After the review embargo was lifted for “Ghost of Tsushima,” I was CAPTIVATED. Glowing reviews and a completely OPEN WORLD? No mini map? Little foxes to escort you to secret locations??? I was on my way to the ATM.
Only problem was I didn’t have my very own PlayStation. I needed a second one for my house so it could be solely mine. Retailers haven’t seen consoles in their stores for more than five minutes since COVID hit. So I met a strange man in a Lowe’s parking lot for that PS4 Pro and it might have been worth risking my life. I handed him $500 in cash and straight up gave away the free copy of “The Last of Us 2” to a friend. More to come on that. Pls don’t be mad.
First Hour Impression:
Who gives a fuck about taking an arrow to the knee? My boy Jin took two to the back and he’s still very much kickin’ it. Yuna is a bad bitch. Her introduction was incredible and I can’t wait to learn more about her. This game is absolutely beautiful. Wow. The flashbacks? Chef kiss. I’m in!
First Four Hour Impression:
The exposition and storytelling dynamic in “Ghost of Tsushima” is amazing. The cinematics are beautiful. I can see the pores on everyone’s faces. What I really love so far about this is that I keep thinking I’m fucking up, but the game still goes on! The flashbacks continue to bring more exposition in a relevant way. Not to mention that the soundtrack is BOMB AF.
The weather creates ambiance sometimes perfectly for the specific quest you’re on. I knew the graphics were undeniably great when I watched Jin’s uncle’s nose FLARE and his eyes twitch as he tries to hold back tears. The devs truly captured small human intricacies that make “Ghost of Tsushima” feel so real. I am Jin. We are Jin. The wind made me cry after that one cut scene. It was incredibly emotional for me and this is where the story really gripped me.
First Eight Hour Impression:
My favorite thing so far is the frustrated sighs Jin makes as I detour ALL ACROSS THE ISLAND. Your uncle can wait. I see a burning village.
I spent about an hour in photo mode as well. Holy shit. You can change the weather, the saturation, the focus, anything. You can even play music to accompany your shot. There are adorable foxes that SCREECH at you until you visit their shrines. There are a million side quests and hundreds of screaming civilians in the woods being mowed down by bandits and mongols. Everyone needs your help. There are motherfucking Haikus.
This game has it all. The storytelling is unique and innovative and it keeps you invested. The other thing I really love about this game is that you can move at your own pace. But like, why does Jin open and close doors so fucking fast? It stresses me out. IT SHOULD ALSO BE ILLEGAL TO STRIKE YOUR OWN HORSE.
So far this game has really impressed me. It’s unique and stunning in its ability to carry a plot forward as well as keeping the player engaged. “Ghost of Tsushima” takes its time teaching us the art and code of the Samurai and the attention to detail is apparent in this game.
This game no doubt will be up for Game of the Year. This may come as a refreshing change from last year’s winner, Sekiro, that not only almost destroyed my marriage but probably many others as well. This game is far less difficult to play but still boasts a solid storyline with a gorgeous setting.
Final thoughts much, much later:
I can say confidently that raiding Mongol camps never gets boring. Every story you follow comes with a creative narrative and striking scenery. This game really does not hold back, whether it comes to graphics or jaw dropping plot twists, you will be in it for the long run. “Ghost of Tsushima” will give every other game this year a run for Game of the Year WITHOUT A DOUBT. I’m happy I finally took the chance on a Sony exclusive because I was left more than satisfied.
Here is what I wish there was:
If you’re going to go balls out for a GOTY open world RPG, then do it. Bethesda and Obsidian continue to pump out fully lootable and interactable open world games. So why bring your wiffle ball bat to an actual baseball game? Don’t get me wrong. This game is STUNNING. It’s fucking gorgeous. Everything about the story and the world is beautiful. I would love to interact with more people and run into more scenes that tell a story.
My only other gripe is small as well. The fighting mechanics are basically ripped from “Arkham” and “Spider-Man,” alone with heightened hearing. When I ride my horse I also get “Assassin’s Creed” and “Red Dead” vibes. Just sayin’. BUT, in conclusion…
9.2/10 and I wrote a haiku for you too 🙂
Wow fucking gorgeous
Screaming foxes and mom birds
Your dad is the wind