‘Ghosts of Tsushima’ is not Samurai Cinema, it is a popcorn movie

Growing like A kid immersed in American popular culture, it’s hard to escape the impression that samurai are really cool. Japanese figures, the military nobility of a certain period in Japanese history, beginning in the 12th century, have been completely absorbed by American pop nerdiness and have become infinite amazing models. Supposedly honorable, supposedly invincible and in beautiful armor, samurai are exactly the type of heroes that people adore: anachronistic and supposedly noble. Of course, samurai are actually more complicated than that, a contested symbol of Japanese nationalism that occupies a disorderly place in the history of that country and a tense intersection of intercultural pollination, since the image enters the lexicon of our culture without any of the deepest. Political or symbolic baggage intact.

The first thing you should get out of the way Ghost of tsushima, developer Sucker Punch’s new open-world game about samurai, is that he’s not very interested in those cultural issues. Ghost of tsushima It is firmly a game for that American boy and the person they grew up to be. This game doesn’t think deeply about the samurai, just how cool it is when a samurai plunges his sword deep into an enemy’s chest. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily, depending on what you are looking for and what your relationship is with these cultural tropes. But knowing how to enter: Ghost of tsushima It is not a tall samurai cinema. It’s a popcorn movie.

The story follows Jin Sakai, a nobleman and samurai during the first Mongol invasion of Japan, during the 1270s. After a disastrous early battle on the island of Tsushima, Jin is left alone, his dead army, his uncle, Lord Sakai , captured. From here, he has to rebuild himself, as video game protagonists always do: leveling skill trees, capturing territory, winning allies, and eventually fighting bosses to unlock more territory and … you get the idea. Along the way, learn some ideas that are dishonorable for this pop culture version of a samurai but traditional for a video game protagonist: how to stab a bad boy in the back to maintain stealth, how to use an impossibly sturdy grappling hook , and The courage to escape from the guys who are clearly stronger. It’s a family cycle of character exploration, combat, and growth that builds on a decade of open-world video games, with a samurai glow at the top.

To be fair, that samurai cloak has its moments. The fight shines once you’ve mastered it: a frantic dance of various sword positions and stops, a mix of the big group multi-directional type of fighting popularized by Batman Arkham Asylum. In Ghost of tsushima, The same as Arkham, combat is almost a kind of movement-paced game between different opponents in crazy improvisation, and a more polite and defensive combat style that will be familiar to players of that other samurai game, From Software’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. different to Sekiro, Ghost It’s not a big challenge, but it’s not necessarily forgiving in his fights either. He asks him to pay attention and at least learn when to block the enemy or when to throw his kunai (little chivalrous) to stun heavy guys so he can stab them in the behind. Combined with detailed combat animations that emphasize grace and caring for your protagonist’s fighting style, fighting in this game fits fantasy. You are a swordsman beyond your peers, a deadly vector with a perfect sword.

Ghost of tsushima It also has an aesthetic touch. While many of the more granular character models and ambient textures are pretty stiff for a top-notch PlayStation game, it’s worth opening extensions, horizons, and color gradients. Through the careful use of color and particles (cherry blossoms and leaves scattered in the breeze, small blades of wind and watercolor-shaped dust)Ghost of tsushima creates a sense of mystique and greatness that permeates the game. As long as you don’t look too closely, let’s say, how your character moves across the grass, by cropping it completely, or you become obsessed with the way the camera hugs the ground in a way that really limits your view of the horizon when you’re not on your horse, a trick that, once you notice it, feels like an obvious ploy to make the environment look bigger without really letting you see more.