Ghostwire: Tokyo review — Explore a gorgeous but linear Shibuya

Our Verdict

Ghostwire: Tokyo’s stunning rendition of Shibuya offers a bully alibi to experience this gorgeous corner of Japan and stylishly purge a serial of fascinating yōkai. And although its open-world is structurally derivative, Tango Gameworks’ impressive attention to item ensures this city is always worth exploring.

For

  • Shibuya is wonderfully realized
  • Fashionable Kuji-kiri gestures
  • Tight combat encounters
  • Inspired enemy designs
  • Artistic interactivity

Against

  • Checklist open-world
  • Limited exploration
  • Detached leveling system
  • Inconsistent side-quests
  • Narrative isn’t memorable

Laptop Mag Verdict

Ghostwire: Tokyo’s stunning rendition of Shibuya offers a great excuse to experience this gorgeous corner of Nippon and stylishly purge a series of fascinating yōkai. And although its open-globe is structurally derivative, Tango Gameworks’ impressive attention to detail ensures this urban center is always worth exploring.

Pros

  • +

    Shibuya is wonderfully realized

  • +

    Stylish Kuji-kiri gestures

  • +

    Tight combat encounters

  • +

    Inspired enemy designs

  • +

    Creative interactivity

Cons

  • Checklist open-earth

  • Express exploration

  • Detached leveling system

  • Inconsistent side-quests

  • Narrative isn’t memorable

Ghostwire: Tokyo is an open-world action game where players utilise Kuji-kiri paw gestures to manipulate fire, water and wind against yōkai wandering the arid streets of Shibuya. The hectic nature of enemy attacks keeps the action engaging, while a series of novel yōkai types inspired by Japanese mythos elevates the suspense. Shibuya is breathtaking, and fifty-fifty when exploration is arbitrarily limited, Tango Gameworks’ attention to item is sensational. Exploring Tokyo is a dream come true; every corner of this metropolis is distinct and the frequent bending of reality ensures that no moment is dull on the optics.

Unfortunately, the open-world’s foundation results in players running from one map marker to the next as if they’re marking off a series of chores in a checklist. Rather than getting thrown into this iconic metropolis and removed from the shackles of a linear main campaign, the torii gate arrangement prohibits bumming exploration until endgame.

However, but for its presentation alone, it’southward one of the
best PS5 games
and
best PC games
out there.

Hunting Hannya

Ghostwire: Tokyo’due south narrative begins after a dense fog washes over Shibuya and causes the disappearance of over 200,000 civilians. Nosotros follow KK, a spirit detective, inhabiting the body of Akito, a civilian with ambiguous ties to the spirit world, in a quest to undo the work of a mysterious specter responsible for the same phenomenon. Akito is on a quest to find his sister, Mari, who inadvertently gets involved with the state of affairs and becomes a target of the villain, Hannya.

(Image credit: Tango Gameworks)

The script fails to present a substantial hook throughout most of its story as KK and Akito don’t accept a personality outside of their goals. KK is a typical, hard-boiled detective seeking to save the earth from Hannya, while Akito is merely a regular guy who wants to become his sister dorsum. Not until the very finish of the game does it experience like the narrative starts to come together; equally this is when the game provides a backdrop for the relationship betwixt Akito and Mari.

The game’southward well-nigh intriguing narrative moments are brought out in the concluding chapter, which means the player volition spend a considerable amount of time uncertain nigh the stakes. Why should we care about KK’s relationship to Hannya? What does Akito’s sister mean to him? For what reason are any of these characters involved in this? Ghostwire: Tokyo avoids planting the seeds of its story, instead having players consummate inconsequential objectives in a hunt for Hannya. Throughout many of the game’southward master missions, I’ve questioned the purpose of Akito and KK’s actions; the answer is always “to discover the villain” or “to save Akito’s sister” but there’s almost never more to information technology.

The catamenia of battle

In Ghostwire: Tokyo, the thespian utilizes the elements of water, wind and fire to battle yōkai, each of which boast private advantages. Water is excellent for hit within a wide surface area, wind can deal swift long-range blows, and fire is a great last resort for doing explosive harm. There’s an agile and stylish component to how these elements class in Akito’south hands. Fire is shaped as a blazing lance, and when belongings down the attack button, information technology slowly coalesces into a scorching sphere.

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Ghostwire: Tokyo yokai in the hospital

(Prototype credit: Tango Gameworks)

These abilities are brought together past the manus movements that originate from a Taoist practise called Kuji-in. Kuji-kiri is what Akito uses in boxing, specifically referring to making cuts in the air as a method of protection against unwelcome influences. These movements await fantastic in-game, and even when swiftly switching from 1 chemical element to another, the natural transition between unlike gestures adds a bully bargain of excitement to every struggle. Talismans are too introduced a bit farther along, allowing players to toss these objects imbued with power towards yōkai to stun them or obscure their sight.

Tango Gameworks did a swell job ensuring that the method in which the thespian ward off yōkai is deeply linked to the themes of its earth. This connectedness not simply makes the experience more convincing, but it ensures the game’s gainsay feels unlike whatever other.

Ghostwire: Tokyo purging a yokai

(Prototype credit: Tango Gameworks)

Yet, there could have been additional elemental powers as the game progresses. Players accept access to burn down, wind and water, simply they only boast two attacks each. Ghostwire: Tokyo shows its hand rather early, as these are offered inside the first two capacity. Later that, yous’re using the same abilities (just slightly upgraded through the skill points systems) throughout the rest of the game.

Yōkai exhilaration

Ghostwire: Tokyo elevates the intensity when you’re rushing upward a flight of stairs and turn the corner only to come across an unexplainable, faceless thing with crimson pare wielding a flaming hammer. It’s jarring to come across these creatures roaming around a modern setting like Tokyo, as the mix of supernatural and reality adds further strangeness to the artful.

Ghostwire: Tokyo yokai umbrella scene

(Prototype credit: Tango Gameworks)

The introduction of each novel enemy will stagger you, as their monstrous designs and unfamiliar attack patterns experience fresh. A lot of them share a humanoid base model, but there are mechanical shifts between the dozen-or-so versions of these foes that alter the tide of battle. And when surrounded by five or six enemies at once, these exchanges become hectic.

Ghostwire: Tokyo is at its most fun when it’southward challenging, throwing waves of yōkai in the field and forcing you lot to use every concluding elemental power, pointer and talisman left in Akito’s inventory. Information technology’s incredibly satisfying when using the block at the right time, as pressing it briefly before an enemy attack results in a perfect parry. Yōkai aren’t afraid to launch a slew of projectiles towards the histrion at once, and you will feel like a badass if you tin can parry every single i of them. This tight balance between defence and offense is what makes these engagements so exciting, especially on a harder difficulty where the consequences are more dire.

Ghostwire: Tokyo Cleansing a Torii Gate

(Image credit: Tango Gameworks)

Players can too stealth through encounters, utilizing talismans or prayer beads to make them harder to spot. This pick becomes more appealing as the actor is introduced to yōkai they’ll want to avoid; instantly destroying them through a stealth takedown can lighten the load of a battle. A few enemy types will forcefulness the role player to utilize everything in their armory if tackled in combat, so any alternatives volition save your life.

Unimaginative progression

Progression through Ghostwire: Tokyo is discrete from its stylish presentation. Gaining skill-points and experience for protecting lost souls feels thematically irrelevant to making Kuji-kiri gestures and warding off demonic influences. Interacting with phone booths allows players to evangelize the spirits they’re carrying to a safer place, awarding a certain amount of experience and currency to unlock new abilities or buy special items. While this is a fine excuse to go cool stuff in the player’s hands, it’s never exciting. Tango Gameworks’ explores how Kuji-in and the setting of Tokyo tin can offer a presentation unlike any other game; this calls for a progression system similarly embedded within these distinct ideas.

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Ghostwire: Tokyo Skill Points Tree

(Image credit: Tango Gameworks)

Leveling up and gaining ten skill points is not exciting. I oft put this role of the game off and merely go on running around Tokyo, exploring the potential of its verticality or getting into bouts confronting yōkai. Gaining new abilities could have been intrinsically linked with exploration of the game’s globe past offering new skills or powers through side-quests or the discovery of secrets. It’south difficult to see why this game needed skill trees and an experience arrangement, beyond fulfilling an open up-world tradition. KK even makes references that players should upgrade their skills whenever they level up, which adds onto the forced nature of this substitution.

On the other manus, Magatama is required to admission certain skills, forcing players to engage with non-hostile yōkai. Some examples include luring in Kappa with a cucumber, searching through a firm to find a subconscious door leading to a scared Zashiki-warishi, or protecting a Kodama hiding in a tree as yōkai try to harm it. While these tin get repetitive when overused, allowing players to interact with yōkai in ways that don’t involve gainsay is cracking.

Visions of Tokyo

Ghostwire: Tokyo’s first-class vision of Shibuya is a considerable force behind the excitement of exploring its world. It’s lovely to feel involved in this city, whether it be taking a fortune at a Japanese shrine, browsing a convenience store for its well-nigh interesting snacks, or casually strolling through city streets to blot its iconic neon-glow.

Ghostwire: Tokyo the gorgeous city

(Epitome credit: Tango Gameworks)

The placement of abandoned vehicles, litter, cones, piles of clothing, signs, trees, fiddling lanterns strewn between buildings, bicycles, and best of all, pettable dogs, offer an impressive attending to detail that ensures no street corner feels empty. And many buildings are externally varied with their design and advertisements, with some even diggings music as you pass by them.

The game’southward elevated sense of reality meshes wonderfully with the realistic portrait of Tokyo’s dim-lit streets. Players will realize what they come across might not actually be there, equally certain quests shift the physics of the game by having space expand and rooms turn. However even when exploring the limits of tangibility, there aren’t many aspects of Shibuya that are ethereal or detached from reality.

Ghostwire: Tokyo

(Image credit: Tango Gameworks)

Accompanied by the always-nowadays crimson moon hanging to a higher place players heads at all times, Ghostwire: Tokyo gives u.s. a nifty excuse to run around this gorgeous corner of Japan. Hopping beyond rooftops and taking in the symphony of neon screens, billboards, and tightly packed city streets that encompass Shibuya is what makes this game stand apart from others in the genre.

Creative interactivity

Tango Gameworks’ attending to detail carries over in how the thespian interacts with the globe. If you want a vitrify, you lot go to a shrine or temple and accept an Omikuji, which is a fortune written on a strip of paper. To upgrade your maximum elemental chapters, you pray at Jizo statues hidden throughout the metropolis. When inbound a local convenience store, players interact with a floating yōkai true cat who sells snacks and talismans.

Ghostwire: Tokyo

(Prototype credit: Tango Gameworks)

To unlock new parts of the map, you must cleanse a torii gate and push away the fog, besides awarding you with a Prayer Dewdrop that offers unique buffs like increased elemental damage or stealth. And if players are having problem finding something similar a Jizo statue, they can donate 100 or 500 Meika (the game’s currency) at a Saisen (offer box). You tin even feed stray dogs, and if an object of interest is nearby, they’ll have y’all right to it.

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The end result of these elements is what you expect from an open up-world game, merely how the histrion gets there is unique and appropriately attached to the setting. These are things you could only do within this globe, giving it a singled-out identity.

Exploration could be more exciting

Shibuya is overwhelmed by a mysterious fog that has acquired every civilian to vanish. Players need to cleanse torii gateways to rid the city of this mist, and until they do, stepping into the fog will offer a swift decease. Limiting exploration to story-progression hinders players’ agency, forcing u.s.a. to explore a certain subset of blocks at a time.

Ghostwire: Tokyo

(Image credit: Tango Gameworks)

I’ve accidentally stepped into this fog while getting lost in the world, and all of a sudden, the game is aggressively nudging me to go elsewhere. Open-worlds are most effective when they’re truly open, and although Ghostwire: Tokyo is gorgeous, it’south frustrating when I tin’t interact with a point of interest in my sight. This continues to be a problem upward until the finale, which is why I’1000 glad I didn’t start doing side-quests until after I crush the game.

On the other hand, it’due south nice that players can freely explore the verticality of Tokyo, whether it exist by grappling onto a tengu, escalating a burn escape, or hopping off of a rooftop and gliding to another. And when players acquire an power that allows them to grapple onto whatever rooftop they come across, this liberty is even more satisfying.

Open-world complaints

Ghostwire Tokyo’s entertaining open up-earth is hampered by its predictability. Cleansing torii gates removes the fog from an area, revealing collectible items and side-quests around that office of the map. Interacting with these elements is enjoyable cheers to the game’south tight gainsay and fantastic artful, but going from one guided point of involvement to another offers little excitement. You’ll be spending a lot of fourth dimension collecting loose spirits before depositing them into a phone booth, or mindlessly post-obit the green side-quest marker forced onto the screen.

Ghostwire: Tokyo

(Prototype credit: Tango Gameworks)

Most side-quests the player engages with lack inspiration, whether it involve fighting off waves of enemies in a minor arena, fetching a single object marked on the map, chasing a flying collectible beyond rooftops, or following dull specters to familiar destinations. And in that location are too many side-quests (and boss fights) that accept players to a circular arena in a shallow bed of h2o with random avails strewn about. This was cool the outset fourth dimension, merely it is grossly overused.

The all-time parts are intertwined with the game’s personality, as certain elements allow us to explore buildings with reality-shifting backdrop and collaborate with new types of yōkai. During one quest, the player appears in an alternate realm where they chase a specter through an upside downwards city. Another i has you go dorsum in fourth dimension to a feudal lord’s mansion to purge the area of its negative influences. These moments are still limited by a specific set of enemy types, just the appetite is exciting. I wish every side-quest in Ghostwire: Tokyo offered a similar level of memorability.

Bottom Line

Shibuya is overwhelmed with ambitious yōkai, simply Ghostwire: Tokyo is rarely scary. During the first few hours, I wasn’t too fond of how the game’due south flashy presentation took abroad from the creepiness of its desolate streets and disturbing enemy designs. But these expectations obscure what Tango Gameworks is attempting to accomplish.

Ghostwire: Tokyo

(Image credit: Tango Gameworks)

This disturbing setting is the ground for what is really a traditional open-earth feel. Although fear is well-nigh never invoked, the bizarreness behind each monstrous yōkai and the trippy environmental furnishings make it clear how the game benefits from merging an action-packed foundation with backdrops rooted in horror. This isn’t a survival game, and it won’t make you jump out of your seat. Instead, Ghostwire: Tokyo is a blast through Shibuya, with petty sprinkles of terror placed throughout the journey.

This gorgeous vision for Tokyo possesses an exhilarating arroyo to psychedelic style, and If you can become over the many elements that make this open-globe mechanically trite, Ghostwire: Tokyo presents a city worth getting lost in.

Source: https://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/ghostwire-tokyo