Ghost of Tsushima has hunting, three difficulties, and ‘no karma system’

You can choose your own horse, too

Sucker Punch Productions covered a lot of ground in the State of Play event for Ghost of Tsushima, but like any big open-world adventure, fans want to know about the tidbits – the little details that add up.

Do you have to play as either a ghost or a samurai, or can you do both? How difficult is the combat? Can Jin swim around, Assassin’s Creed style? And what’s up with the little white circles in the HUD? The studio fielded those questions and more in a wide-ranging Q&A posted to the PlayStation Blog.

It’s not the most important topic, but my favorite answer relates to the horse. Asked if you can have different horses, creative director Jason Connell replied that the horse is “Jin’s partner,” and “early in the game, there is an opportunity to choose the horse you want to go on this adventure with.”

He also confirmed that you can mix and match armor pieces and hunt animals – but don’t worry. The adorable fox from the State of Play is fine. “While there are unique animals in Tsushima that are there to help guide Jin in his adventures, there are also a few predators that will be aggressive,” according to Connell. “Upgrade resources can be collected from these specific animals once defeated.”

Nate Fox, the director, answered a range of questions. I’ll highlight a few that stood out.

  • There are three difficulties: Easy, Normal, and Hard. Easy is meant for exploration-minded players, and Hard is intended to be “fair, but very challenging.” The best part: “No matter which difficulty players choose we never increase the health of enemies; this is to maintain the lethality of the katana. Our combat is all about the player’s skill.”
  • The white circles in the HUD are “Resolve.” You can use them for healing or performing Jin’s “most intense attacks.”
  • Jin “can’t swim out to boats and start sailing on them.”
  • There is no karma system.” You’ll get to play as a ghost and a samurai – “there isn’t a binary choice for the player,” and actions “aren’t limited by your armor.” In other words, “Jin begins as a samurai, strong in sword combat. As he develops more ways of fighting he comes to be known as the Ghost, but he never loses his skills with his sword.”
  • The scope of Ghost of Tsushima is “markedly larger” than Sucker Punch’s prior games. “Most of our play testers would spend a full week on Ghost and not finish the storyline.”
  • “You can play the flute whenever you like.”

Okay, one more. Asked if you can wield “different types of weapons,” Connell explained that Jin’s katana, “will be with him from the beginning to the end” and he’ll supplement this “main weapon” with new abilities like throwing kunai and smoke-bombs or using a bow. Sucker Punch would “like to have something for players to discover,” so it “won’t share all of these abilities before launch.”

I think I have a decent read on this game. I’m expecting a fair amount of mechanical overlap with other recent story-driven open-world games, but the setting – the drive to explore nature – is the star. Even if my fears about the depth and longevity of combat come true, I’m absolutely on-board for the scenery.

Ghost of Tsushima: Your Questions Answered [PlayStation Blog]

Jordan Devore
Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random.