Initial release date: March 22, 2022
Developer: Tango Gameworks
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Engine: Unreal Engine 4
Mode: Single-player video game
Platforms: PlayStation 5, Microsoft Windows
Genres: Role-playing video game, Action-adventure game
"Review Copy Provided By Bethesda"
Ghostwire: Tokyo is one of the most anticipated titles of 2022 from Bethesda that looks to deliver a narratively strong FPS set in a nightmarish open-world Tokyo. In the time that I’ve had hands on with the game, I have had some tremendous fun with the game and have been hooked on the strong narrative that keeps getting more and more interesting. While I can’t dive too deeply into the games various chapters or the plot, I will be diving in and talking about my experience with the game from the first 2 chapters and my impressions to give you an idea of what to expect going into the game’s upcoming release.
Shinji Makami, known as the creator of the Resident Evil franchise, has returned to create one of the most devilishly atmospheric games I’ve ever played with Ghostwire: Tokyo which is set in modern day Tokyo during and after a paranormal event occurs and causes nearly all of the people of Tokyo to disappear save for our protagonist Akito. Akito must dive into the city to learn more of what is occurring as well as team up with the rouge spirit KK and battle the evil that blankets the city.
Ghostwire: Tokyo is an OpenWorld action adventure first person RPG similar in many ways to titles such as Far Cry and even Dying Light in that you are given free reign (initially to an extent) to traverse a massive map. You will start off with just being able to get around on foot, however, as you get further into the first two chapters you will get abilities that allow you to scale buildings in a single bound and glide for a limited time utilizing your spirit energy.
This game allows me to live out my Yu Yu Hakuso fantasies of being able to channel and fire off Spirit Gun like attacks unlike any other game before it. The way the game plays is like many other Bethesda first person shooters with the exception being that while combat is there, stealth is very important in this game as often you will need to decide how you want to approach a given situation depending on the amount and type of enemies you’ll encounter. You can utilize what’s called spiritual power to fire off spiritual energy that initially starts off as just wind energy in the first chapter of which you go on to gain more elemental powers in chapter 2 from the explosive and powerful fire spirit energy to the weaker yet wide arcing water spirit energy, You’ll even gain a relic that can be used to paralyze enemies in an AOE or Area of Effect and allow you to get in some extra hits. Usage of your spirit attacks will drain them requiring you to find spirit energy ammo which is akin to gun clips to restock them in order to use them again. Aside from having spirit attacks at your disposal, you also will acquire a spirit bow which allows you to destroy the cores of spiritual blockades that can damage you if touched and hold spirits that you can absorb. The bows’ secondary function is also as a weapon against the enemies known as the Visitors as it is a powerful weapon that can often take down Visitors in a single hit, yet, is also limited in the amount of arrows you can carry which makes you use them more sparingly and strategically. You can replenish arrows at either a Neko convenience store or by way of finding quivers across the map that are holding arrows.
Cleansing shrines on maps is also something you will need to do in order to purify areas to open up more of the map as the game progresses. You will even run into situations where you will need to utilize the touch pad to do incantation swipes followed by pressing L2 and R2 which is pretty neat if a bit gimmicky and reminds me of Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow.
When not using spirit attacks, you’re able to utilize a physical attack that allows you to break spirit objects to gain spirit ammo and or money to purchase various items such as arrows for your bow and health restoratives like food and even spiritual food which allows you to gain various temporary buffs. Stores are run by spirit Neko (Spirit Cats) that not only will have items for sale but will also have mini quests for you to complete that will consist of collecting specific items of which will net you some serious money and items which can be worth while for you to go out of your way to get.
You have access to a spirit dowsing technique which allows you to get a lay of the land as well as see where items and enemies are located by pressing the square button. This is useful as in the first 2 chapters you will need to rely upon stealth more heavily than you will going on an all out offensive as you can and will get swarmed by Visitors and if you run out of spirit energy and didn’t bother upgrading your abilities such as your block to be able to give you energy back if you perform a perfect block then you will struggle. Speaking of upgrades, the game has a level progression system with you being able to gain experience from both defeating enemies and also gathering spirits that you can deposit for experience points to be able to purchase various upgrades to abilities and stat buffs such as being able to gain spirit energy by performing a perfectly timed block or being able to have an extended time to snatch the souls of staggered enemies and even increase the power and potency of spirit attacks that such as the blast radius and damage output of charged up fire spirit attacks and so on.
There are so many layers to this game and so many mechanics with how it opens up as the game progresses, and while I would love to continue diving into all the various facets of this game from the story to the inventory system and more; keep in mind that this is purely a preview of the game and one that I hope will intrigue you into diving more into this game and what all it has to offer. Ghostwire: Tokyo launches on March 25, 2022 on PlayStation 5 and on PC for the Steam and Epic Games store fronts.