Sucker Punch Walks Us Through Ghost of Tsushima’s E3 Trailer

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Sucker Punch Walks Us Through Ghost of Tsushima’s E3 Trailer

Join us as we pore over Ghost of Tsushima's incredible new trailer, scene by scene.

One of the undisputed highlights of E3 2018 was seeing the first full gameplay reveal for Sucker Punch Productions’ majestic new samurai action epic, Ghost of Tsushima.

Too busy gawping at the game’s stunning visuals to catch the finer details of the game’s combat, traversal and environmental storytelling? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back.

Cinematics and Animation Director Billy Harper gave us a blow-by-blow run down of the clip, pulling out a few things you might have missed…

Welcome to Tsushima


From 0.15

“As Cinematics Director I was most excited to work on this shot. When I was a kid, while everyone else was watching The Magnificent Seven and A Fistful of Dollars, I was watching Yojimbo and Seven Samurai. So many of the cinematics in our game are a love letter to Akira Kurosawa.”


From 1.26

“I was fortunate enough to go on a research trip to Tsushima Island with the team. As soon as we got off the plane we went to this location. It’s on the top of a hill and I got to stand and overlook the bay. In the game, you’ll be able to go anywhere you can see from here.

“We’re really fortunate to be part of Sony Worldwide Studios. We’re very collaborative – we’ve worked with Naughty Dog, Guerrilla, Santa Monica and Japan Studio in the past. But in this instance we worked with Japan Studio particularly closely.

“They’ve consulted a lot on the game and arranged the trips we took to Japan. We continue to reach out to them for advice and to have them let us know that we are doing things right!”

Brawl in the mud

From 2.55

“This is an actual attack the player can perform.”

From 3.18

“We had three things in mind when we put together this sequence: mud, blood and steel. We put a lot of tech into the visual effects for the mud and blood, and what you can do with the katana.

“Look at him roll around in the mud as he’s fighting – you can see the dynamic mud in action. These aren’t just textures that are turned on – it’s actually dynamic mud that sticks to you.

“We’ve done this demo several times and each person in the pit always comes out looking different depending how it’s been played. They all look like they’ve been through a struggle and a fight. You will feel like a warrior – the mud is all over everybody.”

Meet Masako


From 3.58

“This is Masako – she’s a skilled warrior.

“We want to make sure that everyone knows that what you’re seeing in this demo is a sidequest – it’s not part of the main throughline for Jin. It was important for us to have this first experience of gameplay for viewers to be through the lens of what a sidequest is, to show the depth of the game and how seriously we are taking the open world experience.”

The temple assassination

From 4.38

“This is an important element of the game – the evolution of our hero as he goes from being a samurai into something different; into being the ghost.

“We have that fluid motion through the environment that Sucker Punch is known for, and these stealth opportunities you can engage in.”


From 5.03

“If you see something and you expect to be able to climb on it, then we want you to be able to climb on it.”

From 5.41

“Assassinations are one of the tactics you can use. There’s a fear factor here. If you do successfully assassinate someone then it stuns the other enemies around you and gives you an opportunity to perform follow-up attacks.

“We will have a HUD but decided not to have it in the demo in order to offer a more cinematic experience. But one thing we did learn internally was that people reacted very positively to not having it there so we are going to look for ways to make it minimal.

“The perfect example of this is the chain attack that happened when Jin drops down into the temple. One of our UI artists came up with a way to communicate to the player visually how they have opportunities to perform actions without utilising UI.”

The duel


From 6.45

“Another important element in the demo is the duel with Masako – not just because the duel is a unique type of fighting you can do, as opposed to the normal combat against a group of enemies, but also because we want to highlight the fact that what is happening is something that happened to real people.

“People react to conflict in different ways. They have different motives. It’s a human-scale interaction that happens within this larger conflict. This is just one of many of these, and in this particular case Masako and Jin have motives that are at odds, forcing them to face off against each other.”


“Look at the leaves. They are actually reacting to the player’s every motion.”

The mon


From 8.35

“This symbol is Jin’s family mon. You might have noticed a cool Easter egg in our debut trailer we released at Paris Games Week last year. There’s a shot that’s very similar to this where Jin is riding on a horse and there are two mountains in the distance. Those mountains do represent something and are the inspiration for Jin’s mon.”

Comments are closed.


  • we didn’t forget how you handled the fortnite account locking and crossplay issues, sony. next generation is only a few years away.

    • Don’t get me wrong, I agree that Sony has mishandled that… but stop this. Please. This is an article about Sucker Punch and their new game. Please keep the discussion appropriate to that topic.

    • Yup! And I’ll be buying Playstation again. 4 reasons, in no particular order. #1. Naughty Dog. #2. Santa Monica Studio. #3. Guerilla. #4. Sucker Punch. Those are all the reasons I need to continue supporting Sony.

  • Looks amazing but THEIR ARMS ARE TOO SHORT. Common problem in games. Please get this right before release.

  • The character’s ARMS ARE TOO SHORT. Common problem in games. Please get this right before release.

  • Very impressive! This game certainly looks amazing. Congrats Sucker Punch! Can you confirm that this was real-time footage running on either the PS4 Pro or PS4?


  • Gonna go to Xbox because if one game? You do know if MS was on top they would of done the same. And why is Sony the only one getting blamed for this? OH WAIT!!! Epic said they didn’t want this also. But yet let it happen. They gave Sony the ok. They let this happen. But yet no one is calling them out. So fed up with everyone attacking Sony and not the creators of the game.

    • Comment was meant for Utterer.

    • Weirdly, no one attacked microsoft last gen when they clearly say they don’t want to cross-play with ps3.

    • Because PSN was a nightmare back then. People forget that over 70 million accounts were compromised and PSN was down for almost a month, and that was only one of many stability issues PSN suffered during the PS3 era.

  • Can’t wait for this game, this game is my game of e3 2018 :)

  • I wonder how Sucker Punch is feeling with Seiko: Shadows Die Twice going the same route, looking much the same, and appearing on Xbox One. How are Sony feeling about it, kind of takes the wind out of their sales. From Software and Microsoft, y’all sure are sneaky. Interestingly, Sony won’t speak of it.

    • NeoMahi so just because they both stem from Japanese culture they are the same SMH.
      One is based on Fantasy the other on History. GoT is influenced by film while Seiko is by anime
      They are very different. there is nothing sneaky about it. Ghost of Tsushima started initial production 2014, Seiko 2015.

    • a) Having more games that cover a theme makes the theme itself more popular. Essentially if someone likes Sekiro, they’re likely to see GoT and be like ‘oh hey, that has some similar themes’ and become interested. It’s healthy.

      b) Sekiro is on PS4 too, so yay for PS4 owners getting both? Woot.

      c) Sekiro is ninja, Ghost is Samurai. While both are Japanese inspired, they are two different things.

    • Ghost of Tsushima is rooted in reality. Sekiro is fantasy. There’s a clear difference between the two games.

    • Sekiro has nothing to do with MS other than being one of the many platforms it is on. There’s nothing dubious about it’s existence that hurts GoT. You might struggle to find a way to enjoy multiple games that share a few themes but that isn’t a shortcoming everyone has. Sony isn’t doing to “diss” FromSoft because you feel enraged.

  • Don’t forget Nioh and Nioh 2.

    I like these samurai-themed games so the more, the merrier for me.

    Btw, that big PSN hack back in 2011? It started the day that PSN was supposed to go cross-platform with Steam for Portal 2. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not.

  • I need….I want…this was my most anticipated game of E3 & has been since it was announced excited when I can finally get my hands on it.

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