Combat In Ghost Of Tsushima Took Six Years To Perfect

The flawless combat system in Ghost of Tsushima took six years to perfect, according to Sucker Punch co-founder Brian Fleming.

ghost of tsushima
Credit: Sucker Punch

Fleming revealed the trials and tribulations behind creating Ghost of Tsushima’s combat system at a GDC Showcase AMA.

During the session, Fleming was asked what feature of the game was the most difficult to implement, which instantly prompted Fleming to delve into the game’s combat [via IGN]:

Easy answer and the answer is combat. The combat system was something that the team that worked on that — the handful of programmers and designers and animators — you know they worked nonstop for six years and built multiple versions of it with multiple approaches.”

Jin with a sword
Credit: Sucker Punch Productions

Combat in Ghost of Tsushima is slick and satisfying, with elegant mechanics and graceful techniques.

Essentially, the game’s combat has players attempting to stagger enemies, implementing cinematic death blows when the time is right. Accompanying the game’s dualling system is a package of stealth mechanics, which allows players to use strategy during combat scenarios.

The Sucker Punch head also reflected on other in-game features, which had to be carefully balanced with Tsushima’s combat mechanics:

Samurai with a sword
Credit: Sucker Punch Productions

“The combat system along with a few other systems… they’re kind of the center of everything. They have to work in every situation, they have to work in every lighting situation, they have to work in every terrain, they have to work in every strange mode the game might be in — combat could potentially break out in.

It was an elusive, nonstop effort over literally a six-year journey continuing to work on that. I think the results were good but it was a long, difficult road.

ghost of tsushima
Credit: Sucker Punch Studios

Thankfully, Sucker Punch’s six-year journey to combat perfection in Ghost of Tsushima paid off. While the character Jin makes combat look effortless, it seems that its development was anything but. 

Ghost of Tsushima is available on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 through backwards compatibility. 

Featured Image Credit: Sucker Punch Productions