The gameplay demonstration for Ghost of Tsushima showed lots of details, including exploration, customization, and most importantly, adorable wildlife. However, a large portion of the demonstration focused on the game’s combat, which comes in the distinct Ghost and Samurai styles. Depending on which you choose, you can go up against enemies honorably and clash swords or distract them before eliminating them with a quick cut to the throat.
Game director Nate Fox walked us through the differences between the two. When engaging in direct combat, you essentially march up to the enemy and announce your presence, thus starting a combat sequence. The combat seemed very parry-based in this way, as the hero Jin waited for his opponent to strike and then countered with deadly force. Other combatants took swipes after dispatching one soldier, and Jin took them all down with one-hit finishers in quick succession. This portion of the combat seemed to be heavily based on classic samurai films by Akira Kurosawa, which often replace complex and lengthy sword battles with brutal and quick deaths.
Fox said you can use normal sword swings, but it’s better to use timing and precision for exacting damage. You can switch between combat stances similarly to Nioh 2, and you’re adept enough to counter both sword swipes and arrow shots. And true to the honorable path, you can pay respects to the deceased after you’ve dispatched them.
The stealthy combat is seen as dishonorable by comparison and uses a variety of traps and distractions to lure enemies into areas when they’re vulnerable. This section saw Jin quietly killing foes from a distance with heavy arrows and kunai, disorienting enemies with smoke bombs, and using fireworks to prompt them to move. It’s also the more acrobatic version of combat, having you grapple between points and use parkour. If you’ve played Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, it bears some resemblance.
The Ghost of Tsushima presentation also made a point to show how customization can impact your combat efficacy, since it augments your abilities for your chosen playstyle. The game is coming on July 17. For more details check out our Ghost of Tsushima pre-order guide.
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