Ghostwire: The realistic yet surreal view of Tokyo is the best we’ve seen in years

We’ve seen games that tackle real-life slots before – GTA 5 had a favorable blow in California, Watch Dogs: Legion accurately depicts how gray and messy London really is, and Dog is sleeping There’s the bustle of Hong Kong just right – but there’s something about the Tokyo version of Tango Gameworks that’s completely different. And it can be the intermediate plane.

From abandoned izakayas to grocery stores with metal shutters that sparkle with ghostly interference, mossy temples lit only by candles and lanterns to cozy apartments, eerily quiet, making them feel at home, Ghostwire: Tokyo get the feeling of an abandoned city right? And it does it dynamically.

Developer Tango Gameworks – headed by Resident Evil director and creator, Shinji Mikami – intentionally built this version of Tokyo as a ‘reimagining’ of the world’s largest metropolitan area. The city of the same name in Ghostwire: Tokyo witnessed a number of mysterious events take place that caused a large part of the population to disappear. In their wake are ‘guests’, mysterious and often malignant entities hostile to what remains of life.

At the heart of this unsettling mystery is your protagonist, Akito, who is haunted by the spirit of a ghost hunter named KK – who seems to hold some pretty hardline communist views, for what? valuable. Akito, possessed by his comrades and powered by an energy essentially equivalent to a magic finger gun, is tasked with using his mystical pegs to purify Tokyo and banish apparitions. aspect of the other world.


Wandering around Tokyo, cleaning the Torii gates and purifying the shrines, you can see how Tango Gameworks really plays with the wonderful mix of modern and traditional that Tokyo does so well. Your enemy is Hannyo, a curious guy wearing an oni mask and fashionable Tokyo streetwear. All of Shibuya is gone – at least ’50 to 100,000′ people, in KK. “The more you clean, the more we can discover,” says KK. “And we put even more pressure on that masked freak.” So there is your raison d’etre.

But for me, all that gameplay and story content is secondary to the setting: whether it’s unbranded coke cans, high-end hotels with gilded signage of them, or a lifelike projector that throws images on the wall (that’s correct even with its overly complicated control panel on the back), the fidelity and attention to detail in Ghostwire : Tokyo left a deep, deep impression on me.


There was one moment in our actual game demo that really stood out for me. Akito and KK were wandering through a quiet part of the city – rain fell on the floor, neon lights reflected brightly in it – and something lurched into an alley behind. A Shiba Inu – abandoned no doubt when the fury hit – stood agitated and barked into the alley. Our protagonist raises his hand, ready to make mystical finger adjustments to protect him, and slips into the alley.

What awaits him are faceless businessmen, holding umbrellas and bleeding. Miserable, wet and angry, they lunged at Akito as he interlocked his hands in a desperate attempt to defend himself. When unsettling creatures (possibly a damned metaphor for civilization’s obsession with working/employment culture) pounce at you, you can see the detail on their clothing. . Even down to the stitching – that’s good enough to make even Patrick Bateman blush. When Akito repels them, the clothes and umbrellas they use deform and deteriorate. That’s right; Tango had such faith in graphics fidelity and an eye for detail that it even shied away from damage numbers and health bars and shoved all that information into the world itself. Ballsy.


As the game moves from the realism of the streets of Tokyo to the tangled reality of its inhabitants’ homes, you can see some of The Evil Within’s DNA more clearly. In Ghostwire’s MC Escher-inspired spectral dungeons, you can see the team’s intentions grow even more; These House of Leaves-like levels plunge you into zigzag interpretations, like a maze of Japanese suburban homes that accentuate the casual feel of street-level gameplay.

The contrast between the spot scene in the streets of Tokyo and the curious wonderland of the game’s ‘dungeon’ accentuates how impressive each aspect of the game is. It makes the ordinary seem safer, the unnatural even more difficult. The air in these houses was thick with menace. We all know that ‘Ashtray Maze’ is the best part of Control – well, imagine that, but fragmented and scattered throughout the entire game. And infected by evil spirits.

These spirits are also among the famous figures in Japanese folklore; From tengu to kasa-obake, headless schoolgirls to girls who look like a hand-drawn kuchisake-onna, Ghostwire is a gallery of ancient yokai forgers with reference to the modern world. Nioh, eat your heart out. We didn’t look too much into the different adversaries, but if they all have the attention to detail we’ve seen in entrepreneurs then I think it’s safe to say you won’t get bored with the chase. they go from the physical realm any time soon.

But it’s not all fighting; Unfortunately for Tokyo’s confused souls (but lucky for the game designers), lots of low-level, non-hostile ghosts are bound in one location – so that means It’s you, the player, that will have to go out and find their missing pets, or recover their lost items, or chase away their haunted houses. At least there is an XP bar that always ticks in the top right of your screen. Sometimes good karma isn’t rewarding enough by itself, is it?


Instead of using reload animations and guns and all the jazz stuff you might expect from action-horror games, the studio clearly invested a lot of money in getting the visuals cool animations and motifs on your main character’s hands; every movement seemed to be filled with intention and power, and all very fluid. However, you also have bows and arrows – in case your digits get tired of all these pompous gestures and you need a little range.

But the game looks best when you use your hands. The best power is a powerful shield that you can instantly unleash to catch enemy bullets and bring them back from where they came – it’s like half as much a game as Souls , and half like that BioShock power that lets you shoot and throw bullets at Spli Cancer. The folks at Tango have done their homework when it comes to first person combat.

But, again, all of that is secondary to the detailed and candid interpretation of Tokyo that sits at the heart of the game. There’s no mistake Tokyo is right there, in big, clear capital letters, all over the game’s marketing. This is a love letter to the city in the same way that Sleeping Dogs is a love letter to Hong Kong or The Getaway is a love letter to London. Ghostwire: Tokyo even released a remarkable 1:1 version of the Yakuza’s Dontonburi.

Sitting there, watching some virtual developer play a game for me on a video call on a rainy Monday morning, the only thing missing was the smell of takoyaki wafting from a nearby vendor and me I swear to God I could have been there.

Ghostwire: Tokyo launches for PS5 and PC on March 25. If you want to read more about Shinji Mikami and his other projects, you can read about his hope that any potential Resident Evil 4 Remake will improve the original story which he himself wrote, and his wish is to direct at least one more game.

blank Ghostwire: The realistic yet surreal view of Tokyo is the best we’ve seen in years

Fry Electronics Team

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