Ghostwire: Tokyo is the new game from Tango Gameworks, if you’re familiar with The Evil Within series then you’ll be familiar with their classic horror style. We were first introduced to Ghostwire: Tokyo back at E3 2019 and it teased a modern-day Tokyo haunted by spirits. The story begins with a sudden fog descending, causing nearly all the city’s population to vanish.
The game was originally supposed to be published by Bethesda last July 2021 as a PS5 exclusive. But after some delay as well as the Microsoft acquisition, Ghostwire: Tokyo arrives on the PlayStation 5 on March 25th 2022. The game will be exclusive to PlayStation for a year but will come to the Xbox and PC after that.
While waiting for that to happen let’s delve into the game details of Ghostwire: Tokyo.
The Story & Setting
Our Ghostwire: Tokyo journey begins in modern day Tokyo. At Shibuya’s famous Scramble Crossing, renowned as one of the world’s busiest pedestrian intersections a fog descends causing everyone to vanish in an instant. The fog blurs the line between the normal and paranormal and with the humans gone, Tokyo becomes home to hordes of Yokai-creatures called the ‘Visitors’. Who’s the blame for all this? An unhinged occultist by the name of Hannya.
You’ll play as Akito, a survivor of this sudden mass extinction event in Tokyo. It seems that all that’s left in the entire city is you and the creepy ‘Visitor’s. Have no fear because you won’t be fighting these enemies alone! Because how would you? Instead, you become a somewhat unwilling host to a ‘Spirit Detective’ ghost named KK. Through KK, you gain the power of a ghost hunter which allows you to cast spells and sense ghosts within the city.
As you might expect, we’ll be visiting eerie versions of iconic locations across Tokyo, including the Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo Tower, and various shrines, parks, and alleyways.
As you make your way through Tokyo, you’ll inevitably run into supernatural beings called Visitors, malevolent foes that stand in Akito and KK’s way. Ordinary attacks from weapons like guns and swords are of no use against these otherworldly threats.
Instead, you’ll need to rely on Ethereal Weaving. The weaving moves used within the game are named Kuji-Kiri, which is a reference to the ancient Japanese techniques to cast spells in order to banish demons. There are nine movements that the player can use and 3 different elements that can be infused in his movements. With each movement and element working better or worse on different enemies. By weaving this supernatural energy, you can give it form and release it to damage the ‘Visitors’ that haunt Tokyo.
There will be a progression system to make your magic more potent as you continue to play the game. It will be action-packed as it is advised by Shinichiro Hara who we know from the Doom series. Which is an action-packed game if you are not familiar with it.
Akito’s powers are interesting because, in reality, it feels like an FPS title but instead of guns you’ll be using your hands. Instead of disposing of a demon by stabbing it with a knife, he uses his hands to destroy them. You can even block attacks with your hands just like using a shield. It is one of the most interesting and elegant combat features we have seen to date.
The first of the three elements is wind. Wind weaving allows you to rapidly shoot bursts of ether at your foes like a handgun.
Next, there’s water weaving. This functions more like a shotgun, allowing you to deal bursts of heavy damage at short range and knock your targets back. These strikes have a wide area of effect, making them extremely useful when you’ve got lots of enemies bearing down on you.
The final elemental attack is fire weaving. Think of this one like a rocket launcher. It inflicts massive explosive damage on anything unlucky enough to get caught in the blast. Fire weaving is best-suited for when your enemies are clustered together.
Regular and charged attacks allow you to expose the cores of your enemies, which can be ripped away to deal huge damage.
In addition to the three attacking elements, you can also wield earth ether to block enemy strikes. As well as using ghost vision to track down ghosts (similar to Assassin’s Creed).
You’ll also get to wield other tools like a bow and special talismans which facilitate a stealthy approach.
Not all spirits are out to get you however there are some spirits that can be found drifting through the streets. These lost souls are some of the roughly 200,000 people who vanished at the beginning of the game. Using special phone booths put together by a member of KK’s team, Akito can send these souls back to the safety of the outside world, which lets him level up and unlock new Spirit Skills.
You can collect souls wandering in the streets by praying, which is a nice homage to Japanese culture.
Your Main Mission
Cleanse the corrupted energy from sacred shrines in Tokyo’s wards to free them from the Visitors. pic.twitter.com/mNyqKkxos2— Ghostwire: Tokyo (@playGhostwire) June 22, 2020
The mysterious fog that is encapsulating Tokyo originates out of a number of corrupted torii gates throughout the city. These gates are connected to the underworld and are the source of the city’s problems. These Torii gates can be found throughout Shibuya, not just at the entrances to Shinto shrines where they’re traditionally found but also down dark alleyways and up on the rooftops.
Akito has the power to cleanse this corruption, lifting the fog blanketing the area around them and expanding the area of the city open for exploration.
As you make your way down the alleys and plumb the underground depths of Shibuya, you’ll witness all manner of supernatural happenings inspired by Japan’s colourful folklore. For example, one urban legend involves a mysterious train that shows up in stations and can’t be found on any schedule. Those who board alone are whisked away to another realm and stranded forever.
Tokyo is overrun by deadly supernatural forces, perpetrated by a dangerous occultist, causing Tokyo’s population to vanish in an instant. Ally with a powerful spectral entity on their quest for vengeance and master a powerful arsenal of abilities to unravel the dark truth behind the disappearance as you face the unknown in Ghostwire: Tokyo.
Ghostwire: Tokyo has a level of originality for sure and the gameplay mechanics will surprise fans. The eerie feeling of the empty streets will push you towards solving the mysteries within. The combat mechanics are top notch and it gives a sense of satisfaction when used. You will love the city of Tokyo even though it is abandoned.