• It wouldn't be a massive open-world video game without a helpful fox, right? In terms of Tsushima's gameplay, foxes and other wildlife sometimes act as guides to your next destination. Sony / Sucker Punch
  • Let's get away from this map interface as much as possible, shall we?
  • By default, mild gusts of wind on screen will always blow in the direction of your next marked destination.
  • Throw a flower into the wind to see where your next destination is.
  • Let's ride, buddy.
  • A giant world of traversal.
  • The view from the top.
  • The view from down lower.
  • A different mountaintop view.
  • The latest Ghost of Tsushima trailer includes a huge variety of locations that you'll explore in the game.
  • Careful balancing from on high.
  • Wistful adventuring in pools of water.
  • NPCs call your name out as you approach.
  • Seems honorable.
  • Press X to pay respects. (No, really.)

A Thursday video from PlayStation finally cleared up some mysteries about Ghost of Tsushima, the newest PlayStation 4-exclusive game from Sucker Punch launching on July 17. What had previously been revealed as a handsome, vague samurai epic now looks like an honest-to-goodness video game, for better and for worse.

Like many recent PlayStation exclusives, Ghost of Tsushima cribs liberally from the open-world gaming playbook of the past decade. Follow a chain of "primary" quests to move the plot along. Explore more deeply to find and resolve optional missions, which let your hero pick up extra items, crafting materials, weapons, and more. Missions include "primary" and "secondary" objectives, and they can all be completed in a number of ways, depending on your preferred play style. You've seen most of those bullet points before, and today's newly revealed gameplay lands somewhere between Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Assassin's Creed Odyssey.

Tsushima's differentiation begins with the question it poses to players: will you play as a "samurai," or as a "ghost"? The former is a path of honor, and it sees your hero resolving conflict in broad daylight with an emphasis on perfectly timed sword swipes and parries. The latter is a path of secrecy, and it emphasizes stealthy maneuvers, silent assassinations, enemy misdirection, and more. Each playstyle bleeds into the other: the samurai can sneak up on foes, and the ghost will have to face some enemies directly. But only the ghost style appears to include a default sense of terror—so that when your hero storms an encampment, some enemies will cower upon seeing you, the terrifying ghost of legend who has finally become real.

  • Two types of combat are revealed in the trailer. First up, we see a mission played in "samurai" mode, where players march in broad daylight into an encampment and battle all comers. Sony / Sucker Punch
  • Careful timing is required to attack and parry, and the results are brutal. Sony / Sucker Punch
  • If you're looking for "samurai-film authenticity," then this game's gimmick of enemies attacking one at a time will suit you. Sony / Sucker Punch
  • Bowing over the final foe in a mission. Sony / Sucker Punch
  • The same mission was played in "ghost" mode, which revolved around sneaking, assassinating, and misdirection. Here's the "before" for this poor soul's takedown. Sony / Sucker Punch
  • And the "after." Sony / Sucker Punch
  • During this sneakier mission, a few enemies cower in fear upon seeing your arrival. Sony / Sucker Punch
  • Before we shoot an arrow. Sony / Sucker Punch
  • After the arrow's been shot. Sony / Sucker Punch
  • Arming and tossing some noise-making firecrackers. Sony / Sucker Punch
  • Preparing a chained assassination after throwing that firecracker. Sony / Sucker Punch
  • Sneaking from one foe to the next. Sony / Sucker Punch
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