Ghost of Tsushima State of Play Broadcast Shows Off Combat, Customization & More

Ghost of Tsushima's State of Play broadcast gave an in-depth look at many of the game's systems.
Ghost of Tsushima's State of Play broadcast gave an in-depth look at many of the game's systems. / Courtesy of Sucker Punch Productions

Sony broadcast an extended look at Ghost of Tsushima's gameplay Thursday, giving players more information about how they'll explore, fight, sneak and more in the upcoming samurai adventure.

The demo began with Jason Connell from developer Sucker Punch Production describing the world of Tsushima, and how players will move through it. He said the team aimed to make exploration as intuitive as possible, asking itself, "How can we let the island guide [players] in the most immersive and thematic ways possible?"

Ghost of Tsushima State of Play Broadcast Shows Off Combat, Customization & More

The team came up with several creative solutions beyond simple HUD elements by incorporating the natural world. When a player sets a waypoint, they'll be able to call in a gust of wind that blows them toward that point. They can also follow birds to points of interest, foxes to hidden shrines, and smoke on the horizon to new encounters. Once these locations are discovered, players can fast travel between them.

Players will ride from place to place on their horse, which they can call with a whistle. From horseback, they can harvest materials such as bamboo or yew as they ride through the map. More materials can be found at the points of interest they visit.

Another developer, director Nate Fox, stepped in to narrate the rest of the gameplay, beginning with combat. He described the standoff system, in which players can challenge individual enemies to honorable duels. In more free-flow combat encounters, they'll make use of a parry system to open enemies up to damage.

The game's many enemy types will be vulnerable to different fighting stances, which the player can cycle through at will.

On the flip side of combat is the game's stealth. Seen as dishonorable, using stealth allows players to manipulate enemies with thrown objects, assassinate them, and escape using smoke bombs.

Over time, enemies will grow to fear the player. One Mongol fighter dropped their spear when they saw the player approaching, allowing for an easy kill.

Over the course of the game, players will be able to customize the armor worn by Jin, the main character and titular Ghost of Tsushima. Different armor pieces provide different bonuses, as do charms players pick up throughout the game. One charm in the video healed the player whenever they used a smoke bomb.

Given Ghost of Tsushima's focus on visual aesthetics, it comes as no surprise that players can dye their armor using flowers found in the wild. They can then take incredibly detailed and fine-tuned photos using the game's photo mode. They'll control color grading, depth of field, Jin's facial expression, the speed and direction of the wind, what particles are falling in the background, and more.

Photos taken using photo mode can be saved as static images or as moving tableaus, the wind blowing leaves or cinders through the air as the characters stand still.

In tribute to the long line of Japanese samurai cinema that inspired it, Ghost of Tsushima will include a Japanese-language voice track with English subtitles that can be enabled before the game's first scene. The game can also be played in a black-and-white mode evocative of classic samurai films by the likes of Akira Kurosawa.

Ghost of Tsushima arrives on PlayStation 4 on July 17.