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Ghost of Tsushima - Releases July 17th, 2020


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I have to say, one of my favourite goofy moments in gaming this year is me having a proper, intense standoff with a couple of Mongol punks while a bear is rampaging the other guys in the background.

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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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Done. 
 

Man, the finale for the game is just pitch perfect. I absolutely love the final boss battles. You get a taste of the variety of combat in both. The true finale is utterly expected but necessary to complete the ascension of the Ghost. You’re given a choice on how to bring the story to closure but there’s only one true way that honors the central conflict. The las scene itself - the music (my goodness the music!), the visuals, the final duel...*chef’s kiss*

 

I’ll have more thoughts tomorrow including some bones to pick and specific things to gush about but overall, this is a wonderful finale to the PlayStation 4’s life cycle and another feather in Sony’s first party cap. 

 

Oh and yeah, my 18th Platinum....

 

F1AAC2A0-EAEE-4720-8FDA-DBD50295C6DC.jpeg

 

 

 

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Nice.

 

The one main gripe I have, not that I suppose it’s a bad problem, but there is so much content. I finally finished Act 1 after they added on another 4-5 missions to the point where I originally thought it would be done. And then get into Act 2, and I haven’t even started it because they give you reason to go back. Lol. I’m never going to finish this game. And yes, I could ignore that stuff, but the OCD in me never allows me to. It’s the main reason I don’t finish a lot of open world games. Give me another ACII where it’s open but you can complete the entire game in 25 hours or so. 
 

And yes, I am mainly a PlayStation guy, but they should get credit for what they do at the end of each gen. I have watched MS and Nintendo just basically take the last couple of years of each current gen off when they start to transition to the next one, while Sony releases games like God of War II, The Last of Us, and now this year, Ghost, and The Last of Us Part II. Just fantastic. 

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I’ll definitely platinum this - I already have two of the allegedly more difficult trophies to get (or at least ones not many people have bothered with) and I plan to shred all the content, so might as well!

 

Definitely a TON of content here though, yeah. I totally went back to the first area after they revealed the rest of it too! Ha! Nothing like working on side quests you haven’t even discovered yet...

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I'd recommend getting the trophy to knock someone off a ledge early on and during the game. Post game you have to rely on patrols and that's pretty tough. Just sneak up on a dude sitting nearing a cliff, go to wind stance and hold the triangle button and release to give them a good kick off of the ledge. 

 

That's the hardest trophy to get in the game only if you don't do it early. Other than that, it's mostly a breezy platinum. 

 

On that front, a tip on the Haiku front (very minor spoilers on how to get the most missable one):

 

 

I missed the first Haiku in Hyoshi Springs. It *does not* appear on your map! It's meant to be a tutorial for how Haiku's work so the devs expected you to explore Hyoshi Springs and find it. I explored but apparently glossed over it. Its in the top right corner in Hyoshi Springs on a cliff after you climb up a set of stairs winding its way around the cliffside. There's a small pond under those stairs so its hard to miss.


Keep that in mind or you'll end up with 18/19 Haiku's and you'll be scratching your head wondering what you missed like I did!

 

 

A few thoughts on the experience....

 

- I'd recommend running through the main quest line as much as possible. It has more impact that way. It's a general complaint towards open world games, really. There is so much stuff to do that you invariably lose the pacing and flow of the story because of it. I think the central tale being told here is a strong one but its diluted because of how easy it is to get sidetracked. 

 

- All of these games feel like a Marvel Netflix series to me. They don't know when to stop. Ghost is no different. Most of the side content is enjoyable but a lot of it overstayed its welcome by the end for me. I did it for the platinum and sake of completion (OCD baby!) but I groaned when some of it came up. Did we really need 49 Fox Dens? I mean, 25 would have been just fine with perhaps more effort placed into traversal puzzles to discover them.

 

I didn't need three land masses to explore. The first two sections of the Island would have been a sufficiently satisfactory experience as primary exploration areas. The third part of the island could have been focused on the main story and the ally tales missions getting wrapped up with a bit more of a focus on set piece flare added to each. These types of open world games need an editor in so far as I'm concerned. Less content, more effort put into the overall quality of that content. This was a 40+ hours experience. I would have been singing its praises even harder had it been a more focused 25-30 hour one.

 

Thankfully, it doesn't overstay its welcome nearly as much as Days Gone did.

 

- I take back that statement with regard to one piece of content - more Shinto shrines please. Those are a blast.

 

- I'll reiterate what I said earlier about the difficulty curve and the game economy. It's seriously out of whack if you are someone like me that partakes in all of the content available. By the last part of the island I had already upgraded most everything. I hit the peak level (Ghost of Tsushima) right on the first side mission when I arrived in Act III. By the time the credits rolled I had 15k in supplies banked and probably would have had another 5-7 technique points if it still counted them. Mind you, I had almost nothing to spend any of those supplies on throughout all of Act III outside of one mystic tale upgrade you get from a trapper.

 

- Even on Lethal, I felt like the game was still never challenging me too much outside of the boss battles at the end. It was a far better balance than "Hard" though so I commend them on at least adding the new difficulty for folks like me that likely would have been less kind to the experience if it was not there at all.

 

- Loved the combat. When you get into the zone and are focusing on the parry timing windows, switching stances and dealing with the variety of enemy types, it's a sight to behold and its feels /amazing/. 

 

- As great as combat is, I really wish they would have toned down the general Mongol patrols when areas are liberated. It got a bit old traveling and exploring around the map only to stop every twenty feet to kill a patrol. Yeah some can be easily avoided but others can be a nuisance. The patrols being slightly less in liberated areas would have fit the story, too. They could have upped the numbers post game as well which again would have fit with how the post game story plays out. Missed opportunity there.

 

- Enemy AI isn't great when it comes to the stealth aspects of the game. It's /ok/ but it doesn't really stand out and at times can be downright dim-wittted. This is a complaint I can level against a lot of stealth games, frankly. There's a rare few that can claim superiority here so its not a huge knock against Ghost but one that needs mentioned. 

 

This is really one aspect of game design I hope sees some serious gains on in the next generation over just pretty visuals. I've said it before but I feel like we have  been stagnant when it comes to enemy AI design in games for two generations now. We need that next level leap in how we interact with AI opponents in these stealth/action games and well, other genres a well.

 

- Speaking of pretty visuals - good lord is this game a sight to behold. I literally have to put the controller down when playing it sometimes just to soak in the atmosphere.

 

So, yeah, I had a great time with this. It's a strong new IP for Sucker Punch and Sony and I can't wait to see how they build on it for the Playstation 5. It cleans up a lot of the jankiness of the old Assassin's Creed formula and adds its own structural changes to the mix that improves upon it in substantial ways. It's still very much an open world game as I've said before but its well worth your time primarily thanks to the unique setting, its story and the amazing combat. 

 

 

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The ledge kill was one of the ones I got. I had that kick and a handy ledge and a good time was had by all.

 

Agree about the fox dens - they’re the only thing I find wearing out their welcome at this point. Every time I get to a shrine I perk up, just like the same challenges in Assassin’s Creed.

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20 hours ago, Romier S said:

I'd recommend getting the trophy to knock someone off a ledge early on and during the game. Post game you have to rely on patrols and that's pretty tough. Just sneak up on a dude sitting nearing a cliff, go to wind stance and hold the triangle button and release to give them a good kick off of the ledge. 

 

You can also get it from the watchtowers in camps.  I didn't attempt this until just before finishing the game, and I think I got it on literally my last encampment to clear out. 

 

But yeah!  A very generous platinum.  I was surprised how little of it was tied to completionism.  I was ridiculous enough to get all the ammo expansion upgrades, all armor upgrades, and everything I could possibly spend Technique Points on, but there aren't trophies tied to that.  You don't need anywhere near all of the banners, artifacts, records, crickets, etc. to get the associated trophies.

 

20 hours ago, Romier S said:

Most of the side content is enjoyable but a lot of it overstayed its welcome by the end for me.

 

I agree, although strangely, I felt like it overstayed its welcome closer to the beginning.  I did make the mistake of doing literally everything (well, short of scouring every square inch for records, banners, and artifacts) in the first stretch, and by the time I was nearing the end of Act I, I was ready for the game to be over. 

 

When I played Days Gone, it felt like I was playing the first game in a franchise and its sequel, and I worried I'd feel the same about Ghost as well.  But the pacing improves dramatically from there.  It felt like Act II -- even with all the side quests and stuff -- was somewhere between 1/2 to 2/3rds the length of Act I, and Act III was significantly shorter still.  I wish things could've been better balanced.

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28 minutes ago, Adam Tyner said:

 

I agree, although strangely, I felt like it overstayed its welcome closer to the beginning.  I did make the mistake of doing literally everything (well, short of scouring every square inch for records, banners, and artifacts) in the first stretch, and by the time I was nearing the end of Act I, I was ready for the game to be over. 

 

When I played Days Gone, it felt like I was playing the first game in a franchise and its sequel, and I worried I'd feel the same about Ghost as well.  But the pacing improves dramatically from there.  It felt like Act II -- even with all the side quests and stuff -- was somewhere between 1/2 to 2/3rds the length of Act I, and Act III was significantly shorter still.  I wish things could've been better balanced.


Ya know, that’s actually a great point and one I’d agree with. I played very similarly in that I completed everything in each section of the island before moving the story along.I think someone had mentioned earlier that when Act I wraps up, you get a bunch of new icons popping up to liberate the island and man that irked me. I literally groaned out loud. I was afraid they’d pull that same shit after each act, but that’s thankfully not the case. It goes back to my point of these games needing to just cut the bloat. It’s unnecessary.
 

It was the combination of what you mentioned early on - the general bloat alongside the lack of challenge where things almost went awry for me. The addition of lethal difficulty truly reinvigorated the experience. Had it not been added, my overall opinion of the game would have probably been far worse as the grind had started to set in in early Act II and I was sleep walking through encounters.

 

It also helps that the story picks up tremendously in Act II and subsequently Act III. 

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Two other things:

 

1. I want to slap whomever made the decision to tie the ability to detect records/artifacts/banners and other collectibles to a damned outfit. If you’re wanting to get/see as much of that content as possible, you’re pretty much forced into wearing the Traveler’s Attire throughout a large swath of the adventure. Why isn’t that a damned charm?! 
 

2. Because of that, the game desperately needed the ability to create and easily switch armor sets. Swapping out to the various pieces for situational stuff in the menus got old pretty quick. If I could swap into the Saikai Armor for standoffs at the press of a button and then swap to the Samurai Clan armor for a duel? Man, huge add for me and my play style. Though I would likely have settled on one piece of armor and stuck to it had it not been for the first point I mentioned.

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On 8/6/2020 at 1:06 PM, Romier S said:

On that front, a tip on the Haiku front (very minor spoilers on how to get the most missable one):

 

  Hide contents

I missed the first Haiku in Hyoshi Springs. It *does not* appear on your map! It's meant to be a tutorial for how Haiku's work so the devs expected you to explore Hyoshi Springs and find it. I explored but apparently glossed over it. Its in the top right corner in Hyoshi Springs on a cliff after you climb up a set of stairs winding its way around the cliffside. There's a small pond under those stairs so its hard to miss.


Keep that in mind or you'll end up with 18/19 Haiku's and you'll be scratching your head wondering what you missed like I did!

 

 

 

Ha. Last night while playing this, I stumbled upon this Haiku guy you mention in the spoiler tag (c’mon are we really considering that a spoiler?) completely by accident. I had set my guiding wind to find hot springs, and it lead me to Hyoshi Springs. Somehow I had missed the spring there as well, even though I’m almost done with Act 2 now. 

 

Anyway, I found him, did the Haiku, and was amused to hear Jin say there was no time to compose them with the Mongols around, even though we’ve composed like a dozen or so far. Ah, the joy of open worlds.

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My fifth Platinum.

 

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I rolled credits on the game this afternoon. I wasn’t sure I was going to go for the Platinum, but I had nothing better to do today, and the Trophies I needed to get weren’t too much of a pain in the ass to get.

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More details:

 

Today I am very excited to reveal Ghost of Tsushima: Legends, a new online cooperative multiplayer* mode that will come as a free download for Ghost of Tsushima owners on PS4 later this year.



Legends is an entirely new experience — it’s a separate mode that doesn’t follow Jin or the companions from his journey, but instead focuses on four warriors who have been built up as legends in stories told by the people of Tsushima. Ghost of Tsushima’s single-player campaign focuses on an open world and exploring the natural beauty of the island, but Legends is haunting and fantastical, with locations and enemies inspired by Japanese folk tales and mythology and an emphasis on cooperative combat and action.

We designed Legends to be an exclusively cooperative gameplay experience. You’ll be able to partner up with friends or via online matchmaking and play Legends in groups of 2-4 players. Each player can choose from one of four different character classes: the Samurai, Hunter, Ronin, or Assassin. Each class has unique advantages and abilities that we’ll reveal in the future.

With two players in Ghost of Tsushima: Legends, you’ll be able to play a series of co-op Story missions that escalate in difficulty, building on the foundation of combat from the single-player campaign but with new magical twists that often require careful synchronization with your partner.

With four players, you’ll be able to take on wave-based Survival missions, fighting groups of the toughest enemies Tsushima has to offer, Including new Oni enemies with supernatural abilities.

If you can best the Story and Survival missions, you may be confident enough to take on the four-player Raid that will arrive shortly after the launch of Ghost of Tsushima: Legends, sending you and your partners to an entirely new realm to challenge a brutal, terrifying enemy.

It’s been so rewarding to see the amazing reactions from all of you as you play through Ghost of Tsushima. We’ve been watching so many of you stream your playthroughs, and can’t wait to open up this new way for all of us to play together! We’re happy to offer this mode completely free to Ghost of Tsushima owners as a thank you to our players, and we look forward to hearing what you think!

We’ll have much more to share on Legends as we get closer to launch, including details on character classes, customization, and more! Thank you to everyone for your support of Ghost of Tsushima so far!

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Literally had to pause during the final choice after the final duel today to go to work, so I think my platinum is mere minutes away this evening.

 

This is a spectacular 40 hour game that goes on for far longer than that, as happens with open world stuff. Yeah, I didn’t need to grind that platinum, but it’s definitely overstuffed either way I sliced it, so to speak.
 

I’d like a hwacha mini game as a side activity in the sequel though. And a full kitsuni mask! Why should Tomoe have all the fun?

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I’m almost done with the second part of the island. I find myself just fast traveling around now though. It’s just too much, but at the same time, I thoroughly enjoy my time with it so I don’t stop. 
 

One thing they should be commended for is the load times. I can’t believe just how quick everything loads. I can’t think of a game of this scope that does it better.

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1 hour ago, Paul said:

I’m almost done with the second part of the island. I find myself just fast traveling around now though. It’s just too much, but at the same time, I thoroughly enjoy my time with it so I don’t stop. 
 

One thing they should be commended for is the load times. I can’t believe just how quick everything loads. I can’t think of a game of this scope that does it better.


Yes, the load times are absolutely incredible. In a game of this size to select a location for fast travel and have it load you there in less than 10 seconds more often than not? Yeah, that’s good shit. It also makes dying less of a hassle. It usually loads you back at the checkpoint in seconds.

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On 8/6/2020 at 1:28 AM, Romier S said:

Done. 
 

Man, the finale for the game is just pitch perfect. I absolutely love the final boss battles. You get a taste of the variety of combat in both. The true finale is utterly expected but necessary to complete the ascension of the Ghost. You’re given a choice on how to bring the story to closure but there’s only one true way that honors the central conflict. The las scene itself - the music (my goodness the music!), the visuals, the final duel...*chef’s kiss*

On 8/6/2020 at 1:28 AM, Romier S said:

Done. 
 

Man, the finale for the game is just pitch perfect. I absolutely love the final boss battles. You get a taste of the variety of combat in both. The true finale is utterly expected but necessary to complete the ascension of the Ghost. You’re given a choice on how to bring the story to closure but there’s only one true way that honors the central conflict. The las scene itself - the music (my goodness the music!), the visuals, the final duel...*chef’s kiss*

 

I’ll have more thoughts tomorrow including some bones to pick and specific things to gush about but overall, this is a wonderful finale to the PlayStation 4’s life cycle and another feather in Sony’s first party cap. 

 

Oh and yeah, my 18th Platinum....

 

F1AAC2A0-EAEE-4720-8FDA-DBD50295C6DC.jpeg

 

 

 

Now that I finally finished the game, what did you feel was the only true way to end the game?

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That’s weird, it put my text within the quote. I was just wondering Romier, what you thought the true ending was. And I’m kind of curious what everyone decided at the end.

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22 minutes ago, Paul said:

That’s weird, it put my text within the quote. I was just wondering Romier, what you thought the true ending was. And I’m kind of curious what everyone decided at the end.


The primary push of the story was the

Spoiler

....final conflict with the uncle and Jin embracing the Ghost persona. His uncle was a man that lived by the Samurai code. The only true ending is to allow him to die by it. Jin will have sacrificed his surrogate father for the ideals that saved the island and given him a true warriors death at the same time. Honoring his life while understanding that the old ways are not enough to save the island from another Mongol threat regardless of how the Shogun feels.

 

He’s they hero they need, not the one they deserve.

 

Sparing him didn’t jive with the rest of the story for me and felt like the cowards way out. Allowing sentiment to override honor which meant everything to his uncle. Even more than the life of his almost adopted son.

 

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