 [20]
Push Square 9/10 [21]

The review embargo for Ghost of Tsushima was lifted on July 14, 2020, 7 AM PDT, approximately three days before the game's release.[22] Ghost of Tsushima received very positive reviews, with praise directed towards its combat and art design. IGN's Mitchell Saltzman said that "Ghost of Tsushima is an excellent action game and its open world is one of the most gorgeous yet."[19] Game Informer's Matt Miller praised the gameplay, saying that "Ghost of Tsushima is the open-world action formula at its most mature and rewarding [...] deep, rewarding, and hard to put down.".[16] John-Paul Jones of PlayStation Universe said that "Ghost of Tsushima undoubtedly remains not only one of the best open world romps money can buy and a stunning PlayStation 4 exclusive, but also Sucker Punch Productions finest effort to date."[20] Additionally, Ghost of Tsushima was the third western game to ever receive a Famitsu perfect score of 40/40.[23]

Criticisms were directed at the game's open-world nature, with Polygon's Carolyn Petit saying that "The core game underneath that alluring exterior is a pastiche of open-world game design standards from five years ago; it lacks a real personality of its own."[24] Eurogamer's Chris Tapsell said, "Limited by a rote and rigid world, Sucker Punch's samurai homage pairs okay action with enjoyably committed, if awkwardly fawning melodrama."[25] Digital Foundry's John Linneman praised Ghost of Tsushima as "Sucker Punch's best release yet" but said that "compared to the standards set by Sony's remarkable run of first-party hits, it doesn't quite feel like the finished article."[26]

Sales[edit | edit source]

Worldwide, the game sold more than 2.4 million units in its first 3 days of sales, making it Sony's fastest selling original IP debut.[27] Also, after only three weeks of sales, Ghost of Tsushima achieved the highest lifetime sales for a PS4 first-party game in Japan, surpassing Marvel's Spider-Man.[28]

In November 2020, New York Times reported that Ghost of Tsushima had sold over 5 million copies since its release, and Hermen Hulst, head of PlayStation Worldwide Studios, confirmed that it was also the fastest-selling first-party original PS4 game.[29][30]

Technical performance[edit | edit source]

This section requires expansion.

Ghost of Tsushima runs at 1080p resolution with a 30 frames-per-second cap on the base, non-Pro, PlayStation 4. On PlayStation 4 Pro, there are two options for the user: Higher Resolution and Better Framerate. While both modes still have a 30 frames-per-second cap, Higher Resolution renders the game at 1800p and then checkerboards it to a 2160p display, or supersamples it to a 1080p display; Better Framerate renders the game at 1080p without any checkerboard rendering.[31]

On PlayStation 5, Ghost of Tsushima runs in backwards compatibility mode with a 60 frames-per-second cap and faster load times.[32]

Awards[edit | edit source]

Ghost of Tsushima was nominated for many awards, including five nominations in the Golden Joystick 2020 awards, with Sucker Punch receiving a Studio of the Year nomination.

Year Award Category Result
2018 Game Critics Awards Special Commendation for Graphics Won[33][note 2]
2020 Golden Joystick Awards[34][35] PlayStation Game of the Year Nominated
Best Audio Nominated
Best Storytelling Nominated
Best Visual Design Nominated
Studio of the Year (Sucker Punch Productions) Nominated
2020 The Game Awards 2020[36] Game of the Year Nominated
Best Game Direction Nominated
Best Narrative Nominated
Best Art Direction Won
Best Audio Design Nominated
Best Performance (Daisuke Tsuji as Jin Sakai) Nominated
Best Action/Adventure Game Nominated
Player's Voice Won
2020 PlayStation.Blog [37][38][note 3] Best Narrative Gold
Best Accessibility Features Gold
Best Graphical Showcase Gold
Best Art Direction Platinum
Best Soundtrack Gold
Best Sound Design Gold
Best Multiplayer (Legends) Bronze
Best New Character (Jin Sakai) Gold
Gaming Moment of the Year (Horseback title sequence) Gold
PS4 Game of the Year Gold
2020 IGN [39] Game of the Year Nominated
Best PlayStation Exclusive Nominated
Best Action-Adventure Nominated
Best Video Game Art Design Won
2020 GameSpot [40] Best Game of 2020 Nominated
Best PlayStation Game of 2020 Won[note 4]

Edition Variants[edit | edit source]

Ghost of Tsushima had pre-order bonuses associated with the various digital and launch editions of the game:[4]

Standard Edition[edit | edit source]

The standard edition was the digital version of the game and retailed for US$59.99. It included the following pre-order bonuses:

  • Digital mini soundtrack
  • Jin Sakai Dynamic Theme[41]
  • Jin PlayStation Avatar

Standard Launch Edition[edit | edit source]

GoT Launch Edition transparent.png

The launch edition was the physical version of the game and retailed at US$59.99. The cover of the physical game disc is reversible and features the Ghost mask, and includes the pre-order bonuses that the standard digital edition has.[42]

Digital Deluxe Edition[edit | edit source]

GoT Digital Deluxe Edition.jpg

The Digital Deluxe Edition retailed for US$69.99 / $89.99 CAD and included the following:

  • Digital version of Ghost of Tsushima
  • Digital mini art book by Dark Horse Comics
  • Digital mini soundtrack
  • Director's commentary
  • Jin Sakai Dynamic Theme[41]
  • Samurai PS4 dynamic theme[43]
  • Jin PlayStation Avatar
  • Hero of Tsushima Vanity Gear: Armor (includes helmet, white headband, mask, and body armor), Sword Kit (skin), Horse and Saddle skin
  • In-game items: 1 Technique Point and Charm of Hachiman's Favor (available after players gains control of Jin)

Special Edition[edit | edit source]

GoT Special Edition.jpg

The Special Edition retailed for US$69.99 / $89.99 CAD MSRP and included the following:

  • Ghost of Tsushima steelbook, including the game disc

Digital items include:

  • Digital mini art book by Dark Horse Comics
  • Digital mini soundtrack
  • Director's commentary
  • Jin Sakai Dynamic Theme[41]
  • Jin PlayStation Avatar
  • Hero of Tsushima skin set, including golden mask, and sword kit
  • In-game items: 1 Technique Point, Charm of Hachiman's favor (obtainable via story progression)

Collector's Edition[edit | edit source]

GoT Collectors Edition.png

The Collector's Edition retailed for US$169.99 / $219.99 CAD MSRP and included the following:

  • Ghost of Tsushima steelbook, including the game disc
  • Cloth map of island of Tsushima
  • Sashimono war banner
  • Furoshiki wrapping cloth
  • Sakai mask and stand made of polyresin
  • 48-page mini art book by Dark Horse Comics

Digital items include:

  • Digital mini soundtrack
  • Director's commentary
  • Jin Sakai Dynamic Theme[41]
  • Samurai PS4 dynamic theme[43]
  • Jin PlayStation Avatar
  • Hero of Tsushima skin set, including golden mask, body armor, sword kit, horse and saddle (obtainable via story progression)
  • In-game items: 1 Technique Point, Charm of Hachiman's favor (obtainable via story progression)

Digital Deluxe Upgrade[edit | edit source]

A digital deluxe upgrade was released shortly after launch, primarily for those who already owned the standard edition of Ghost of Tsushima. It retails for $10.99 USD on the PlayStation Store and includes the following[44]:

  • 1 Technique Point
  • Charm of Hachiman’s Favor
  • Hero of Tsushima Skin Set: Golden Mask, Body Armor, Sword Kit, Horse, Saddle
  • Digital Mini Art Book by Dark Horse
  • Director’s commentary
  • Ghost of Tsushima Samurai Theme

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Images[edit | edit source]

Concept art[edit | edit source]

Videos[edit | edit source]

References and notes[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 PlayStation Blog. Release Date Updates For The Last of Us Part II, Ghost of Tsushima
  2. Tweet from Sucker Punch Productions on PS5 launch
  3. PlayStation Blog. Ghost of Tsushima: Your questions answered
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ghost of Tsushima game page
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 PlayStation US YouTube channel. Ghost of Tsushima - State of Play
  6. USGamer. How the Studio Behind The Last Guardian Helped Ghost of Tsushima Find Its Direction
  7. PlayStation Blog. Ghost of Tsushima, Sucker Punch's New Project, Revealed at Paris Games Week
  8. PlayStation Blog. Mud, Blood, and Steel: Ghost of Tsushima Gameplay Debut
  9. PlayStation Blog. Ghost of Tsushima Out June 26: Collector's & Digital Deluxe Editions Detailed
  10. Twitter. Gone Gold tweet by Sucker Punch Productions
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 GamesRadar. Ghost of Tsushima's samurai rabbit roots, fox petting, and commitment to authenticity
  12. LADbible. 'Ghost Of Tsushima' Director Says 'Red Dead Redemption' Was Huge Inspiration
  13. Metacritic
  14. Destructoid review
  15. Famitsu score
  16. 16.0 16.1 Game Informer review
  17. GamesRadar review
  18. GameSpot review
  19. 19.0 19.1 IGN review
  20. 20.0 20.1 PlayStation Universe review
  21. Push Square review
  22. Ghost of Tsushima Reviews Go Live Soon--Here's When
  23. Ghost of Tsushima Is the Third Western Game to Earn a Famitsu Perfect Score
  24. Polygon review
  25. Eurogamer review
  26. Digital Foundry tech review
  27. Ghost Of Tsushima Is The PS4's Fastest-Selling New IP on GameSpot
  28. Media Create Sales: Week 32, 2020 (Aug 03 - Aug 09) on ResetEra, translated from the Famitsu database
  29. "PlayStation 5: The Next Step in Sony’s Rebound", New York Times
  30. Tweet from Hermen Hulst
  31. Ghost of Tsushima: PS4 vs PS4 Pro Comparison + Performance Testing! from Digital Foundry
  32. Ghost of Tsushima: PS5 vs PS4 Pro - The 60fps Difference! from Digital Foundry
  33. Game Critics Awards 2018 winners
  34. Golden Joystick 2020 nominees
  35. Golden Joystick 2020 winners
  36. Washington Post: Here are the nominees for The Game Awards 2020
  37. PlayStation.Blog: PlayStation.Blog Game of the Year polls are live
  38. PlayStation.Blog: PlayStation.Blog 2020 Game of the Year: The winners
  39. IGN's Game of the Year 2020
  40. GameSpot's Best Games of 2020
  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 41.3 Twitter. Jin Dynamic Theme tweet by Sucker Punch Productions
  42. Twitter. Reversible cover tweet by Sucker Punch Productions
  43. 43.0 43.1 Twitter. Samurai Dynamic Theme tweet by Sucker Punch Productions
  44. PlayStation Store listing for Ghost of Tsushima Digital Deluxe Upgrade

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. PlayStation 5 via backwards compatibility
  2. Also awarded to Cyberpunk 2077 and The Last of Us: Part II.
  3. PlayStation.Blog ranks the nominees of each category in the order of "Platinum", "Gold", "Silver", and "Bronze".
  4. Also awarded to The Last of Us: Part II, Final Fantasy VII: Remake, Persona 5 Royal, Demon's Souls.
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