Ghost of Tsushima release date, gameplay details, and stunning footage – everything we know

everything we know ghost of tsushima about jin sakai
everything we know ghost of tsushima about jin sword

The sprawling, open-world samurai epic Ghost of Tsushima was announced back in 2017 at Paris Games Week, and since then we’ve been treated to a series of tantalising glimpses of gameplay, combat, and the heart-stoppingly beautiful island of Tsushima. And now, with a brand new sneak peek at the game and its combat from a new PlayStation State of Play reveal, we’re more excited than ever to step into the world of Jin Sakai.

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The sprawling, open-world samurai epic Ghost of Tsushima was announced back in 2017 at Paris Games Week, and since then we’ve been treated to a series of tantalising glimpses of gameplay, combat, and the heart-stoppingly beautiful island of Tsushima. And now, with a brand new sneak peek at the game and its combat from a new PlayStation State of Play reveal, we’re more excited than ever to step into the world of Jin Sakai.

And because we can’t wait for the game to arrive this summer, we’ve trawled through our notes and put together a handy guide containing everything we currently know about the game, from the release date to gameplay details, and even the name of the main character’s sword.

Read on to find out everything we know so far about Ghost of Tsushima, and if you haven’t already, check out all the amazing different editions of Ghost of Tsushima available at GAME.

Ghost of Tsushima release date

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Ghost of Tsushima is due to launch on PS4 on 17 July 2020. With the PS5 due out in winter 2020, it’s possible that the game may ultimately end up making its way to both consoles, though this hasn’t yet been confirmed.

Ghost of Tsushima story and setting

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Drawing inspiration from samurai cinema and real-life Japanese history, Ghost of Tsushima takes place in 1274 during the first Mongol invasion of Japan. Led by the ruthless general Khotun Khan, the Mongol forces seek to take control of mainland Japan, starting with the titular island of Tsushima. The invasion leaves the island a war-torn mess, with most of its samurai defenders dead and the islanders living in fear of their conquerors.

You’ll play as a surviving samurai named Jin Sakai, who finds himself faced with a difficult choice: he must cast aside the traditions of the samurai and find a new way to fight the invaders and protect the island.

Incidentally, it’s now been confirmed that if you want to play the game in Japanese with English subtitles for added immersion, you can.

Ghost of Tsushima characters

everything we know ghost of tsushima about jin sakai

We know that main character Jin Sakai is one of the last survivors of his clan, a noble samurai family that was largely obliterated in the Mongol invasion. He’s a talented swordsman in his own right, but against the unpredictable Mongol warriors that’s not enough. Faced with insurmountable odds, he is forced to abandon the rules of the samurai way and turn to a mysterious new fighting style, called the Way of the Ghost, in order to survive.

everything we know ghost of tsushima about masako archer

Fortunately, he’s not entirely on his own. While many of Tsushima’s samurai perished in the invasion, we’ve caught a glimpse of fellow survivor Masako, a formidable archer who teams up with Jin to protect their homeland. However, they don’t always agree – at some point in the story, Jin and Masako will clash over whether a particular monk should be allowed to live after betraying Masako’s family, something which drives them into a tense duel.

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We’ve also caught a glimpse of the lord of Tsushima, a man named Shimura. He’s a samurai too, and he also happens to Jin’s uncle and father figure. However, he’s at odds with Jin’s increasing reliance upon the dishonorable Way of the Ghost, which relies upon stealth and trickery instead of traditional samurai teachings.

The big bad guy for now appears to be the Mongol general Khotun Khan. He’s a ruthless and cunning leader, whose knowledge of samurai ways have allowed his forces to steadily gain the upper hand over Tsushima’s samurai. Whether or not he’s seen the Way of the Ghost before remains to be seen…

Ghost of Tsushima trailers and sneak peeks

We got our first in-depth look at Ghost of Tsushima’s gorgeous environments and thrill-filled duels in the E3 2018 gameplay trailer, which you can see for yourself right here.

A new trailer was then revealed at the 2019 Game Awards, in which we got a better look at the gorgeously contrasting landscapes of Tsushima, some of Jin’s enemies, and the myriad fighting tactics he can employ in his battles against the Mongol invaders.


And with the May State of Play video we got a staggering 18 minutes of Ghost of Tsushima gameplay, combat, and more to pore over too.

Ghost of Tsushima gameplay

Everything in the first gameplay trailer above was captured in-engine, so it should give you a pretty good idea of just how stunning the game’s open world is expected to look.

While the in-game island isn’t exactly to scale, its overall shape is accurate and the development team spent a long time researching the tiniest of details (and we’re talking really tiny, like the precise colour of moss and the rustling sounds of a traditional straw raincoat) to make it feel as true to life as possible. You’ll find snowy bamboo groves, blood-soaked battlefields, and dilapidated temples and shrines hidden in the depths of the forest. Try not to get distracted by how pretty it all is, though – enemies could be hiding anywhere.

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There are no waypoints to order you around from place to place, so it’ll be up to you to decide where you and your horse are headed next. Maybe you spotted the pagoda roof of a distant temple, or you saw something suspicious in the tall grass – it’s entirely your choice which one to check out first. Examine your surroundings carefully for points of interest, like a distant spire of smoke, unusually shaped trees, or even animals trying to get your attention. Foxes will guide you to hidden shrines, where you can pray to unlock charms, and birds may lead the way to secrets tucked out of sight. Abandoned buildings contain precious resources, and you can also harvest natural materials like bamboo or dye flowers as you explore the world (and you can grab them from on horseback too, which is super handy).

You can also mark a spot on your map and use the Guiding Wind to point you in the right direction, by summoning a helpful gust of wind at any time. Once you’ve visited a location, you can return there again with fast travel, but why would you when the slow route there is so beautiful?

ghost of tsushima everything we know about environments

Ghost of Tsushima combat

There are two ways in which you can fight in Ghost of Tsushima. The first is by adhering to your roots and fighting as a samurai would, which usually involves a direct attack in the open. You can challenge enemies to a standoff (meaning an epic duel with plenty of slow-motion swipes and cinematic blood splats). Change your combat stance to inflict maximum damage against different enemy types, and parry their attacks at the last moment to force an opening.

ghost of tsushima everything we know about jin combat

But if you prefer to take down your enemies quietly, then stealth is an option too. The first gameplay trailer showed off Jin’s ability to grapple to the top of a pagoda, perform an aerial kill that could put Ezio Auditore to shame, and even stab an enemy through a shoji paper screen. Then there are tricks you can use to distract and confuse enemies, like throwing firecrackers, wind chimes, smoke bombs, and small kunai daggers. The Mongols will quickly learn to fear the Ghost, and you can use that to your advantage. All of this is part of the Way of the Ghost, the supposedly dishonorable path Jin can choose to follow in his fight against the Mongols.

everything we know ghost of tsushima about jin archer

Depending on which path you choose – samurai or Ghost – you can dress the part accordingly. Different armour types deliver certain stat buffs and mechanical advantages, and if you don’t like the colour scheme you can modify it using dye flowers which grow all around the landscape. Either way, you’ll be armed with a proper samurai sword, of course. According to an Engadget interview with the developers, Jin’s samurai sword is a family heirloom called the Sakai Storm, the hilt of which is decorated with tiny lightning bolt designs.

Ghost of Tsushima photo mode

Given how gorgeous the island of Tsushima looks, you could be forgiven for wanting to just stop and admire the view. With the photo mode, you can. You can tweak everything from the depth of field and colour grade to the expression on Jin’s face, or even the particles in the air – meaning that if there aren’t quite enough fireflies or leaves swirling through your shot, you can add some more. Heck, you can even add a different track from the soundtrack and take a video.

ghost of tsushima everything we know about samurai cinema mode

Another exciting addition is the Samurai Cinema mode. You can add this outside of the photo mode and play the entire game through just like one of the greatest old samurai epics: in black and white, with a gorgeous grainy filmic quality, and extra wind to make things look super dramatic.

What else do I need to know?

Keep checking back with us as more news is revealed. In the meantime, you can pre-order your copy of Ghost of Tsushima right now at GAME.

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