After watching Ghostwire: Tokyo I was enveloped in its fog and it reminded me more of Ghostbusters than I imagined
Many doubts, questions and few certainties arise when they show you Ghostwire: Tokyo in detail. And that’s not because one doubts the trajectory of Shinji Mikami or Tango Gameworks using The Evil Within saga as a reference. They step on quicksand because the secrecy of the title has been a constant since it was announced at E3 2019, or the negative feelings following the departure of Ikumi Nakamura. However, the fog has lifted and what I saw does not disappoint.
Throughout the presentation of the work, a thought gradually came to mind that I wanted to transfer to this text. Ghostwire: Tokyo reminds me a lot of Ghostbusters, not because Bill Murray cracked the joke on duty, but because of the New York company’s work. It’s all about capturing ghosts, ridding the Japanese capital of ghosts beyond the grave, and finding out what the hell is going on.
The novice and the master
Serious question: How do you deal with a psychic catastrophe when you’re on your own to save the day? You just can’t do it alone. Because of this, Akito merges with KK, a skilled Ghostbuster who ended up becoming just another entity. Through a strange bond that manifests itself in the protagonist’s body, the two characters must join forces to face a threat like few others.
Mainly that of Hanny, a villain who doesn’t hide his intentions and crowns his appearance with a demonic mask that prevents his face from being seen. He managed to cover the entire Shibuya area in a dense fog, causing the population to evaporate. Not only that, strange creatures populate the streets and the sidewalks are littered with the clothes of those who were once there, as if Dragon Ball’s Cell had done an express cleaning.
In ways that are still unclear, Hanny is able to mentally connect with Akito and make the classic speech that the path he has taken is the right one and the others are wrong. Whether that’s true or not, the truth is that Akito is playing for something far more important, like helping his own family. The cards are on the table and it’s time to play them.
sealing and exorcism
Once the presentations are complete, it’s time to move on to the actual boss, the first part of Ghostwire: Tokyo. With newly acquired powers, I could see Akito begin to adjust to her under KK’s commands and direction. Energy balls constantly come out of his hands and are used to attack visitors, the creatures you saw in the last game.
Office workers with umbrellas reminiscent of Slenderman, headless schoolgirls, the classic Hachishakusama that inspired Lady Dimitrescu’s design… the variety is great and although they exhibit different behaviors, the goal is the same: exorcise them. The bullets we throw serve to shatter their bodies and at that point their cores will be exposed for us to grab them.
Through L2, Akito unties some sort of mystical rope attached to the cores and pulls on them to rip them out. Nothing confirms it for me, but everything indicates that the DualSense’s haptic triggers will have a lot to say in times like these. And since Ghostwire: Tokyo is a first-person game, it’s very visual in that sense. Our character assumes complex positions with his fingers, twisting and bending his wrists so that the attacks he launches are effective.
However, there’s nothing more effective in cleaning up Tokyo than what appears to be one of the play’s main mechanics. In several arts and gameplays we could see these red Japanese arcs called tori that serve as a reference point to know where large amounts of fog are concentrated. Scattered all over the map, you have to find them, clear them of enemies and the fog will disappear. As a reward, we get a fundamental item.
They are the katashiro, paper figures that have the ability to pick up the scattered spirits and keep them inside. Of course, we wouldn’t know about it if it wasn’t for KK, who is constantly giving Akito instructions about a world he doesn’t know. As in Forspoken, it’s common to hear conversations between the two as we play, creating an unexpected relationship for both of them.
The local elders will remember the phone booths, strange devices that littered the streets of half the world and made it possible to make phone calls. In Ghostwire: Tokyo, they have a new life as they serve as a key machine to send collected ghosts from the Shibuya area. And it doesn’t seem like it’ll be few, as the count that appeared on screen counted 240,050 spirits, although we’re taking a few dozen at a time. Coins and experience rewards are welcome. And pay attention to the Yokai that will be present in different places in the game and that will grant special abilities if we catch them.
The nooks and crannies of Tokyo
There’s no denying that Tango Gameworks is set in the very city it’s modeling. And it so happens that the development team did an excellent job in building the city. The stereotypical and often true image of Tokyo full of neon lights is here, and the fact that it’s always night helps make it seem even brighter. A simple screenshot of the game will make you think unequivocally of the capital of Japan. Also, it’s even more shocking to see such an immensely populated place in real life now completely empty.
The chaos created by Hanny has messed everything up, so it’s common to find signs, lampposts, and other street furniture in odd places. Floating, blinking, as if unsure how to choose between the world of the living or another dimension that sweeps them away. Ghostwire: Tokyo doesn’t just live on pure asphalt, but has more to say both upwards and internally. And I’ll explain.
The verticality appeared as an element of surprise without eating or drinking it once Akito managed to hook a tengu, a celestial bird of Japanese folklore, with his ties. A sudden impulse picked him up and left him on a rooftop where more tori arches soared, complete with men in suits, fog, and flocks of ravens.
There doesn’t appear to be any fall damage, but that doesn’t matter when you can levitate and sit like a feather. If the rooftops have reasons to pay attention, the interiors aren’t far behind. It’s too early to tell, but it’s amazing how many places Akito can reach, and quite a few surprises. Perhaps the dream of many will come true when, upon entering a store with the friendliest pipe music in the world, you are greeted by a levitating cat. Eventually you won’t question anything and just buy him more katashiro or stat-boosting food. And yes, confirmed that cats can be petted.
It’s not every day that a ghost appears to you in the middle of the street and asks for your help to exorcise his house. Everyday life for Akito, who enters the typical Japanese house, which begins to twist its rooms, shows stains on the walls and tries to make the visitor panic. Little madness that reminded me of Double Fine’s imagination with Psychonauts, although it’s a far cry from the great originality shown by Tim Schafer’s team.
Beware the detective vision in the purest Batman Arkham style, which allows you to see traces of ghosts along with the tracks they left behind. They can be pursued to find them and put an end to them, but not before they come across a tree of corruption; nip in the bud and more spirits for the katashiro.
Date noted in the agenda
Help for Akito will not only come from KK, but it will be necessary to call in his old team of ghostly deterrents. The members are scattered all over the city, so we need to gather information to locate them and get their help. For example, when entering one of the apartments, Akito had to break the seal that protected him. This can be done using the DualSense’s touchpad, or by having KK do the job with a single button. Here we get the bow that shoots fire arrows and more information about the story, which at least made me want to move on more.
Once you exit the building, a barrier will block the entire building, requiring you to find various cores scattered both inside and outside the building with a time trial that will blow your mind. In this way the mystical wall will be solved and we can move on. A good launch time that I could see, enough to convince me that I’ll wait for the launch on PS5 and PC on March 25th.
Tango Gameworks ensures that Ghostwire: Tokyo is in the final stages of polishing and the truth is that it looks very consistent. Graphically, it doesn’t look like a new-gen game, but the personality it exudes makes it one of the most interesting titles of 2022 on the calendar.
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