Sony showed the first gameplay of the upcoming samurai action game Ghost of Tsushima at their E3 2018 press conference this evening. It was a beautiful ballet of swords and arrows.
First announced at last year’s Paris Games Week, Ghost of Tsushima is the next game from Infamous studio Sucker Punch Productions, and it’s looking like a stark contrast to the superhero action of their previous work.
Starting with a text insert saying “Mongol invasion, day nine,” lone samurai Jin Sakai walks through grasslands with war raging just off on the horizon. Set in 1274, Ghost seems to depict the Mongol invasion of the island of Tsushima.
Galloping through the field, he heads to another area, across a bridge and towards civilians fleeing in distress. He runs into three swordsmen, where you get to see the first glimpses of combat with a tense stand-off between the player character and the lead enemy warrior. Jin hesitates to draw his sword, waiting to do so until he can fell him in one swoop right out of the sheath. Badass.
The fighting looks to have dodging, parrying, swiping—all you’d expect from a hack-and-slash action game. Sakai is the pioneer of a fighting technique, the “way of The Ghost,” and damn, does it look deadly.
The player then meets up with a friendly ally—Masako—before proceeding to a ruined temple guarded by two fatally unaware doofuses, where some stealth comes into play. While he stabs one bad guy, his pal shoots the other in the back with an arrow.
Hiding among the rafters, the main character sizes up the situation insides before dropping down and summarily dicing up all the foes inside. The stalk-n-drop was reminiscent of modern takes on stealth like Assassin’s Creed or Batman.
The trailer ends in the sudden turn of Masako against the protagonist over the monk they just rescued, resulting in a gorgeous swordfight set against the sunset. The two dance around each other, swinging and slashing. Each hit looks intense and damaging, even as a pure spectator. The two finally settle their difference by remembering their common enemy: the horde of approaching Mongol soldiers.
No word on a release date yet for this PlayStation 4 exclusive.