Earlier this week I was fortunate enough to watch an invite only Ghostwire Tokyo preview, hosted by Bethesda Europe’s Kye Sutton.
Apart from the odd teaser Ghostwire Tokyo was pretty much an unknown to me. I went in both cold and ready to be sold. What I came away with was a warm feeling of excitement and a new IP to look forward to.
Run of the mill Japanese Horror?
Is there such a thing? Not really, but the setting of neon soaked Tokyo and the quirky horror mobs you encounter will make you think so. Whether its headless school girls or faceless umbrella carrying Salary men, they all need dispatching from the streets. The preview ran through some early areas of the city and there was plenty of dispatching going on. You play as Akito; a protagonist who’s paired up with the spirit of a ghost hunter, K.K. Akito’s story starts in deserted Tokyo just after everybody is snapped out of existence. From then on, its all about weaving magical attacks to wipe out the bad spirits and bringing back the spirits of the missing.
The city environment looks spectacular, well designed and dripping with neon detail. There are so many buildings, nooks and crannies begging for exploration. Sadly the demonstration didn’t have my urge to poke around every corner, that will have to wait. The game doe have an Open-World structure, which opens up as you progress. Tori Gates are the key to this progression, mystical archways that need cleansing before you can move forward. They effectively seperate areas, and do not appear to be a challenging obstacle.
What about the Yokai?
You can’t have a spooky Japanese story without a Yokai. They’re here in force, hanging around in stores and acting as in-game merchants. Nothing quite like heading into a normal convenience store to trade with a floating, talking cat. Considering what’s going on outside, it makes perfect sense.
The combat, at least in the early stages did appear a touch grindy, but given this is still early build and there are skills to unlock. It won’t be long before you are wading your way through creatures with abandon. Visually the combat is pretty much Dr. Strange spell casting. Flinging projectiles to stun the bad guys, then pulling them apart with magical golden threads. Its pretty cool to watch and will no doubt get more epic as the game progresses.
All in all, I came away from the Ghostwire Tokyo preview pretty excited. Having a big slice of Tokyo to run around in, apartments to nosey about and creatures to fight with magical powers might be the kick I need to enjoy a hefty Open World adventure.
Something wicked this way comes, indeed.