by William Thompson
previewed on PC
Who ya gonna call?
Ghostwire: Tokyo is the highly anticipated action-adventure game from the team at Tango Gameworks in which players take on the persona of Akito, a ghost hunter in search of answers to his missing sister. We at Hooked Gamers were lucky enough to be invited to a preview screening of an early level showing some of the gameplay of the Bethesda published game that will be hitting shelves worldwide on the 25th of March.
In the preview level we were guided through a small section of the modern, but somewhat sparsely populated Tokyo. A threatening fog has enveloped the city and with it much of the citizens. Amid the upheaval, our protagonist Akito becomes bonded with a spirit going by the name of KK – an experienced ghost hunter - and in doing so has acquired special skills that will help him survive this dystopian version of Tokyo. Armed with nothing but his hands and the skills in the mystical art of Ethereal Weaving learned from KK, Akita must slowly but surely rid Tokyo of the apparitions that have taken over the city.
In the preview section of gameplay we were privileged to witness, the go-to skill for Akito seems to be the firing of fireball-like objects at the charging menaces. Once they have been neutralized, he can then draw enemies together with something resembling Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth to draw out their souls. The combat can be a fast-paced experience as there can be multiple enemies in a particular area. These spirits take various forms in the preview we saw, from tall slender beings through to headless schoolgirls and long-haired ghouls that look like they’ve been inspired by The Ring.
It does appear though, that Akito does have further tricks up his sleeve, but it was difficult to tell in the reasonably short demonstration whether he has these at the beginning of his journey, or gains these skills as the game progresses like Plasmids in Bioshock or more recently, Slabs in Deathloop.
However, there was an upgrade tree shown at one point, so the Ethereal Weaving skills do seem like they can be improved throughout the game. Other abilities in our preview included area of affect style abilities and shields. We were also shown a section where Akito acquires a bow that he can fuse with the Ethereal power and then use it to help cleanse the city of the ghouls.
Ghostwire: Tokyo splits the fog-covered Tokyo into smaller areas which are located around special entrances known as Torii gates. Liberating these shrines of all enemy spirits will clear the fog in that area and serve somewhat as a safe-haven for Akito and those inhabitants that have survived the catastrophe. It is at one of these Torii gates that Akito receives a Katashiro with which he can then absorb spirits. These spirits are spread throughout Tokyo, and will be a reason for players to explore Tokyo in a greater capacity. Exploring the city become easier with the use of the aforementioned Wonder Woman style rope. With it Akito can traverse the city vertically similar to how Spiderman uses his web-slinger, by aiming at higher points and grappling to that location. This will give Akito a greater view of the city.
But when all is said and done, the end goal of Ghostwire: Tokyo is to track down the game’s villain, Hannya and find out what has happened to Akito’s sister in the process. The masked Hannya has a version of Tokyo where he is the salvation, and it will be up to you to stop him. From our brief view of the gameplay, the supernatural thriller is looking wonderful. Tokyo, despite it being the scene of a tragedy, looks beautiful, with the traditional and modern architecture intertwined nicely throughout the city. The combat results in a series of colourful flashes that lightens up the otherwise dark and brooding landscape – one that we’d like to see more of as we get closer to release.
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