Best in Arts & Entertainment 2020 Mid-Year: #8 – Ghost of Tsushima (Video Game)

8. Ghost of Tsushima (Video Game, PS4)

This is the samurai game that I have wanted to play my whole life. It’s a huge and sprawling narrative, with expertly crafted swordplay. It also throws in some fun stealth aspects, that pale in comparison to games like ‘The Last of Us Part II’ or ‘Metal Gear Solid V’, but are still fun in their own right. Yet, it’s the world of Tsushima, and the game makers loving recreation of Japanese cinema, that pushes this game above so many samurai games that came before it.

There is even a mode in this game where you can play through the filter of old Akira Kurosawa movies. Which is pretty darn cool and show just how much the creators loved the filmmakers who’s shoulders they are stepping on. The rich textures of the black & white images or the muted soundscape are painstakingly recreated. Still, despite how cool this feature is, I can only recommend it for a few missions. The world of Tsushima is so rich in color and texture, that you would be doing yourself a disservice to miss it. Honestly, this game might not have the best graphics out there, but it is certainly in the top 3 most beautiful worlds committed to gaming.

You add a fairly compelling narrative, with some decent side missions to the mix, and you get a game that is well worth the 30 hour investment. Well, it could take nearly 50 if you try to get everything there is in this vast world. My only real complaint is that I wish they would have worked harder on the facial animations and cutscenes. They come up flat when compared to some other recent titles. However, that doesn’t stop this beautiful and bloody game from reaching exciting heights.

Nathan Ligon

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