Tsushima is a beautiful place and a wonder to experience. Gamers love a great fighting game – especially a martial art one. In the past few years, titles like Team Ninja’s Nioh (2017), Nioh 2 (2019), and Activision’s Sekiro (2019) pushed the concept of what I would like to call “action RPGs”; action games with a solid story, better known in the gaming world as “action-adventure” games. It was not that long ago, when action games were more about high scores and specialty weapons. With the growing desire for gameplay complexity, game developers are intertwining story, gameplay – and more – as they create new experience gamers. Ghost of Tsushima is a must. An action-adventure game developed by Sucker Punch Productions (best known for the Sly Cooper series (2002 – 2013), Infamous (2009 – 2014) and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for PlayStation 4, Ghost of Tsushima is a kick-ass game with refined in its deliverance of story, cinematography, and open-world exploration.
Ghost of Tsushima starts, with an epic battle. In the late 13th century, the Mongol empire has laid waste to entire nations along their campaign to conquer the East. Tsushima Island is all that stands between mainland Japan and a massive Mongol invasion fleet led by the ruthless and cunning general, Khotun Khan – a descendant of Genghis Khan. As the island burns in the wake of the first wave of the Mongol assault, samurai warrior Jin Sakai stands as one of the last surviving members of his clan. He is resolved to do whatever it takes, at any cost, to protect his people and reclaim his home. He must set aside the traditions that have shaped him as a warrior to forge a new path, the path of the Ghost, and wage an unconventional war for the freedom of Tsushima. EPIC!
If you are like me, you enjoy martial art movies; the fighting, special effects, and unforgettable characters. Ghost of Tsushima’s cinematography enhances playability and scene-intensity of the story. Reminiscent of movies like Crouching Tiger, House of Flying Daggers, and Kill Bill the game abounds with cinematic superiority. Cinematic bars dance across the scream, cementing highlights of Jin’s duels, and memorable moments; riddled with saturated color and contrast.
Complementing great camera angles and the story of Tsushima is the open-world exploration. The world of Tsushima is beautiful and full of radiant flora (plants), subtle rivers. The fauna (animals) are simple, but the foxes and golden birds guide you to beautiful and quaint spaces for haiku meditation and leveling up. The wind guides your navigation, as the weather patterns change with Jin’s increase done the path of ghost – kinda cool right?
Jin’s story is one of nationalism and family. Tsushima is to be enjoyed and not rushed. With a compelling story, mind-blowing visuals, and a world to get enjoyably lost (and found) in, consider Ghost of Tsushima if you want a memorable, epic tale – happy fighting.
Shawn is a contributing writer for Dog Bark Media. He is a gamer and game design student out of Washington, D.C. His work has been published in Black Dance Magazine, and Ngoma Reader Magazine. His formal education includes programs at Howard University, Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the University of Liverpool.