Review Ghostwire: Tokyo Kotaku: Charming World, Weak Combat

Screenshot of A Ghostwire: Tokyo depicting protagonist Akito petting a shiba inu dog on the deserted but well-lit streets of Shibuya.

Ghostwire: Tokyo, Tango Gameworks’ new action-adventure game with role-playing simulation-like elements is an unsettling mix of highs and lows. It’s at once a gripping story of loss and the length of time we go to recover what’s lost, and an incredible first-person shooter with severely overpowered enemy AI. important. Its world is very detailed and engaging, with some nice side quests to explore; poignant, impactful stories tell of those who have waited so long to reunite with their loved ones. But it’s all weighed down by the tireless battle that makes your spirit running and shooting down as if Call of Duty. I’m disappointed because I was so enamored with italso.

A thick and mysterious fog had just rolled through the streets of Shibuya, leaving nothing for anyone to touch except their physical belongings. Think clothes, bags, phones, things like that. Ghostwire: Tokyo Put you in the shoes of Akito, a young survivor of this strange cataclysmic event dubbed the “mass disappearance”. However, no different from Yuji Itadori in MAPPA’s excellent manga and anime Jujutsu KaisenAkito has a strange love affair – a spirit passenger carrying a shotgun for his own selfish reasons, and somehow this passenger, a detective named KK, makes Akito free contaminated with fog. With KK now living without rent in his body, Akito has access to a whole new set of skills, including the ability to see spirits and the power to fire elemental blasts from the tip of his fingers. his hand. He would be quite happy at parties, if only there were still parties to come. The two then set out to discover what caused the mass disappearance incident and figure out how Akito can save his sister, Mari, who is facing a mysterious plight and is captured by the villain for their nefarious purposes.

The story is important. It is an introspective meditation on grief and what someone would do to reunite their loved ones and friends in death or, if possible, bring them back before death. There are countless side quests that emphasize the theme of the game. For example, in the third chapter, you meet a spirit waiting for her boyfriend’s soul to go to work, except he can’t because he’s dead. At work. And he’s cursed to stay at this terrible job, but she’s waiting for him anyway. Breaking the curse – purifying a phantom emitting negative energy by knitting signs on the hand – reunites two lovers’ souls, and their souls dissolve in warm bliss. It was a touching moment that brought tears to my eyes. But completing that quest — and others enjoying it — is a chore because the combat in the game is so weak.

Ghostwire: TokyoThe battle is a slogan. Not because they’re hard to understand or master, but because combat is simply boring. Enemies are dumbfounded, lunging at you or slowly circling around you. Known as the Travelers, horribly human-like except for their physical bodies, these sponges are barely making war. Even if they outnumber you, they will often attack one by one instead of coordinating to force you to change your tactics.

Screenshot of A Ghostwire: Tokyo depicting protagonist Akito preparing to fire an elemental spell from his fingertips.

You can optionally cast a small amount of magic, but other than a slow-moving fire grenade, nothing is as effective as the original wind spell that functions as a pistol. What you’re doing most of the time in battle is walking away — no evasive moves like dodging or stepping aside — and firing wind bullets. Rinse and repeat this for six chapters, with the occasional boss battle that goes on similarly but longer, and Ghostwire: Tokyo turned out to be a repetitive first-person shooter. And unfortunately, rather than being a relatively minor element in a game that places a major emphasis on exploration and discovery, combat is one of the Ghostwireof the central pillars.

It’s also a fool, because Ghostwire: TokyoThe world’s is really fascinating. Although they have no real life, Shibuya’s rain-soaked alleys and neon-lit streets make you feel alive. There is still food in the microwave and refrigerator. The apartment has clothes scattered on the bed. Cats and dogs, somehow escaped from the great disappearance, hang out around town. There’s history here, and it’s not just because people suddenly disappear. You can learn about the people who inhabit this world by picking up interactive items like calculators and tote bags, all of which reveal the inner workings of their lives just before it all evaporates. . It’s heartbreaking, understandable, and funny. Tango Gameworks has some really gripping storytelling and world building ravaged by tasteless combat.

I appreciate that Ghostwire: Tokyo trying to do something a little different. Its minimalist approach to combat could have been refreshed in an industry that intends to cram the game with more of everything. It’s a rare open world that, although it has a map full of icons, is nowhere near as serious as many worlds of its time. It respects your time, isn’t overly mechanically complicated, and can be completed in 20 hours or so, making it arguably the opposite of modern AAA designs. But as simple as the game’s combat system is, it’s not all that exciting or fun when it comes to actually getting involved. The key here is the setting, combined with Japanese folklore and modern sensibilities, not its first-person, one-way shooting mechanics.

Honestly, it was a real disappointment. All the promotional materials, from screenshots to trailers, make me think Ghostwire: Tokyo is a supernatural adventure thriller about unleashing apparitions and tracking down ghosts. I get the impression that there is no — or very little — combat and that much of the game will be spent piecing together a mystery like a spirit detective from Yu Yu Hakusho. Some of that is true. The clue-following moments to uncover the location of a curse and lift it, are some of the most engaging parts of the game. Ghostwire: Tokyo even have one of the coolest healing mechanics in the game right away. It’s a pity that such an enchanting world is overshadowed by such bland battles.

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