GhostWire: Tokyo Preview

GhostWire: Tokyo Preview

Starting off our GhostWire: Tokyo preview, the game came as a surprise after many wondered what Tango Gameworks would make The Evil Within and its sequel. Little did anyone know that an artist at the studio who did art for both The Evil Within titles, Bayonetta and Okami would get her big directorial break with their next project: GhostWire: Tokyo.

Everyone remembers Ikumi Nakamura’s endearing presentation on the E3 floor of 2019. Her infectious energy and passion for her vision of a nightmarish horror game set in Tokyo was enough to sell many on GhostWire: Tokyo. Unfortunately, due to health complications, Nakamura stepped down from her position at Tango Gameworks and Kenji Kimura became the new director.

Who knows how the game might have been under Nakamura’s watch. Fortunately, the game was in good hands and in our GhostWire: Tokyo preview, we got a deep dive into the supernatural setting and got into some scrapes with unusual yokai.

GhostWire: Tokyo Preview

GhostWire: Tokyo is a very different kind of AAA first-person action game. Outside of the bow and arrows, the protagonist’s weapons are spiritual. The setting is a liminal Tokyo; barren of people and only the abandoned accouterments left behind to suggest there was life.

Gameplay is best described as a semi-open world action RPG. GhostWire: Tokyo sets players loose in chapter 2 to explore and to further expand the range or exploration, players will have to seal Torii gates that diffuse the deadly fog.

This makes GhostWire: Tokyo‘s take on the open world much more tolerable than other attempts. Games like Cyberpunk 2077 or Grand Theft Auto V give a huge landmass to get lost in. In Tango Gameworks’ opus, players have to contend with smaller chunks of Tokyo and gradually expand it.

The range of exploration offered in Tokyo is very surprising. Players can glide an impressive distance and have decent climbing ability for scaling the geometry. Don’t expect parkour line in Dying Light 2: Stay Human or Mirror’s Edge, but do expect being able to find ways to reach the top of skyscrapers through addictive platforming.

The uncanny liminal atmosphere is something rarely attempted in games. Even more interesting is how this ethos is applied to the various enemy types encountered in the early hours of GhostWire: Tokyo. There are tons of yokai and Japanese urban myths represented.

Some yokai aren’t even enemies and just might ask for a helping hand. Like most sandbox RPGs, GhostWire: Tokyo has side objectives and as a spirit detective, it is an obligation worth taking. Some of these excursions will have players go into indoor environments where level designers pour an impressive amount of macro details.

GhostWire: Tokyo Preview

GhostWire: Tokyo is still a first-person shooter at its heart and does manage to have its own unique flavor for combat. Encounters are slower and weightier than most action games. Players can fire elemental spirit shots or charge them up, but it is a risk since charge times can take a while and that leaves them open to getting hit.

Taking damage is very punishing. The player-character can’t take too many hits and must rely on healing items which have a lengthy cool-down. Parrying is a major pillar to staying alive and to replenishing spirit energy for combating the entities known as “visitors”.

Fighting has a palpable ebb and flow. It never feels like you are over-powered despite the mystical and otherworldly tools available. Most enemies are melee based, but do have ranged attacks. The best bet to avoid on-coming assaults, other than side stepping or walking back up against a wall, is a perfectly timed parry.

Even in its earliest moments, GhostWire: Tokyo shows a lot of promise. This a very striking blend of genres and creative visuals. It is hard to compare it to other games on the market and manages a very careful balance of the best parts of open-world games and RPGs.

The opening hook is very compelling and the creature design is very outlandish. I quickly realized GhostWire: Tokyo is very hard to put down and presents a very intriguing plot. Just how deep will this mystery go? Find out when we release our full review!

GhostWire: Tokyo is set to launch on March 25th on Windows PC and PlayStation 5. GhostWire: Tokyo was previewed on PlayStation 5 using a copy provided by Bethesda Softworks. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here

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A youth destined for damnation.