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Ghost of Tsushima - New Sucker Punch IP


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I just always kill the archers first, either with my own arrow and slow-mo, or I just bomb it up to them and they drop quickly. The way they always shout before firing makes it easy to stop for a second and block/dodge so they don't hit you on the way. 

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And that's me done... and with the Platinum Trophy to boot. :)

 

I clocked in at 67 hours and while I didn't wish it away at the end, I'm kind of glad it didn't ask more of my time as I felt sort of done.

 

Overall I really really enjoyed it. I found the character stories varied and decent enough, and the performances felt very much part of the setting (I know some people have criticised them but I can't see much wrong there). The combat and stealth mechanics were varied, easy to use but fun to master and always pretty satisfying throughout. I also can't overstate how flipping amazing parts of this game look, I'm not sure I've seen anything consistently beautiful over such a large game world previously and Sucker Punch really should give themselves a pat on the back for that if nothing else.

 

On the more negative side I understand - but don't totally agree with - the Ubisoft comparisons, and I think an 'AC: Shogun' would definitely overlap a lot with this game. However I found the entire experience more satisfying than most, if not all, the games from the Ubi stable and even the 'busywork' elements usually just allowed me to seek out more of the gorgeous world to explore (and provide new photo mode opportunities to exploit). However I do wish they gave you a more generous 'fog of war' uncovering radius as the few times I had to ride backwards and forwards in zig zags to uncover areas did grind me in places.

 

Overall very very happy though. It perhaps didn't capture me quite as much as Horizon which I finished earlier in the year, but still a solid placement in my PS4 gen game recommendations list.

 

Quote

Vast beautiful land
Savages roam unhindered
Death by ghostly blade

   -- Reflect on game

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 02/06/2021 at 23:53, Monkeyspill said:

I’m enjoying this despite the Ubisoft style stodge, maybe even because of it to some extent as it’s years since I’ve played one of those games. I have a few niggles/frustrations though:

 

1. The camera is a bit shit. I often get bits of scenery between myself and the camera during fights (so I can’t see what’s going on). I’ve even had this happen in one standoff, making it unwinnable.

 

2. Escort missions with enemies that make a beeline for the escortee.

 

3. The archers (not “The Archers” before someone makes a joke) are just annoying. Even if you can block the arrows, it really breaks up the combat and you seem to get hit by an arrow every time you try to parry someone.

 

I’m sticking with it as the rest is enjoyable, and it’s also mindless and easy enough for me to play after work without having to concentrate much.

Yeah can't do anything about 1 or 2 but for 3 I tend to make archers a first priority. The slow down archery mode is mad over powered and archers very rarely have any protection so just whack a few arrows in their heads and then do a big stupid circle mopping up the others before you start fighting the swordy lads. It might not look like the most Kurosawa thing you've ever seen but it's pretty effective. 

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I finished this last night. Overall I enjoyed most of it but at the same time it felt like such a missed opportunity.

 

Half of the game is really excellent – that being the graphics, most of the combat, and the atmosphere – but the remainder just feels like a missed opportunity.

 

For me, the biggest issue the game has is its open world. There are two types of open world, the completely open one such as Grand Theft Auto or Far Cry, and then the hub with branches in each direction such as Ocarina of Time and God of War 2018. Both offer freedom and choice to the player but each are more suited to types of game and I think the second type would have suited this one much better. This type allows games to control the pacing much better and offers far more opportunity for interesting set pieces like ambushes, unique enemy set ups, strategically interesting environments. It can also offer split paths which are a much better way of rewarding the player than question marks on a map. It wouldn’t stop the game having bases to liberate which are its strongest parts – these could be included either on branches or in the central hub – and it wouldn’t stop you having somewhere to ride your horse and take in the scenery at your own pace if that’s your bag.

 

The next biggest issue is how linear the storyline missions are. Considering that the game has built systems that allow different approaches when taking on out-of-mission camps and bases, the fact that it throws these out the window during story missions is really annoying. It gives you the tools, and armour options, to take a stealthy or a head on approach, but then dictates which approach you need to take at any given moment. The worst offenders are the missions which demand that you can’t be seen. The stealth in these sections is so arbitrary and dull, and often makes no sense when you’re in a base with far less men than you’ve just slaughtered in a nearby base. Let me play the game how I want to. There are multiple sections where if you don’t follow exactly what the game wants you to do then it forces a checkpoint restart. In one particularly stupid bit, my character was hit by a poison dart in a set piece, and I got thrown back to the last checkpoint because I didn’t fall to the ground unconscious in the right place. Baffling. The irony about these missions taking place in an open world is that they offer far less freedom than many games which don’t.

 

I really am so split on it. They were just a few design decisions from making a true classic, here. It didn’t stop me finishing and enjoying it for the most part, though, mainly because the combat is so fucking cool and fun. Standing still or moving very slowly as you perfectly parry, block and counter attacks whilst being surrounded by enemies is incredible. I wanted to skip most of the cutscenes towards the end (did anyone not see that ending coming from about 3 hours in?) but I still had a whale of a time.

 

Impossible to put a number to/10

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  • 2 weeks later...

And done. 50 hours on the clock. It's a bit of a weird one for me...

 

I obviously enjoyed Ghost of Tsushima enough to play it for 50 hours. But I think there's an absolute classic of a 25-30 hour game in there topped up and filled to the brim with uninteresting bloat that meant I could never say I loved it. Weirdly, given how nonplussed I was by it in the game's first few hours, I think the story was the main thing that kept me going throughout. It's full of really brilliantly drawn characters, all who have their own flaws and arcs across the game's three acts. Jin in particular was someone who I started completely bored by and ended up really loving. His own battle with being honourable and saving his people tied in with the game in a way that annoyed me slightly at first (don't have a go at me for doing the fun stuff) but won me over by the end as Jin's own attitude develops. And it's nice that the game avoided the Naughty Dog trope of forcing you through a linear story and actually gave you (admittedly very few) choices you could make as Jin in which both outcomes felt true to the character. It wasn't doing anything particularly new but there were a few surprises in there and yeah, I really loved Ghost of Tsushima's story. 

 

The issue comes with the side plots. All of which I thought were good stories about fun, diverse characters. The problem is most of them were nine missions long. You spent an absolute age tracking down an archer to tell a story that could have been told in three and been really interesting/impactful. I liked how they changed location with you as the game went on but I think one side mission per act would have lead to a much more memorable experience with a better spread of gameplay types than 3x9 go here, kill Mongols, realise the person you're after is somewhere else missions. 

 

And then there's the world. It's beautiful, obviously. And I like how certain areas are so visually distinct so that you can normally kind of tell where you are just by look of the place. But, and I think Red Dead 2 has kind of ruined open worlds for me in a big way, it was all a bit paper thin for me. For all its visual beauty the only thing you really find by exploring is side missions and materials. As I've said, the game already had too many identikit side missions, so the former wasn't interesting to me. I want to either find interesting gameplay when I explore a la Breath of the Wild, or fun stories a la Red Dead. This fell more into the Assassin's Creed mould of having about five different "things" copy and pasted across the map which just lead to me getting bored of those things. I miss that feeling of stumbling on characters living their lives you got from Red Dead. This was all just Fox Den's and Haiku and I'd seen all of that in the first five hours. 

 

So yeah, a lot of that seems negative but I liked the game overall! The combat's fun, the stealth feels really good, and there's loads of toys to play with if you want a Samurai Batman simulator. The idea of a Miles Morales style spinoff sounds great to me; 15-20 hours of samurai action that doesn't outstay its welcome. Hopefully they iterate and make the world a bit more interesting but either way I'm interested to see what they do with The Ghost going forward!

 

It's a 7/10 for me, Clive. 

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So am I as well buying the PS4  version second hand for cheaperas it had a free upgrade? 

 

Been wanting to play the game but waiting for a price drop.

 

Not willing to pay £70 for any game let alone PS4 game. 

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It’s not a game that I particularly feel needs an upgrade, it looks amazing anyway but I’ll pick it up in a sale sometime to play Iki Island. Before that I need to finish GoT, finish HZD, play HFW, finish LOU2 and play GoW, so no rush lol.

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3 minutes ago, scoobysi said:

It’s not a game that I particularly feel needs an upgrade, it looks amazing anyway but I’ll pick it up in a sale sometime to play Iki Island. Before that I need to finish GoT, finish HZD, play HFW, finish LOU2 and play GoW, so no rush lol.

 

That's how I'm feeling. No rush. This is the only game I'm interested in playing on PS5. And probably the only game for a year or so as everything is delayed. 

 

Will wait for deep sale, plenty old and new to play via gamepass anyway. 

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12 minutes ago, scoobysi said:


Yep, they’re upping the resolution this time.

 

The res currently is 1800p and upwards at 60fps from what I have read. 

 

This "update" says "up to 4k". So maybe it's similar? 

 

This is shitty as fuck. But I'm not surprised. 

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The PS4 game held its value very well so it’s a shame they didn’t offer the PS5 upgrade for free, I think that would have encouraged more people to then buy the DLC too. On the plus side they did patch the PS4 version to allow 60fps which they could easily have not bothered doing knowing this update was coming along.

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We're so used to getting free crossgen updates at this point, that it's a bad look when a big game like this tries to wring every last penny from its existing customers. They could've easily just charged for the expansion and offered the upgrade for free.

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51 minutes ago, Mr. Gerbik said:

We're so used to getting free crossgen updates at this point, that it's a bad look when a big game like this tries to wring every last penny from its existing customers. They could've easily just charged for the expansion and offered the upgrade for free.

 

I agree. This penny-pinching is an exceedingly bad look for a company that's doing well, selling shit tons of PS5s, issuing press releases about how much money they're making off us and into a marketplace where a broad expectation of free (or at worst, low cost) next gen updates has been set. As far as I can tell, the only way to get the next gen update for this is to also buy the expansion, which means £30. That's not trivial! Between this and the Greedfall one and the FFVII Remake one, it's leaving a nasty taste in the mouth.

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