Edmond Tran: GameSpot:
Ghost of Tsushima’s story hits hard in the game’s third and final act, and ends in spectacular fashion. It left me with the same kinds of strong emotions I felt at the end of all my favourite samurai film epics, and had me eager to watch them all again. The game hits a lot of fantastic cinematic highs, and those ultimately lift it above the trappings of its familiar open-world quest design and all the innate weaknesses that come with it–but those imperfections and dull edges are definitely still there. Ghost of Tsushima is at its best when you’re riding your horse and taking in the beautiful world on your own terms, armed with a sword and a screenshot button, allowing the environmental cues and your own curiosity to guide you. It’s not quite a Criterion classic, but a lot of the time it sure looks like one.
Ian Walker: Kotaku:
Ghost of Tsushima is pretty as heck—sporadic capturing left me with almost 50 GB worth of screenshots and short video clips to sift through—but at its core, it’s just another open-world game. I found myself audibly sighing every time I crested a hill towards a mystery objective only to find another fox to follow or another haiku to compose. These diversions, while unique at first glance, proved to just be busy work as time wore on. I was so strong by the end of the game—filling up every skill tree is easy if you ignore the main story and just explore for a bit—that I didn’t even bother using stealth tactics for the last third. I don’t think I even died after the first few hours. There’s so little to get excited about in Tsushima once the initial wonder of the wind physics and lush environments wears off that the only thing that kept me going was my own innate desire to fill out the entire map. And that can only hold someone’s interest for so long.
Matt Miller: Game Informer:
Ghost of Tsushima captures the mystique, fierce violence, and barely contained emotional angst of the great samurai films. The line of inspiration is clearly purposeful; Sucker Punch included a gorgeous “Kurosawa Mode,” which sets a black-and-white, film-grain, audio-treated effect that doubles down on the classic cinematic vibe. It’s well worth turning on, if only for a few missions. But even beyond that cool feature, this is a game that nails the aesthetic it’s shooting for, firmly establishing itself as the medium’s defining samurai saga.
Andrew Webster: The Verge:
The latest PS4 game from developer Sucker Punch is an attempt to merge the structure of a conventional open-world game with the setting of a classic samurai film. Think of it as Assassin’s Creed by way of Akira Kurosawa. When things click, it’s amazing; Ghost is a beautiful game, one full of focused, contemplative moments, from tense, one-on-one sword duels to peaceful retreats to compose haiku under a tree. Ghost doesn’t hit the same highs as its cinematic inspirations, but it apes their themes and style in a way that at least feels unique for a video game.
The problem is that it so often isn’t quiet. Open-world games are big and busy, and those elements — the gigantic battles, the sprawling map, the copious sidequests, the repetitive mission structure — drown out what makes Ghost feel special. The two sides of the game feel constantly at odds. When it works, it’s incredible. The rest of the time, it’s yet another open-world action game.
Kirk McKeand: VG247:
(★★★ out of five):
Like the samurai, Ghost of Tsushima feels like a relic of a bygone era.
Sam Machkovech: Ars Technica:
An open-world adventure can nail tropes like graphics, combat, stealth, or modes of transportation and feel amazing at first blush. But what keeps us hooked to the required repetition of the genre once players get to a game’s 10th or 20th hour? Some open-world fans may opt to skip dialogue and plot sequences while clearing missions and killing foes, hooked to the basic rush of gameplay mechanics. GoT is fine in that respect—a good measure above “competent,” though not revolutionary.
But the reason I am absolutely captivated and excited by this game is because it marries all of that content—how it looks, how battles play out, how quests are linked together, how good it feels to ride its horses through giant fields of dramatically lit flowers and trees—with a sense of purpose, which Sucker Punch constantly reinforces in surprising ways. Sakai ranks among the best Sony video game heroes in recent memory—and, gosh, that’s high praise, considering what Sony Interactive Entertainment has produced in the PS4 era. But that’s arguably because everyone and everything in his path feels so real, so human, and so alive.
If you need to get lost in over 30 hours of heroic gameplay right now, in a single-player adventure with no online connectivity gimmicks or content locked away as DLC, Sucker Punch has you covered with an instant contender for 2020’s game of the year.
Click to expand…Caleb Wysor: The Spiel Times:
Ghost of Tsushima is an enjoyable but muddled experience: its strong gameplay fundamentals are hampered by a lack of originality and weak storytelling.
Chris Tapsell: Eurogamer:
Like the game itself, they go for authenticity through facsimile - recreating moments without the requisite weight and context. And, like the game itself, they’re lacking a little depth. Despite the immediate and undeniable thrill, the gloss can be just a little too quick to wear off.
Robert Ramsey: Push Square:
Ghost of Tsushima is a joy to play and a joy to behold. Sucker Punch has crafted one of the most memorable open world games of this generation, buoyed by an immensely satisfying combat system and an engaging, dramatic story. Unlike many of its open world peers, it’s a refined and focused experience – gripping and immaculately presented at its best. A fitting first-party swansong for the PS4.
Kieron Verbrugge: Press Start:
Ghost of Tsushima might be built from the same stuff as its AAA, open world contemporaries, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the best open world experiences of the generation. Sucker Punch has set its samurai fantasy apart by presenting players with a beautiful world that is rewarding to explore, with many mysteries to uncover. Jin’s story is a compelling tale pulled from the pages of the epics, and it’s just one of many that the game has to offer. The game isn’t perfect, but it’s not often I spend upwards of 50 hours playing an open world game to total completion and immediately want to jump back in, even if it’s just to sit and watch the breeze roll by.
Alessio Palumbo: Wccftech:
Ghost of Tsushima is Sucker Punch’s best game yet and a great open world title capable of measuring to some of the biggest names in the genre. The excellent rendition of feudal Japan, along with its well-written characters and story, make Ghost of Tsushima stand out as the last must-have PlayStation 4 exclusive.
Andrew Beeken: Next Gen Base:
A game full of meaningful moments, of quiet contemplation and brutal, savage combat. A game about family, tradition, honour and change that comes at a significant point of change in Sony’s videogame strategy. A more hopeful and less alienating experience than The Last of Us Part II and a step back to a more gentle and inviting form of open world adventure, Ghost of Tsushima is both a celebration of the past and a look towards the future, and is a fitting first party swansong for the PS4.
Bobby Pashalidis: Console Creatures:
Ghost of Tsushima is the biggest game yet from Sucker Punch and it’s their most impressive game to date. While I didn’t appreciate the story as much as I wanted to, the combat, the characters, the island of Tsushima offer enough to make up for it. Combat is fast, chaotic, and satisfying. Stealth is as good as combat thanks to the tools Jin uses to push back the Mongols from his home and following the Guiding Wind often leads to something worth riding to. This is Sucker Punch’s most ambitious game by far and as the curtain closes on PlayStation 4, it is a fitting way to close out the 8th generation of consoles.
Kobi Rosenthal: PC Galaxy (Before Embargo)
(9.5/10) (Review in Hebrew, excerpt was machine-translated, tag/DM me if a better translation can be offered):
Ghost of Tsushima is another great open-world game from Sucker Punch.
While the battle system can be a bit stiff and would have benefited more from enemy variety and depth, it is still an amazing game in terms of gameplay, visuals, and story with a busy and lively world which serves as the biggest attraction of the game with each mission and place that feels important and interesting. Ghost of Tsushima is the ultimate samurai game, and closes the generation in a big way.