I didn’t know what to expect when going into the Ghostwire Tokyo preview event. The game definitely piqued my interest when first announced. With only glimpses of new details here and there since then and a change of director, there was a lot that felt unknown though. Surely a horror game from Tango Gameworks, the team behind Evil Within, is in good hands… right?
I’m glad to say that my concerns were put to ease within minutes. The event I attended was a hands-off presentation that showed us unedited gameplay and provided us with a lot of information. Graphically it might not have been as wow as the initial reveal trailer but there’s a confidence in the style of Ghostwire Tokyo. It feels like a game, at least from a hands-off perspective, that knows what it wants to be and sticks the landing.
What is Ghostwire Tokyo
Ghostwire Tokyo is a supernatural first-person action-adventure game set in an open-world Tokyo. Ghosts and other supernatural beings have invaded the city and are causing havoc. This is all down to the antagonist Hannya and his followers. You’ll be able to unlock new areas of Tokyo as you progress through the game by cleansing Torii gates. A good comparison would be the radio towers in Far Cry games.
The city has been completely wiped of most of its life by Hannya. The preview mentioned that 50 thousand-100 thousand people had vanished in Shibuya. You play as Akito, a man that has fused with a spirit called KK. KK has quite a lot of knowledge about spirits though which helps you. Why does he have this? Because he used to be a ghost hunter! It’s not just the knowledge of your spirit friend you’ll have to help you against the spooky enemies though.
Players are able to get their hands on weaponry (a bow was shown off in the preview) but most of the combat seems like it will be done by using the mystical arts of Ethereal Weaving.
This is part of what helps give Ghostwire Tokyo a more unique feel than a lot of first-person action games. The colours and shapes that are shown as you do these attacks look lovely and really make the screen pop. Think of the attacks we’ve seen Doctor Strange make in Marvel films and you get a good idea of what to visualise. You can use your moves to attack, defend and reflect.
You also seem to be rewarded by doing the fights tactically. Enemies have a core that can be exposed to make them easier to defeat. If you are able to expose the cores of multiple enemies you’re fighting you can do a finishing move that gets rid of them all at once.
The enemies are unsettling and do a good job of giving you that sense of unease you want from a horror. The preview also showed off some very cool reality-bending horror that I will not spoil too much. I will say though that it made what could be a rather boring “go from A to B” much more interesting.
Not All Ghosts Are Bad
Ghostwire Tokyo isn’t just a game where you take down evil spirits all the time. There’s a whole city to explore and lost spirits to rescue. You can also find yokai (one was a shopkeeper cat that was adorable and I shall be doing a lot of business with them when the game releases) and a lot more. The main story seems like it will be quite dark but there’s a bit of lightheartedness that helps alleviate it with the dialogue of the characters.
The more you help spirits the more powers you’ll be able to get making your progress through the game a little bit easier.
Final Words and Ghostwire Tokyo Release Date
During the event, we were not told what the release date was. Now it seems that was because PlayStation had some plans they wanted to reveal. We found during a recent livestream that Ghostwire Tokyo will release on PS5 and PC on March 25th 2022. Much earlier than some expected.
It’s one of the more unique looking games in the 2022 gaming lineup and from everything I’ve seen so far, it’s one I believe could be a standout. Ghostwire Tokyo has everything you want in a game. It feels familiar whilst also feeling unique and has some truly interesting designs and ideas at play. If it wasn’t on your radar before reading this, I highly recommend you place it on there now. Ghostwire Tokyo could be the best horror game of the year.
Featured image credit: Bethesda