When I saw Ghostwire: Tokyo for the very first time during a hands-off preview event back in January, I walked away with absolutely no idea how to accurately describe my experience. Even after watching the nearly 20-minute February showcase event that followed weeks later, the combination of repetitive action sequences and several ideas mashed together with very little context left me unimpressed and concerned about how the final product would actually turn out.
After spending nearly 10 hours playing through the story campaign on PS5, I can now say that my initial thoughts were off and Ghostwire: Tokyo has been weirdly satisfying so far. Does this mean that Tango Gameworks’ latest title is a must-play for everyone? Absolutely not. It is however necessary to better describe what people can expect should they decide to give this game a chance.
Uncovering The Truth
Ghostwire: Tokyo revolves around several events that happen shortly after Japan’s largest city is attacked by evil spirits called Visitors. Most of the citizens have vanished entirely from the scene with only remnants of ghosts left behind. Players take on the role of lead protagonist Akito who dies during the chaos and is revived by a spirit ghost hunter detective named KK. KK grants him supernatural powers while also revealing elements of his own backstory and serves the purpose of both instructing Akito on where to go and acting as his key voice of reason throughout the campaign. The default language in the game is Japanese with English subtitles and you can change these settings if you need to.
While the story may sound somewhat confusing for someone who might start playing the game for the very first time, things really do begin to heat up once the main antagonist (pictured above) is revealed alongside the fact that he has captured Akito’s sister, Mari. All of this is revealed towards the end of Act 1 and is meant to motivate you to keep playing to see how everything plays out. In addition to this, there are also several secrets that are uncovered about these creatures, and why KK has a score to settle with them.
Aside from the narrative, the gameplay aspect remains front and center as the driving force behind the overall experience. Ghostwire: Tokyo is billed as an action-adventure game played entirely from a first-person perspective. Based off this logic, you can expect to come face-to-face with each haunting adversary that stands in your path. The goal is to use Etheral weaving attacks against enemies, cleanse torii gates to reveal more secrets about the world, and absorb and transfer trapped spirits back to their hosts through various phone booths designated throughout the city.
If all of this sounds weird it should, but oddly enough it still works together quite nicely. You attack by pressing R2, and can block oncoming attacks by pressing L1. As you progress through the game, you unlock new abilities and can use wind, fire, and water within your Etheral weaving attacks.
In addition to the main story, there are side missions to dive into. So far, these missions revolve around completing tasks for individual spirits. Some of these missions are connected to the story while others could be as simple as recovering a lost item to put a wandering spirit at ease. Again, some of these ideas and how they are implemented definitely won’t appeal to every single type of gamer out there. Creating a game from this standpoint alone could be considered risky, but it can still work depending on how well executed everything is.
Very Intriguing So Far
As I mentioned earlier in this preview, I’m enjoying the game so far but still have a lot more ground to cover before finishing the story. There are also many things about the world that I haven’t touched on yet as I’m still exploring. Stay tuned for more of my in-depth thoughts in a review prior to launch.
Ghostwire: Tokyo launches on March 25th for PlayStation 5 and PC. Are any of you planning on picking up Ghostwire: Tokyo? Please feel free to let us know in the comments section below.
This preview was written based on a review code of Ghostwire: Tokyo for PlayStation 5 provided by Bethesda Softworks and Tango Gameworks.