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.