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Ghost of Tsushima Review – Kurosawa-Inspired Samurai Showdowns | Games

C.Built by enthusiastic admirers of Japanese samurai cinema at Sucker Punch Productions in Washington, Ghost of Tsushima transforms the feudal world of Akira Kurosawa films into a huge, absurdly beautiful game set during the Mongolian invasion of Tsushima Island in the 13th century . Samurai Jin Sakai, an unlikely survivor of the raid̵

7;s first beach battle, reluctantly turns to tactics to ward off the invaders and save his homeland. He sneaks through long grass and hides on roofs to murder Mongols and confront them with the sword – sword in duels.

All aesthetic and thematic conventions of samurai films are present and correct: a story that focuses on honor and self-control; dramatic weather that sweeps across Japan’s fascinating landscapes; Spacers against the backdrop of falling leaves and abandoned cities; Screen wiping and axial cuts; quick, deadly Katana The battle ends with enemies tumbling and spraying blood before falling over like felled trees. It can even be played with a granular black and white Kurosawa filter, or entirely in Japanese (although the lip sync matches the English script).

This is an indisputably beautiful rendition of Japan’s incomparable natural beauty. A temple is in a tree grove, the golden leaves of which filter the light. red maple trees and blue hydrangeas stand out from pampas grass fields. As you ride through this wonderful landscape on horseback, you will slowly conquer a map that is forested with Mongolian camps, scenic viewpoints, occupied fishing villages and shrines and unlocks gunpowder grenades. Kunai and smoke bombs to use alongside Jin’s katana and bow as his legend grows.

Ghost of Tsushima offers some elegant solutions to the superficial problems with huge, open games like this one. Instead of small icons and mini-maps that clutter the screen and make you feel like you’re navigating, a thumb on the controller’s touchpad calls a wind that ripples the long grass and leads you to your next destination. Instead of map markers, you can follow golden birds to places of interest – if they don’t get stuck on a building or cliff and disappear.

However, other deeper problems remain: repetition, bloating, and boredom. Ghost of Tsushima follows a daunting, familiar course of the frustrating first hours, when enemies are powerful and everything is difficult. an exciting middle act in which the game feels exciting to be conquered; and a laborious second half, in which enemies fall before you like cones. With character upgrades in the later game, you can automatically ward off sword strikes or stagger enemies in a few strikes. The counterproductive consequence is that the longer you play, the less skill is required to assert yourself. It wasn’t long before I thoughtlessly ripped through 10 Mongols at a time instead of carefully thinning them out before facing the last few in a real samurai fight.

As the novelty of infiltrating forts and crashing blades started to fade some evenings, it became increasingly clear that history was not enough to keep me interested. This is a long game and it moves slowly. Jin Sakai is stiff even by stoic samurai standards, and the tension between his sense of integrity and the guerrilla tactics he has to use does not create great intrigue. “It’s not an honor,” he muses soberly when I stab the four hundredth Mongol in the back. Maybe not, Jin, but it’s certainly convenient, and we have it much from killing these guys.

Incomparable beauty ... Japan's golden forest.

Incomparable beauty … Japan’s golden forest. Photo: Sucker Punch / Sony

Even the side quests, where the good can often be found in such open world games, show a disappointing lack of imagination. Some farmers asked me to accompany them up the street, but look there! We are attacked by bandits. The best way to find the missing family member of this farmer – oh no! They are dead. I have to admit that after slaughtering countless hordes and successfully storming a castle, I was asked to collect moss rather than lose the will to continue.

Unlike Assassin’s Creed, which always uses its historical settings as stages for its own eccentric stories, Ghost of Tsushima is so close to the tropics and storylines of classic samurai fiction that it sometimes forgets to have a personality of its own. After repeatedly finding myself bored with checking my phone during the story missions, I decided to give it up for a while and had a great time hunting foxes, bathing in hot springs, composing low-profile haiku, and Instead, bow mountains in search of a legendary climb. This is the most beautiful version of Japan ever conjured up in code, and when it gets boring to run errands and cut Mongolian spearmen into pieces, all you can do is enjoy the view.

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