Video Game Review: Ghost of Tsushima Sneaks Up As One Of Playstation’s Greatest Exclusives

Ghost Of Tsushima is available to play on PS4 and PS5.

Ghost Of Tsushima is available to play on PS4 and PS5.Image taken from

Blake Darmante, Broadcast Editor

Ghost of Tsushima treats gamers to a near perfect experience by letting them play how they want in a masterfully crafted open world. The main storyline follows Jin Sakai as he defends his island from Mongol invasion while also struggling to uphold his family name. Raised by the Bushido Code (“way of the warrior”) and his Uncle Lord Shimura, Jin was taught from a young age the importance of honor, courage, and loyalty. However, Jin soon discovers that these Samurai principles will never be enough to beat the Mongol’s and their ever-evolving tactics. As the story unfolds, players get the opportunity to see whether Jin continues down the path of the Samurai or betrays his code for the people of Tsushima. Having played through the main campaign once (currently doing it a second time), I can say that the writers did an excellent job. All of the characters and story elements were not only well-developed, but also  grew throughout the game which kept things feeling “fresh.” 

  Another aspect that kept the game “fresh” is that it plays like a samurai movie. More specifically, the game is modelled after the works of director Akira Kurosawa. Kurosawa is responsible for some of the most legendary samurai films of all time, including The Hidden Fortress (the movie that inspired George Lucas’ Star Wars), Throne of Blood, and Rashomon. Ghost of Tsushima pays tribute with the option of playing on a setting called Kurosawa mode, a monochrome filter with modified visuals and sound effects to mimic 1950s samurai movies.

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If Kurosawa’s black and white color scheme does not appeal to you, do not worry. Ghost of Tsushima’s graphics are beautiful no matter the settings. Simple aspects, like the way a tree sways in the breeze or how water trickles from a roof and falls to the ground, are the type of minor details that the creators choose to include. I particularly find that Ariake was my favorite region to look at with its yellow, leafy trees, running streams, and mountainous terrain. 

What I enjoyed more than the visuals, though, is Ghost of Tsushima’s combat mechanics and variety. With the exception of a few tedious missions, the game allows you to go about combat the way you please. If you like to run into danger and forgo stealth, you can handle situations like a samurai (that is, head on). If you choose to play like this, it will be essential that you master the games parry-counter system, max out your samurai skills, and kill as many Mongol leaders as early on as possible to acquire effective stances. If you do not prefer to be so aggressive in the way you go about the game’s combat, the game is called Ghost of Tsushima for a reason. There is no shortage of items or perks in your arsenal to allow you to be an effective silent assassin, a true Ghost. I found that the game was at its best when played with a stealthy approach, slowly eliminating all the Mongols in a large area, never once revealing my location, and then using an unnecessary amount of force on the last remaining Mongol just for the sheer fun of it. That is one of two main factors that made me feel like “The Ghost.”

The second factor that made me feel like “The Ghost” was the game’s difficulty setting known as “lethal.”  “Lethal” difficulty is rough time as a new player because every hit you take is capable of incapacitating your character. I often found myself dying after one hit from a blade or arrow and, more often than not, I was running around the battlefield in a desperate attempt to stay alive. After much trial and error, I eventually got better at playing lethal and realized that if I could beat the game on this setting, I really would be worthy of the title “Ghost of Tsushima.” Even though it may seem daunting, the satisfaction that comes with overcoming “lethal” difficulty is well worth the strife.

Ghost of Tsushima is the best game to be released on Playstation 4. It has a solid storyline with fantastic character development, high quality graphics, and the most variety in terms of how you get to go about gameplay. I cannot express how much I enjoyed this game. When I picked up other Playstation titles, I felt disappointed because they did not live up to my expectations or the hype presented by the media. On the other hand, Ghost of Tsushima has exceeded my expectations and set a new standard for future games released on this console. I would recommend buying Ghost of Tsushima because it is relatively cheap in the Playstation Store at a price varying from 35 to 60 dollars. At that great of a price, there is no reason to not pick up a copy yourself. 

If you wish to become “the Ghost” and kick some serious Mongol butt, all while immersed in the beauty that is Tsushima, this game is definitely worth playing.