GhostWire: Tokyo

After watching the twenty-minute GhostWire: Tokyo February 2022 Official Showcase trailer, I had a few thoughts that I wanted to share.

Ever since it was originally revealed back at E3 2019, I felt like GhostWire: Tokyo wasn’t giving me a clear indication of what to expect from its moment-to-moment gameplay. Sure, the visuals and art style were unique, haunting, and just plain bat-dookie bizarro, but then what?

It was unclear how the game was structured, or how missions played out, or if there even were missions at all. By and large, until this extended showcase, GhostWire: Tokyo felt more like a VR game — cool to look at but ultimately not very deep, with little to no evident hooks that would warrant a long-term investment. And to be honest, even after this twenty-minute trailer, what with its chopped and edited “look” at a mission in the game, I don’t feel like that particular needle has been moved in any meaningful way.

I will say this: After seeing more of the game in general, I am very much intrigued by how striking it looks. But for the most part, there still seems to be a noticeable lack in enemy types, as well as the amount of enemies the player will be battling at any one point in time — of course, this could be part of a choice not to completely spoil what Tokyo might have in store.

There also seems to be a an overall feeling of “casual,” which I guess is the best way to describe my impression of the combat. Enemies sort of meander, or slowly (albeit menacingly) approach the player character, occasionally firing off some sort of magical attack while the player works his finger magic to dispel them.

It’s nice to see some more of the combat elements — like being able to parry a projectile and send it careening back at the enemy that cast it — as well as more traditional weapons like the ever-present bow and arrow that has taken so many contemporary games by storm. But there is just an underlying feeling of a lack of urgency that I keep coming back to, and that is giving me pause.

GhostWire: Tokyo

It was cool to see that the developers look to deliver a relatively realistic depiction of Tokyo (aside from the mystical and demonic elements, of course), which, if nothing else, could definitely be very cool to explore.

Overall, this trailer just doesn’t present enough to warrant adding GhostWire: Tokyo to my must-play list for this year. And that’s a bit of a letdown, because there are elements that I do find appealing here. But there is a general air of absence or vacancy that is hard to put my finger on, and that’s making it hard for me to really find any wow factor beyond the interesting visuals. But maybe I’m just old and jaded.

You can watch the full video below to see how GhostWire: Tokyo lands for you. The full game is set to launch on PS5 on March 25, 2022, with three days of early access for folks who plunk down some extra money for the deluxe edition. It’s likely to come to Xbox consoles sometime next year, though that hasn’t been officially confirmed yet.

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