Last week we finally got to see it moving Ghost of Tsushima, the new Sucker Punch game that is set to be the last major PlayStation 4 exclusive when it goes on sale next July 17, 2020. To delve further into what this stealth action game will offer set in the age of samurai, we’ve talked to Jason Connell, creative and artistic director and Nate Fox, director of the game about “the greatest game in Sucker Punch history”, who also developed inFamous and Sly Cooper.
“It is much bigger (than Infamous: Second Son). It is definitely the biggest Sucker Punch game we have ever done in an overwhelming way, both in the number of things that are in it and in the pure landscape, in terms of square meters, “Connell told us.
One of the associated questions has to do with what we saw in the State of Play, how Sucker Punch intends to motivate us to explore and reward our curiosity. They want to do it with an island that has multiple biomes and side quests and noteworthy targets that come up simply by exploring. What we saw during the presentation was just the tip of the iceberg, a simple parallel mission at the beginning of the game. If you were afraid that taking control of the camps was the main focus, Nate takes the worry away.
“What you saw in the presentation was some secondary action in the game. It was not part of any particular story. The map has Mongols everywhere, and The main part will be Jin’s transformation from being a samurai to becoming the Ghost. Along with that story, you will meet people trying to survive in the world, with stories that will branch out from the main one. That is the core of the game. “
Connell explained that the team is often asked about the size of Ghost of Tsushima in terms of the duration to complete the game, although he noted that it is difficult to pin down because “completing” can mean various things to people in open-world games. Some people just play history and others want to find it all. The studio recognized him and worked “to create a world big enough that it has both possibilities: people who just want to play history and people who want to get lost in the environment”
“By not following Jin’s story and being guided by your curiosity, you will definitely become stronger than simply following Jin’s story linearly, but more importantly, you get a much more varied and interesting experience. There are all kinds of stories and Hidden items you have access to by following your curiosity. That’s why we don’t add markers on the map. We want you to get lost in Tsushima, that when you go to a hill, suddenly you hear a bird and think, ‘maybe I will follow it’. Just lose you from one thing to another, and we want to give you the tools and the freedom to do it. “
As the landscapes in that scenario have shown, Ghost of Tsushima seems to be a visually beautiful adventure. Given that it’s the first complete Sucker Punch game since Infamous: Second Son in 2014, one of the first batch of PS4, Connell explained how the studio has worked to squeeze the hardware as the last exclusive to the system.
“We have learned a lot and built it on the technology itself and we have amazing technical rendering gurus in Sucker Punch,” Connell said. “They have managed to bring out every bit of performance so that we can fulfill our dreams of making this game.”
“You can see pretty far in the game as we show, and that’s not something made up with hacks.” You can go down from that mountain and go to those places. It’s amazing what they have been able to accomplish for us from a technical perspective, “he continued, pointing to the combined work of the many different teams within the studio coming together to produce Tsushima.
That work has been dedicated to producing the ambitious island of Tsushima, inspired by the location of the real world, although established hundreds of years ago. Connell explained that while the team sought to honor and respect the real-life environment (the landmass in the game has the same geographic shape as the real-world Tsushima), is not intended to be an exact recreation, especially given the setting period.
“When it comes to some of the biomes and places you go to, it’s a long time ago, there is no perfect map of afforestation of what was where,” Connell said, pointing to the similar approach of Sucker Punch with Second Son to Capture the essence of Seattle without necessarily recreating it building by building.
One of the most important aspects of creating this attractive and open space involved making that the different areas of Tsushima were artistically unique, as Connell pointed to the Golden Forest seen on the horizon during the Tsushima State of Play. Connell did not offer an exact number for the different regions but counted the giant fields exhibited at the last Tsushima E3: a bamboo forest, a swampy area, and more among the Tsushima biomes.
“The map we showed during the State of Play was very enlarged,” Fox explains. “That was just a small part of the starting area, the actual map is huge.” Tsushima Island encompasses the biomes you can find on the main island of JapanFrom snowy mountains to bamboo forests to waterfalls and hills, it’s all there. “Although the map is very large, Sucker Punch made sure it didn’t feel empty.” We want to give enough stuff to keep it electrifying for the player. We didn’t want to make a big map and have nothing on it. So it’s packed with people, articles, and stories to explore. “
“We went to great lengths from an art direction perspective to make (each area) feel distinctly different and try not to muddy things up,” he said. “While it may seem inconspicuous, when you get close, it feels very memorable. I can remember where it is, I can see it from all over the island. And that is important to us because the island is large, and we are not putting markers all over the place, so you have to find other visual references to keep your orientation intact. “
As for whether players can explore the entire island from the start, Connell was shy about exactly how much he would be available to explore, but from the looks of it, Tsushima will focus players on Jin’s story before opening up the world at large. . “With a story as big as ours and a game as big as ours, it’s incredibly important to us that people understand Jin’s journey first. It is a lot to assimilate. So the first part, we want to make sure you understand who he is, what happened to this island. So there’s a bit of an introduction, “he said.” It’s really important to do that before you open the floodgates. But then, once you get to that point, it’s pretty open. “
Of course, combat and the way to finish off your enemies will be another of the pillars. Fox explains that “this will be a big part for you as a player. How you win, if the sword is not enough, and that is what you will explore and try to do in fights. You start the game by being excellent with the sword. You feel that it is you Duty to protect the island and that never changes, but as the game deepens, you become this infamous character as the Ghost and reputation precede Jin, “Fox explains of Jin’s progression in the game.” skills you choose you get the style of play that best suits you. You can be successful in the game simply by playing as samurai if you want. A couple of developers are doing this. “
Even if you can choose to fight like samurai throughout the game this will prove to be an additional challenge. As stated before, the Mongol army is strong and has already defeated many samurai before you. Then Jin finds another way and inevitably becomes the Ghost to protect and save his people. The Ghost becomes a very exaggerated character. Fearful of invaders, loved by locals as their protector. Fox explains that “as the player decides how the Ghost evolves and where he places his skill points, what type of armor he uses and upgrades, he is highly customizable. At the same time, Jin is a trained samurai and we don’t forget his abilities, so it has both samurai fighting skills while becoming better and better like Ghost. It is not binary, you can switch between the two styles as you like during the game. You start with great sword skills and that never goes away, but as you go deeper you get reputation and skills like the ghost. “
Jin becoming the Ghost proves to be tough on him throughout history, as the fighting style is not the Bushido style. “He was raised in the samurai code and has to give up some ideas of who he believed he was to become the Ghost and save his home. And without gutting anything, I can say that you have to make some personal sacrifices to do the right thing for the people of the island. “
Jin’s skills, however, will not be a guarantee of success and the studio foresees a difficult game: “We are trying to make a realistic game in that regard, so a couple of punches from the enemy will kill you. The game is very challenging. We have three words to describe combat: mud, blood, and steel.. We absolutely honor the lethality of the sword. We saw samurai movies and people fell with one or two punches, and that is embedded within combat. Defeating the Mongols in battle will be difficult, but it is that challenge that makes you feel alive and rewarding victory. You can’t just run to a camp and fight 5 people at the same time, you will feel overwhelmed and you will die. “
Engaging in combat and succeeding will not be easy, and you probably have to use everything you have to win a fight, and most importantly, play smart. Sucker Punch wants to honor this trait from old samurai movies, featuring one-on-one confrontations against another swordsman, which will prove to be very challenging. “One thing we didn’t show in State of Play that I wish I had done is that the game features duels against other expert swordsmen. This is a classic samurai thing. Those fights are incredibly difficult and based on personality and resolved in the most cinematic way possible, which is also true to fantasy. You must study your opponent and understand how they attack to win. “