Mud, Blood, and Steel: Ghost of Tsushima Gameplay Debut

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Mud, Blood, and Steel: Ghost of Tsushima Gameplay Debut

Sucker Punch gives us an early first look at katana gameplay for their upcoming open-world action adventure set in 13th-century Japan.

Ghost of Tsushima is an epic, open-world samurai adventure set during the Mongol invasion of Japan in 1274. We’re telling an original story set in the world of feudal Japan—a time of warfare, chaos, and violent change. You play as Jin Sakai, a powerful samurai warrior whose adventure draws on Japanese history and the iconic traditions of samurai cinema to craft a gorgeous tale of revenge, empowerment, and hope.

What more could you ask for?

Ghost of Tsushima

Thus far, all we have shown about Ghost of Tsushima is the debut trailer from Paris Games Week back in October. That video gave you a glimpse into the world and story we are creating. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good story trailer or mysterious teaser video as much as anyone. But to get me really excited, and to understand the experience of a new game… Show me the gameplay, baby!

Which is why I’m thrilled (or is that stress/anxiety/all of the above?) to share a taste of what Ghost of Tsushima is all about. We chose this particular sequence to capture a few of the essential visions we have for the game: a sprawling, beautiful Tsushima Island… brutal Mongol invaders… and katana combat that delivers on our target of “Mud, Blood, & Steel.” Of course this is just the beginning — and as time goes by we’ll talk more about the scope of the world, Jin’s progression and the game storyline…

Ghost of TsushimaGhost of Tsushima

Meet Masako

In this story, Jin fights alongside another samurai—a deadly onna-bugeisha named Masako. They joined forces to save their homeland from the Mongol invaders, but Masako’s tragic personal history drives a wedge in her relationship with Jin. As you’ve seen, this ends up forcing them into a duel at the end of the experience.

Ghost of Tsushima

Masako and her story are one of many side characters and quests that form the fabric of Ghost of Tsushima. These characters will play important parts in Jin’s main storyline, but most of them will also have side quests and stories for you to explore. In fact, the demo you just watched is part of Masako’s storyline, a side adventure off the game’s main path.

A Window into Ghost

This story offers a small window into Jin’s world and his journey to save his homeland from the Mongol Empire. The early moment when Jin overlooks his surroundings—the distant fires, sacred temples, and far off mountains—promises an island full of dangerous and stunning places to root out the invading Mongols.

Even Jin’s outfit and how he chooses to fight are notable–foreshadowing some parts of Jin’s personal journey. He’s in a rain-drenched part of the world, so Jin has traded his traditional armor for a straw raincoat called a mino. And while he wields his katana with deadly skill, you can see he’s straying from his samurai ways to attack his enemies with the violent grace of a silent assassin.

What does all this mean? It means there’s a much bigger story to tell—but that’s for another day.

Ghost of TsushimaGhost of Tsushima

Chasing the Red Leaves

As a final thought, watch the red leaves swirl around the final duel between Jin and Masako. The red leaves are a visual metaphor for this story in Ghost of Tsushima—but also for the path it takes to create a game. Ideas swirling around and can almost be overwhelming for me–and at the same time incredibly beautiful and exciting. The first task is identifying a clear vision—picking out the one red leaf among thousands. Once you find that idea, you set out to pursue it relentlessly as the wind carries it in exciting new directions.

That single red leaf Jin picks up at the beginning of the story was a touchstone for the creation of this story. The leaf influenced the visual development of the adventure as well as the design of the temple. Those ideas lead to gameplay, and to dozens of iterations on this quest. Even today, as we write this blog post, the team is tweaking small details of the experience. Still chasing this particular red leaf.

Ghost of Tsushima - 05

Just like in Jin and Masako’s duel, it’ll take a whole pile of red leaves to make Ghost of Tsushima something worth jumping into.

But there’s lots left to do, so if you’ll excuse me, I gotta get on to chasing that next red leaf…

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  • Can not wait for this game!!!

    • This game was fire. It seems like a new Omnimusha game.
      Can’t wait. But I can’t pre order it anywhere in Canada!

  • This is giving me serious Bushido Blade vibes, and I’m all about it :-)

  • Thanks for the insight Brian. Looking forward to learning more about the game. Looks fantastic from what we’ve seen so far!

  • MidnightDragonDX

    Looks amazing!

  • Release date??

  • Best game of the show!!!! congratulations Sucker Punch!! DAY1

  • Looking good seems that we will be waiting another year for this to drop ?

  • no wonder we haven’t seen a new infamous game. someone’s been very busy

  • Will there be japanese language option?

  • My favorite game of the show. Let’s keep the fingers crossed for a Collectors Edition

  • Looks great, except, once again, THEIR ARMS ARE TOO SHORT. Big problem in character design over the years. Please fix before release.

  • Yeah this looks awesome…i mean all of the spotlight games did. I really enjoyed Second Son and First Light but it’s awesome to see SP working on stuff outside of the inFamous universe and dang does the passion for a new creative IP show here. Well done!

  • I’ve waited a long time for this type of game thank you SIE & Sucker Punch Productions!

  • It’s always been my dream to be able to *play* a Kurosawa film. This is definitely getting close to that dream. Please tell me we’ll be able to play the entire game in black and white, and maybe with heavy film grain and “dirt”. I’d be in heaven if this option was available. :D

  • My partner thought I was having a heart-attack while I watched this trailer, as all I could do was repeat shocked expletives and stare in pure shock and awe for nearly nine minutes XD This can gobsmacking game cannot arrive soon enough.

  • Well it’s been about time that Sucker Punch Productions is finally making another game after they’ve been the most absent developer during the PS4 era. Making Me think maybe they should’ve kept the rights to Sly Cooper and they haven’t made an Infamous game since Second son. But I do like the feudal Japan setting here in Ghost of Tsushima

  • Blew me away…it was just what I was expecting since the reveal last year knew it would be impressive.Cannot wait to see more of the open-world and how it’ll work,I’m pretty sure it’ll take the Horizon route being an action RPG which is the genre that defined the PS4 era.Pre-order confirmed hands down ma most anticipated game I knew it would be this good I just knew it…no game has made me this excited since Horizon.

    Fantastic job SP.

    • Forgot to say that Ghost totally stole the show…to do that when TLoU 2 and Death Stranding gameplay were revealed I can only say awesome job.

  • Hey Sucker Punch, if you were trying to be historically accurate, WHY do you have a female samurai in the game? THEY DID NOT EXIST. Why have you succumbed to the progressive left trying to change history? Better for games to be true to history, even when its uncomfortable to modern audiences. I love my strong female Tomb Raider leads, but what you are doing feels forced and phony and ruins the immersion of your game set in his historical times. Sigh.

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