My expectations going in to the final first-party PS4 release, Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima, were kept to a relative minimum. I just wanted to spend a few hours exploring the island for pretty screenshots of samurai fun. While within minutes I was able to confirm this relatively simple goal would be easily achievable, I did not anticipate that the splendid dopamine injection provided by following the guiding wind, playful inari, and majestic birds to the world’s many secrets would absorb me so much that I would get my second ever platinum trophy because I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss a single beautiful surprise. Even though the game was in no way revolutionary, it masterfully built up all the lessons taught by the current-gen’s open world breakthroughs for one remarkable experience that was a fitting send-off for the PS4. Most importantly, though, it did provide me with a ton of those sought after screenshots of the game’s countless visual marvels.
The Scenic Route
First up, we have the best of all the scenic views from my journey. This is truly the meat and potatoes of what this game delivers. This game could have ditched combat completely and just been a walking simulator of Tsushima, and I probably would’ve been ok with it.
The Sun and Moon
I found myself constantly fascinated by how pretty catching the sun or moon in the background of any picture instantly made it. These are my best attempts at being artsy.
The Sun and Moon Winner
Fun with Friends
Throughout my adventures I made many allies in my quest to free the island from the Mongolian invasion – some of which were human, and some of which were animals. But all of them were damn photogenic.
Human Friends Winner
The Rest of Human Friends
One of my favorite things in the entire game was finding a fox den and following them to a shrine to pay my respects and earn some pets. 100% of the time, I greeted them by saying “Hello, Mr. Fox”, and it never got old. There’s unfortunately one side quest involving someone attacking the foxes, and I have never had more contempt for a video game character in my life. Trust me when I say justice was swiftly delivered.
Hello, Mr. Fox Winner
The Rest of the Inari
I wish I had spent more time with my trusty steed, Sora, but I often decided to trek about on foot because I’d get to excited to see what was over in the distance. When I did ride her, however, she always delivered good pics.
Horsey Fantastico Winner
Rest of the Horsies
Poetry in Motion
After battling hard, it was always a treat to take some time to reflect on the inner mysteries of life while overlooking nature. I strove to strike just the right balance between ridiculous and terrible with my haiku writing, and I like to think I was a smashing success.
My Collection of Haikus
Not everything fits into a neat category, so here are some of the best assorted happenings on my trip.
The Rest of the Weird and Random
Being Moody in Entryways
I really didn’t know where to put these, but I thoroughly enjoyed taking pictures looking extremely moody in entryways. It was an important part of the Ghost persona.
The Violence Behind the Beauty
I saved the bloody pictures for last. Now we move away from the picturesque scenery into the horrors of war and watch Jin Sakai transform into the Ghost.
The Rest of Basic Combat
While the chaos of taking on legions of foes was always fun, I perhaps enjoyed the simple one-on-one duels even more for their test of patience and precision.
The Rest of Dueling
Taking it to Extremes
I was somewhat surprised at how relatively “restrained” the game was with its violence early on, but that was just to set the stage for how far you would go as the Ghost. Below are the bloodiest, limb chopping-est photos around.
The Brutality of the Ghost Winner
The Rest of the Ghost’s Path of Destruction
May the legend of the Ghost live on.