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Ghost of Tsushima - Releases July 17th, 2020


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5 hours ago, Mark E said:

Well deserved. I love exploring the hell out of this world.

 

Wish I had more time with it, but what I do get is very satisfying.

 

Yeah this is feeling like a Witcher 3 thing for me. I think that game took me a year to work through. And that's just fine with me.

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Did this get posted? Good interview by Criterion with a couple of devs on the cinematic influences on the game.  https://www.criterion.com/current/posts/7102-all-in-the-game-an-interactive-homage-to-

It's almost like my post went into a Lovecraftian hole in space along with all of the details of the patch that I posted. Scroll up, Jeff.

I don't usually mess around with photo modes in games... but this game is too pretty!      

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I'm very deep into the game. I'm technically "only" still in ACT 1 but its because I've been caught up in doing all of the side content. A few random observations after spending probably close to 20 hours with the game already:

 

1. The combat is really damned fun to play with. I have caveats here I will mention in another point but overall, once you unlock all four stances and Jin's "Ghost" weapons along with getting a better sense of the enemy types it throws at you, there is plenty of depth to play around with. It's a bit daunting at first but soon you will be swapping stances to deal with shield, spear and brute enemies like its second nature. Once you unlock the various abilities that allow you to parry unblockable attacks, you become quite the combo machine, too.  It's very much a fun chess match of understanding how best to eliminate your foes.

 

2. The caveat is that the game is really not well balanced at all. It's very easy to break the difficulty curve. If the expectation is that you're just supposed to follow the story to maintain a semblance of challenge? Well, ok but then don't give me so much other stuff to do so early on in the game that rewards me so heavily. What I mean is that by this point, I'm at the end of Act I and playing on the hardest difficulty and I am so completely overpowered that the encounters are starting to lose their luster a bit. Most of my armor is near max. Both my swords are close to max so even the toughest "duels" are kind of non-issues.
 

Yeah you can go ahead and blame me for taking advantage of the breath of content available but my response would be that it's not my job to balance the difficulty in an open world game that says "its your world, go live in it". The game is still compelling and I've heard that there is a difficulty boost in Act II but right now, my version of Jin laughs at all challengers. Maybe that's on purpose? The game *is* trying to sell a bit of a power trip, afterall but as an experience I'm finding this to be my biggest criticism.

 

3. Live in the world you shall because its really damned beautiful. It seriously has one of the most interesting atmospheres I've encountered in this type of game. It's perfectly fine with just letting you soak it in without consistent "noise" as it were. One of the byproducts is that its very easy to get "zen" about exploring. I mean strip away the unique setting and some of its unique structures (like the wind guidance system) and you are absolutely left with a game that conforms to your typical open world tropes. Go to this icon on on the map, do this task, rinse and repeat. However, it would be reductive to remove the unique structure this game brings to the table to hide the overall repetitiveness you would normally see. Yes, its still there and eventually its going to set in but much of what you're doing is very story driven in those side missions so its still very compelling and because of the stillness of its world (metaphorically not visually lol), its easy to get lost in it. Its a better game than Days Gone in that regard if you want a comparison point.

 

4. I will never, ever tire of stand-offs. That shit is amazing.:D 

 

5. Despite the story driven nature of the content, some of it does make me groan from time to time. Again, there's plenty of tailing missions with instant fail states though they are less restrictive than the stuff in the early Assassin's Creed games. It also falls prey to the Witcher 3 mistake of following too many damned foot steps in the ground too often for its own good. I think that's just a general criticism we can apply to most modern open world games at this point but I don't think Ghost should be above that type of criticism. It's very much a modern open world game and well I'm gonna call a spade a spade. Thankfully, the uniqueness of its setting and its amazing combat makes it pretty easy to forgive that. The fact that I don't play these types of games often anymore also makes my tolerance of these issues higher. If I had spent a hundred hours of my time in say Assassin's Creed Odyssey recently? I probably would be far less forgiving but then that's why I don't play those games anymore.

 

Prior to release, Ghost appealed to me in a way that Days Gone never did so I always expected to buy it. Primarily because of its setting and subject matter. I bought Days Gone on a whim despite my worries about how it turned out and ended up with surprisingly fun open world game that overstayed its welcome in many ways but had a unique enough hook with its zombie hordes and an interesting enough story to keep me compelled throughout its 70+ hours. Ghost is a better game thus far. I think its Sucker Punch's best work to date though I have a serious place in my heart for Infamous 2 on the PS3. This is still a better game despite my own bias though. I am eager to jump back into its rolling hills and ethereal atmosphere and its wonderful how fresh it feels to play as a bad ass in a very grounded Samurai story that evokes the likes of Kurosawa. 

 

 

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On 7/24/2020 at 4:40 PM, Romier S said:

2. The caveat is that the game is really not well balanced at all. It's very easy to break the difficulty curve. If the expectation is that you're just supposed to follow the story to maintain a semblance of challenge? Well, ok but then don't give me so much other stuff to do so early on in the game that rewards me so heavily. What I mean is that by this point, I'm at the end of Act I and playing on the hardest difficulty and I am so completely overpowered that the encounters are starting to lose their luster a bit. Most of my armor is near max. Both my swords are close to max so even the toughest "duels" are kind of non-issues.


I feel like I’m only halfway thru act 1, there is so much to do, so I’m only going off a discussion I was listening to the other day. But they were talking about this same thing. And apparently act 2 will get a nice bump, they started it feeling the same way and the enemy type kicked their ass to the point where they were forced to be careful and  strategic with their encounters. So here’s hoping.

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I’m into Act II now. I’ve completely liberated all 24 areas on the first island. The enemies in Act II are definitely stronger. A perfect parry is no longer a one shot kill for instance. We’ll see how things go. The new part of the island is even more visually stunning than the first thus far.

 

Also,

 

I didn’t see Ryuzo’s betrayal coming. I expected Jin and the group to get into serious shit storming Castle Kaneda and for the Straw Hats to come in and save the day. Hindsight, there is setup for it but it still sucked considering the missions you had been on to help him.

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Can we talk about the writing in this game? I just finished the

Spoiler

Curse of Utshisune mission and if you know the history of hydrangea (it gets you really high and paranoid) and see how Tengu is shooting up the flowers as you track him with fire arrows - well, you see that you’re tripping the whole time.


so clever. Love this game and I’m so glad this is more interesting than another superhero / crime boss / elves and goblins fest. Also - no magic. LOVE IT. Game of the year easily.

 

 

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Patch 1.05 available now.

 

Quote

 

New difficulty level: Lethal

– Enemy weapons are more deadly, but Jin’s katana is also more deadly
– Enemies are more aggressive in combat
– Enemies detect you faster
– Tighter Parry and Dodge windows


Patch 1.05 will also include the following new options in the accessibility menu:

 

Lower Intensity Combat

Lower intensity mode is meant to maintain the heart and feel of Ghost of Tsushima combat while relaxing several timing-specific elements. Combat is less intense, giving you more time to react. Stealth settings are more forgiving, and enemies take longer to detect you.

 

– Most enemy attacks which are normally unblockable become blockable when Lower Intensity is enabled. Blocking with L1 will keep you safe from more attacks than standard combat, though some attacks must still be dodged.
– Enemies break off their attack combos after damaging you, giving you a chance to recover before the next wave of attacks. In addition, your heavy attacks will interrupt attacks from Brutes, giving you another way to stop their combos.
– Enemies will not attack you while you’re using Resolve to heal
– Enemy awareness builds more slowly, giving you more time to recover after being spotted


Text changes

– Large Text option: Increases text size of subtitles, mission objectives and interact prompts by 150% when enabled
– Added option to turn speaker name off when subtitles are enabled
– New subtitle text color options in addition to white: Yellow, Blue, Red, Green


Patch 1.05 also includes additional bug fixes.

 

Nice to see some updates for people who want changes to the difficulty on both sides of the curve. Romier, can we expect you to up the difficulty to Lethal?

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29 minutes ago, JFo said:

 

Nice to see some updates for people who want changes to the difficulty on both sides of the curve. Romier, can we expect you to up the difficulty to Lethal?

 

It's almost like my post went into a Lovecraftian hole in space along with all of the details of the patch that I posted. Scroll up, Jeff. :D

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Lethal difficulty is just what the doctor ordered. It reinvigorated my interest in  partaking in combat which I'll admit was starting to feel repetitive because of its lack of challenge. I died more in my three hour play session last night than I had in my first 25+ hours. Lethal isn't unfair either. The enemies have gotten a substantial buff to the point where 1 or 2 good hits means death but you're katana has also gotten a nice buff. On Hard, when I reached the second area, a perfect parry would no longer one shot kill an enemy. On Lethal, it absolutely does again and most enemies go down in 1-2 shots as opposed to them being damage sponges on Hard (spoongy with no bite). So it's a great balance. /VERY/ happy to to have this new difficulty and I found myself getting even more into the experience now that the Mongols actually are one hit away from putting me in my place. 

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1 hour ago, Brandon H said:

Can Sucker Punch make a Spaghetti Western game next?

 

I don’t see why not. Sucker Punch’s whole M.O. is taking beloved genres of film and make games out of them.

  • Sly Cooper = Heist movies (albeit with anthropomorphic animals instead of George Clooney)
  • inFamous = Comic book super hero films
  • Ghost of Tsushima = Japanese Samurai films

An open world western without the tedium of Red Dead Redemption II might make for a great game.

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I'm surprised PS4 never got an updated Sly collection. They're good games (Sanzaru, who did the HD Collection for PS3/Vita, made the 4th game which I never got to play, though they are now owned by Facebook). With Spyro and Crash collections out there they deserve some attention again, and with that in mind it probably would be safe in the hands of Toys for Bob if they ever wanted to do it and Sony was interested. 

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On 7/26/2020 at 3:52 PM, Josh said:

Love this game and I’m so glad this is more interesting than another superhero / crime boss / elves and goblins fest. Also - no magic. LOVE IT. Game of the year easily.

 

Really? Given that this is a game based on Japanese history, how do you feel about the lack of giant enemy crabs? I've seen some crabs while running around on the beaches, sure. But none of them I would consider to be giant, nor are the particularly threatening. Maybe that's something we'll see more in Act 3? 

 

Never mind, don't spoil it for me.

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29 minutes ago, Mark E said:

Just strolling into Act II myself. Still quite enjoying it too. Been a good game to just pick at between Apex matches.

 

Act II is where the story really starts to kick in. There's some nice twists and turns that happen and some lost lives that will hurt. You're in for some good stuff.

 

 

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I have to say, of all the stories so far, I like the Ishikawa/Tomoe one the best. Although the former being portrayed by the guy who does Jules-Pierre Mao in The Expanse is a little disconcerting.

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Just now, Mark E said:

I have to say, of all the stories so far, I like the Ishikawa/Tomoe one the best. Although the former being portrayed by the guy who does Jules-Pierre Mao in The Expanse is a little disconcerting.

 

I've been in full Japanese voice track from the get-go so I know nothing about the english voice acting. Of the side quests, Lady Masako has been my favorite thus far. She's such a tragic figure and the way work out throughout most of Act II is not what you'd be expecting. 

 

Tomoe has a nice payoff thus far though. I'm one mission away from finishing that whole line.

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My only issue with the voice acting is the Mongol grunts. Some of the lines and delivery make them sound like stereotypical, brutish barbarians. Putting aside the fact that there’s no such thing as a typical “barbarian,” the Mongols didn’t conquer most of Asia, the Middle East and eastern Europe by being stupid. They were strategically, tactically, politically and culturally savvy.

 

(I won’t argue the part about them being brutes, though. Sadistic violence was part of the process.)

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