Ghostwire: Tokyo Review

When Tango Gameworks and Shinji Mikami revealed that Ghostwire: Tokyo was an action-adventure game instead of a survival horror game, their fans were understandably confused. Mikami played a major role in Resident Evil and Dino Crisis during his time at Capcom, while the other Tango series in its library is The Evil Within. In fact, Ghostwire: Tokyo was originally pitched as The Evil Within 3, and parts of that horror element are still evident in its DNA. Ghostwire: Tokyo jumps into action, showing players how people are rapidly disappearing across the city, and deadly, otherworldly Visitors begin flooding in alongside a dangerous fog. KK, now without a body, must have someone to defend the city, and he tries to take Akito’s body. Obviously, this is not a good way for any two people to meet, and the growth of Akito and KK’s relationship is one of the best parts of the game. The most impressive aspect of Ghostwire: Tokyo is the city itself. At times, it feels like players are walking the streets of Tokyo, with enough hidden secrets to simplify overall exploration. It’s so well done and so realistic, in fact, that players may forget they’re playing a game full of hideous monsters, accidentally getting close to one before they realize it’s not just a little girl on the street. Ghostwire Tokyo_Dog While Ghostwire: Tokyo isn’t classified as an open-world game, it certainly feels like it at times. Players must clear the Torii gates to open up new sections of the map, push back the deadly fog and unlock fast travel. It reveals new points of interest, side quests, and more. Soon, the map is covered with things to see and do, and while that’s neither good nor bad, its map design definitely feels like a Ubisoft open-world game. It’s not the same as recent Assassin’s Creed or Far Cry entries, as Ghostwire: Tokyo has a smaller map, but it fills the map in a similar way. While there are supernatural elements, flying Tengu, enemies, and corruption all over Tokyo, it never makes the city unbelievable. The supernatural and the realistic are all balanced, and it shines when players explore the world. In fact, there are several times when players are outside the city or in nearby, damp, and slightly creepy locations—abandoned parking lots, crowded hallways, creepy hospitals—and the scariest aspect isn’t Ghostwire: The Tokyo Visitor designs, but the world itself. Make no mistake, Tango Gameworks’ experience with enemy design shines through, and these Visitors are disruptive in unique ways. These otherworldly creatures don’t just play on players’ fears, as Tango’s strategy is described as “the extraordinary hiding in the ordinary.” Many of these enemies may seem safe from afar, even mistaken for generic NPCs, but it is when they open up to players that they are truly terrifying. Not to mention, even when players face these enemies, it may take a moment or two before they realize all the details packed into these enemies. There are around 10 types of enemies in Ghostwire: Tokyo, with many of them having stronger, different colored variations in the game. There are also several boss fights in the game, and the strength of each of them comes back to the design of the enemy. Dealing with these enemies can be fun because of how they are designed, but players can burn out quickly. ghostwire tokyo slash the mouth girl Ghostwire: Tokyo’s battle is best described as a flashy sprint, not a marathon. As Akito gets used to having KK’s spirit in his body, he gains access to three fighting abilities. Players must collect ether to recharge these abilities, but they can shoot a quick and powerful blast of air, a fire-spear/bomb, or a wide water attack . There’s also a spirit bow, which KK can use when he’s separated from Akito, as well as some charms. Ghostwire: Tokyo will occasionally separate KK and Akito, either as part of a battle with severance attacks or for story reasons, and it really accentuates the horror of the Visitors. But, anyway, everything players do in combat will be done by Chapter 2, and it’s just repetitive from there. RELATED: Ghostwire: Tokyo Devs Discuss ‘Slit-Mouthed Woman’ Urban Legends With the way Akito uses his hands to build these attacks, there’s a certain wow factor when first seeing Ghostwire: Tokyo gameplay . It feels like it has a lot of places to go, but in the short term, it becomes spamming an attack as soon as possible or using the strongest attack against a strong enemy. There’s not much combat, and the boss fights—which offer the game’s best fight sequences—don’t do much to make it up. A lot of Ghostwire: Tokyo also focuses on Akito’s hands, as they are the only source of power in battle, but they are also used to clear Torii gates, seal away evil spirits, and more. There are many inspirations to develop in Akito’s hands, depending on what the player is doing, but this is something where that novelty burns out quickly. Perhaps one reason for this quick burnout in the game is the pacing of the story. The first two chapters jump right into the story, laying it all out on the line for Akito and KK and showing the massive potential of its battle and story, but a lot of it doesn’t follow through. Midway through the game, the story stops after a massive event, and it doesn’t really add up. ghostwire tokyo nekomata The beginning and end of Ghostwire: Tokyo are intense, action-oriented, and still scary, but everything in between is less driven. These days, the side quests in Ghostwire: Tokyo are actually more interesting than the story. Since there are no living, breathing NPCs in the game, the approach here is not what fans usually expect from side quests. Players often help the spirits solve things that prevent them from moving forward, and the game can put players in really scary locations, like a hotel where no one leaves alive. In fact, Ghostwire: Tokyo is at its best when it allows the player to become a full-fledged Spirit Detective, which often happens during side quests. Players will sometimes have to find doors hidden by Yokai, solve a quick little mystery, chase spirit weasels around, gather some spirits, fight them, rescue them, and more . Of course, there are more traditional side quests in the game—there’s a series of “fetch quests” called requests where players must find items for a friendly cat Yokai named Nekomata—but the stories that covering Japanese folklore is the best. Ultimately, Ghostwire: Tokyo’s world-building, Japanese folklore, and character dynamics are engaging, but the pacing and combat weigh down the middle section. Ghostwire: Tokyo releases March 21 for PC and PS5. Today Technology was provided with a PS5 code for the purposes of this review. MORE: Ghostwire: Tokyo Interview with Tango Gameworks and Shinji Mikami

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