Ghostwire: Tokyo is a strange videogame in every way. While apparently it is a title of action and adventures, there are many influences of role play, such as level climbing and assigning skill points. It has all the features of an open world video game with dozens of markers that dot the map, but due to the care and specificity of its configuration, you never feel overwhelming or tedious. And there is a background of deranged horror and the supernatural that permeates everything. It would have been easy for all those elements to combine on a sticky digital work of epic proportions, but instead, the final product makes it a pleasant, although imperfect, walk through Tokyo… with a background of deranged terror and the supernatural.
The story begins when Tokyo is covered with a mysterious fog that basically converts all humans that come into contact with her in disembodied spirits. Akito manages to survive this thanks to the spirit of a ghost hunter called KK that the body of him inhabits immediately before the fog is processed from the location of him. The two, basically dual protagonists with a slight bias towards Akito, then try to face the man behind everything, Hanny, while trying to find Akito’s sister.
However, it is easier to say that doing so, since the streets of Tokyo are full of aggressive supernatural entities called visitors who bring together those corrupt incliminary spirits and torii doors that produce the aforementioned fog. Clean those doors and release the spirits means fighting visitors in the streets, as well as in specific buildings and even at the top of said buildings: there is a surprising amount of verticality in ghostwire: Tokyo and you can even slide from one building to another. These enemies range from pale and faceless businessmen with umbrella up to headless students and large and imposing women with giant scissors. While it is pretty easy to deal with them while being slipped, they can corral you or corral it if they are given the opportunity.
However, Akito, thanks to KK, has some tools at him to face them. While linked to Akito, KK grants the ability to use something called Ethereal Weaving, which is basically only elementary explosions (wind, fire and water) that hit in different ranges and have different effects. The wind is the first and most common, and will quickly eliminate enemies, while fire can be triggered online or loading to produce an explosion effect. Water, on the other hand, is more useful in situations in which enemies are grouped in front of the player while shooting in a given area.
Over time, Akito unlocks other equipment like an arc and talismanes, but Ethereal Weaving is the bread and butter of combat. Hitting an enemy with elementary explosions finally exposes its nucleus, which Akito can grab to immediately destroy said enemy. This is important because defeating enemies will also return some ether, which is basically supernatural ammunition. The ether is never scarce in Tokyo, since creepy objects can be destroyed to produce it, but the player can only take a limited amount at any given time.
Limited ammunition also makes most combat meetings in a kind of puzzle. As the game progresses, enemies become tougher and their nuclei are more difficult to expose. Use a shot to hit several enemies, or load to cause a lot of damage at a time, while you change through any element that makes more sense at a given time given the amount of space you have to play in the environment… is a lot. And while akito can move quickly when he wants and climbing objects, the route is generally a bit clumsy, and more than once I found myself cornered in a corner that I did not know I was there just to see a significant part of my health disappear All my careful plot.
This also means that, of all the various secondary and collectible missions that must be to look for, the Statues of Jizo are perhaps the most important and larger discomfort. These specifically increase the number of Ethereal Weaving shooting that he can perform from his associated element. Even with the ability to detect close collectibles (as well as enemies, consumables as foods that recharge health and merchants Nekomata) thanks to the spiritual vision of KK, which highlights those who are within reach for a short time when activated, the Jizo statues are relatively small and rare.. In other words, the most useful secrets are also the most painful of finding. Fortunately, the secrets of the game also have an audio signal in the form of a soft “Miau” when they are close.
Speaking of soft signals, Ghostwire: Tokyo is perhaps the best example of the possibility of the various bells and whistles of PlayStation 5, and especially the DualSense controller. Each player action includes some form of haptic feedback, but developers did not stop there. If it starts to rain outside, for example, holding the dualsense will make you feel as if the slight pounding of the drops hit just a raincoat. Something as trivial as Akito drums with his fingers on a phone has an attached haptic feedback every time his finger touches him.
And they are not just the haptics of the DualSense controller as Ghostwire: Tokyo The sound design makes a perfect use of the fact that it can also produce audio. For example, despite being inside Akito, KK can still communicate, but it is a kind of speaking distant and another world that apparently emanates from the hand of Akito… and the Dualsense controller, as long as you are not playing with headphones.
They are the little touches like this those who help me a lot. Detailed descriptions of Japanese meals or relics buried in the Database tab have no reason to exist, except for the fact that it paints a more complete image of the place. The manual seals, which require the player to draw a specific pattern to do things like cleaning rebel spectra, seem totally unnecessary but feel good. Gathering the large number of Spirit groups that splash Tokyo, which can apparently be ministerously reforming at bodies by sending them through a telephone line outside the fog, is the easiest way to gain experience and money at the same time. And yes, you can caress dogs, plural. There are dozens of small and deliberate design options like this, which may seem intricate or overwhelming, but instead they look like a charming world construction.
GHOSTWIRE: Tokyo is not in any way a perfect video game. Ultimately, it was less interested in history than in the city in which it develops. I never met with unused skill points, but the benefit of using them did not particularly scaped well since somewhere after level 20 became increasingly incremental. And although it took me much longer than historically, the open world nature of the game eventually affected me and I found myself omitting more optional content than at the beginning. However, it is a perfectly good video game and an excellent example of what the PlayStation 5 can do in the appropriate hands.
Rating: 4 of 5
GHOSTWIRE: Tokyo will be launched for PlayStation 5 and PC on March 25, but anyone who reserves the Deluxe edition of PS5 through PlayStation Store can play March 22. The editor provided a PlayStation 5 review code for this review, and was reviewed in a PlayStation 5 with a disk drive.