Ghostwire Tokyo

Five Reasons Why We’re Already Excited For Ghostwire: Tokyo

Ghostwire: Tokyo is closer than we’d ever have expected and it’s the first original game from Tango Gameworks since the studio’s inception over a decade ago. While I absolutely adored The Evil Within, I was intrigued by everything Ghostwire: Tokyo offered up in its initial reveal trailer and was excited to see the studio try something new.

Since the game was revealed at E3 2019, it’s been rather quiet. But not anymore. I was fortunate enough to attend a hands-off preview event of the game and while it’s not quite as horror-tinged as I’d like it to be, Ghostwire: Tokyo is looking to offer up a unique take on the first-person shooter genre that only a developer like Tango can provide.

After watching an extended gameplay demonstration from the development team, here are five things that struck me most about Ghostwire: Tokyo and why it should be on your radar.

IT HAS AN INTRIGUING STORY

Ghostwire: Tokyo takes place in Tokyo, funnily enough. You play as Akito, a young Japanese man who finds himself fused with a being who refers to himself as KK. KK himself is an experienced ghost hunter who has somehow become a spirit but seems to be knowing more than he lets on with Akito. KK acts as your “internal voice” throughout the game and will no doubt guide you through all the strange happenings in Tokyo.

While what we were shown was still quite cryptic, the plot seems to revolve around Akito and KK’s quest to stop another mysterious being known only as Hannya. He’s the one you might have seen wearing a white Oni mask stained with black fluid. To make things a little bit more personal too, Akito’s family is in danger too. The story is intriguing, without a doubt, and I’m excited to see just where it will go.

THE MAGIC COMBAT HAS GREAT POTENTIAL

Referred to in-game as Supernatural Weaving, Akito and KK have a whole bunch of powers at their disposal when exploring Tokyo. The combat system has been described by the developers as “karate meets magic” and has Akito using magic to wear down supernatural enemies to expose their cores, which can then be purified to presumably exorcise the demons from Tokyo.

Powers look like they won’t just be offensive either. Some of the abilities Akito used in the short demo we saw allowed him to find hidden objects in the area (so, exploration is definitely in) as well as being used for traversal through the games world like a grappling hook.

There’s even a bow and arrow too if that’s your vibe. Towards the end of the demo, we also got a peek at a new fire-based power too.

That’s not all though – certain spells and abilities can act as deflects and reflects during battle. During a more intense battle towards the end of the demo, it looked incredibly fulfilling to see Akito fight off three supernatural beings while also reflecting flanking projectiles with little effort. It looks fast and super fun.

THE YOKAI INSPIRED ENEMIES LOOK MENACING

Perhaps borrowing from the developer’s pedigree of horror games, Ghostwire: Tokyo looks to have some pretty creepy-looking enemies even if the game isn’t quite a horror experience. Some of them are based on Japanese folklore – so expect to run into Tengu and Kappa and all kinds of beings throughout the city. Some are friendly, some are especially terrifying but most can provide some kind of benefit to Akito.

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One enemy that especially caught my eye was the Ko-omote, which is a malevolent force that wears a damaged Noh mask and sports long and dirty hair. It looks like something ripped straight out of a Japanese history book but filtered through a macabre lens that only the developer of The Evil Within could come up with. Needless to say, I’m excited to see what other Yokai, both good and bad, will make an appearance as the game progresses.

TOKYO LOOKS LIKE A FUN OPEN WORLD TO PLAY IN WITH MORE DEPTH THAN I EXPECTED

During the demo, there was a brief moment where the player opened their menu and we got to see a quick snippet of what the world of Ghostwire: Tokyo looks like. While it’s hard to exactly grasp how big the game will be, it looks like the game will have at least some open-level design elements. Tokyo itself is filled with main quests and side missions that presumably help to improve Akito’s “synergy level”.

There was even a fairly comprehensive-looking skill tree too – though I only was able to see the player improve the distance of their spectral vision rather than anything to do with combat. Regardless, just seeing these small little teases gives me high hopes for Ghostwire: Tokyo, as it looks to be Tango’s first proper foray into the open-world genre. And it still feels as unique as ever.

THE PRESENTATION IS SOMETHING TRULY SPECIAL

This is perhaps the most obvious one of the five, but Ghostwire: Tokyo really feels like it’s come a long way since it was first shown off. It’s only running on the new generation of consoles, which is already a plus, but seeing this warped and twisted version of Tokyo in motion is really something. The world of Ghostwire: Tokyo looks to have a very brooding and menacing undertone to it, but at the same time is bright, colourful, and soaked in neon. It’s a truly unique world I can’t wait to explore.

Similarly, the original music we were treated to while waiting for the demo and during the gameplay itself was incredibly atmospheric. Booming taiko drums really add a unique character to the game’s music during intense battles. On the other side of the coin, just walking through Tokyo as you hear the rain tap on the pavement of the street is both calming and eerie given how empty the busy city is. The attention to detail for both sound and visuals in Ghostwire: Tokyo will no doubt help to build the atmosphere the developers are working so hard to create.


Ghostwire: Tokyo releases on March 25th 2022 for Microsoft Windows and as a timed exclusive for PlayStation 5. You can pre-order it at Amazon for $79 with free shopping.