The Art of War- Ghost of Tsushima

A post *checks calendar* four months in the making.

Back in 2012, you know the year the world was supposed to end, GameInformer article 207 ran this post “The Great Debate: Are Games Art?“. In it, seven journalists debate a claim made by movie critic Roger Ebert as to why video games can never be considered art. That topic always stuck with me, and here we are in 2020 about going to revisit it with Ghost of Tsushima.

I was thinking about writing a review for this game, but I’m four months too late. What I can tell you is this game is a brutal, stunning, artistically solid feat of a video game that you should not miss out on. Plus at the time of me writing this, developer Sucker Punch (Sly Cooper and inFamous) released a free update including a cooperative experience.

FREE.

Below is a photo dump of screenshots I’ve taken just to showcase what an unforgettable experience I had playing this title. Kudos to Sucker Punch. In between screenshots, I’ll provide some insight and feedback about the game.

Let’s go.

This was pretty early in the game. Jin (left) and Yuna (right) are off to free Tsushima from the Mongol invasion.

Pretty sure this was in Photo Mode. The game includes a sick Photo Mode with plenty of options for more talented individuals than myself with moving particles and weather options.

Certain points of the map made me marvel at how well the map the world looks. You’ll see smoke in the distance indicating points of interest or Mongol occupied settlements. There’s no mini map so if you’re looking for something to do climb up high and look at the lay of the land.

I look at this picture now and give myself props for how good this came out (selfish plug I know). The sun setting was always my favorite time of the day.

Combat is this game had to be my favorite part. At first it was hard because enemies were lethal, but when you figure out the system and the combos it becomes second nature. The best part was the standoff system. Upon arriving at a group of enemies, you could challenge them to a duel. Strike first and you can slash through the whole group. Incredibly satisfying.

A pretty unique activity was the compose your own haiku. Jin would sit and study the world around him to compose a short poem. I’m pretty sure every one of mine sucked, but I didn’t finish them all so I have time to improve. The music that plays during the haiku is incredible.

This almost reminds me of Red Dead Redemption 2. Incredible scenic and gorgeous. I played on a PS4 Pro and with this game coming to PS5 with improved performance options, it’s going to melt my eyes.

It wouldn’t be a samurai game without a duel. The intros to the duels were so well done and tense. I loved it.

This looks like a screenshot you’d see in a gaming magazine. Thanks to Ghost of Tsushima for making it easy for me to take good photos.

Boat on fire. Wasn’t me!

Probably one of my favorite in game companions. At the beginning of the game you get to choose a horse who companions you throughout your journey. Sora was my choice.

The end of Ghost of Tsushima was so well done. No spoilers here though.

Listen I took more pictures, but I feel like I’m uploading them to Facebook just to gush over them and don’t want to be obnoxious. Also I get nervous when I post screenshots because I feel like the beauty doesn’t transfer over as well. Wind guides you to your objective, plants sway in the same breeze, blood flows as you cut down your foes. One thing I will say is character models aren’t the best, but everything else is out of this world.

Go play this game damn it.

This game is stunning and a fitting end to the last 6 years of PS4 gaming. Tomorrow starts the next generation of gaming, and with that, a whole new slew of games that are hopefully just as beautiful and continue to push the conversation forward of games becoming a form of art.


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