It's safe to say Ghostwire: Tokyo is absolutely nothing like The Evil Within. The first game out of Japanese studio Tango Gameworks was a masterclass in horror design (the same can be said of its underrated sequel), and there has not been anything quite like it since. We'd consider that a shame, but what the developer has planned next could be just as grand — or at least fairly different. The opening act of Ghostwire: Tokyo is heavy on action and somewhat light on horror. That balance could change the more you play, but Tango Gameworks has certainly gone for something else this time around.
Tango Gameworks kindly shared the first 30 minutes of the game with us to view via livestream, based on an early build of the final product. There has been a sense of mystery surrounding Ghostwire: Tokyo since its first reveal and then the re-introduction during Sony's first PlayStation 5 showcase, but we can now tell you this: Akito is the protagonist and it's his job to track down the masked figure Hannya. People are disappearing where they stand across Tokyo, and it's clear you're the only one who can put a stop to it. Oh, and Akito must save his family and take back the Japanese capital.
It's tough to work out where the game will land. Despite an on-screen map in the bottom-left corner, the demonstration remained fairly linear, guiding us through the streets of Tokyo as another character in Akito's ear lines up objectives to complete. We visit shrines and apartment complexes in the name of dealing with the supernatural entities taking over the city, taking down barriers and cleansing Torii gates as we go.
It's what happens in between completing those tasks that stands out the most, though. Akito eliminates the paranormal using spells from a distance, whittling them down until their core is exposed. Once their core has been taken from them, they return to the dead. Multiple enemies can be eliminated all at once in a combo — the online presentation reveals — at which point they shower the neon-lit streets with XP. It all looks enjoyable, with different incantations serving various purposes and fit for specific situations.
Accompanying those hexes is a bow and arrow for pinpoint accuracy; the livestream demonstrated killing an enemy by speedily whipping the apparatus out as it rushed Akito's position. A very quick glance at multiple skill trees in the pause menu hinted at lots of abilities you'll be able to unlock throughout the game, suggesting combat will provide a lot more depth than what was shown. It was just the opening 30 minutes, after all.
If you'd prefer to do your business quietly, however, then Spectral Vision will be your best friend. The feature works just like the usual Batman: Arkham detective vision we've all gotten used to over the past decade: activating it highlights enemies and other noteworthy items in the nearby environment. Sneaking up on an enemy allows for a one-hit-kill. It doesn't look like you can play the entire game that way, but certain scenarios present the option.
And while you can't actually fight it, the city of Tokyo itself is just as much of a character in the game. Its famous neon streets are juxtaposed against a supernatural backdrop of chaos and disorder. Motorcycles are stuck to walls, cars are suspended in mid-air. With the streets silent, there's a very eerie atmosphere to the whole thing. The tension increases tenfold when you head indoors for a puzzle as rooms contort to present traversal challenges.
Other points of note were convenience stores run by a cat to buy items from, a sort of grappling hook mechanic that allows you to cling onto spectres and reach rooftops, and an overly long fade to black upon entering a new location. Probably masking a load screen, they lingered for slightly too long in the gameplay capture we were treated to. This was said to be an early build, though, so hopefully, the final version either dramatically shortens or eliminates them entirely.
Are we now looking forward to Ghostwire: Tokyo more than before? Sure, the PS5 console exclusive has proven it wants to strike out and do its own thing. With lots of spell variety, combat looks like it could well be an enjoyable affair. If the way Tokyo contorts itself increases with more supernatural spooks and unnatural environments, then this will be one to look out for later this year. We're yet to play the game for ourselves, but Ghostwire: Tokyo is shaping up to be another Tango Gameworks triumph.
Ghostwire: Tokyo is currently slated to launch for PS5 and PC on 25th March 2022. Are you excited about the next game from Tango Gameworks? Keep your core safe in the comments below.
Did the action part look more engaging in the demo than in the YouTube stream? Because it didn't look very engaging there, tbh.
I love how the marketing is the complete opposite to deathloop, where the YouTube adds and trailers at literally every gaming event made me hate its existence even though it is probably a good game. Hopefully Bethesda learnt their lesson and decide to not over market their games starting with Ghostwire Tokyo, the state of play made me intrigued and this article more so.
I must admit, I liked what I saw very much and look forward to trying this - thanks for this report!
I wasn't a fan of Evil Within at all personally. I also didn't play the sequel because of how I felt about the first game but Ghostwire looks pretty cool so I'll keep an eye on it.
I just want to know if the combat is more of a challenge than the showcase suggested and then im sold
Might get this one then. It seems to have something different about it.
The short 10 mins they showed to the public was enough to convince me to consider this. It was hard to get excited for a product we had only seen quick montages of, until now. At least with the gameplay I know I am getting some magic combat that seems slower paced, but great atmosphere that feels authentically unsettling and Japanese.
Look great, but I don't enjoy first person games, so I'll be missing out, it seems.
Looks good, may get this if the gameplay is good too.
I thought it looked pretty good to be fair. Graphically it didn’t look better than a PS4 title… but the enemy design, combat and world traversal looked enticing enough. More my cup of tea than Deathloop put it that way.
Shinji Mikami looks like a fun guy to work with Hopefully he is not going to be tied to Microsoft forever tho :-/ That would be dreadful really :-/
I like the look of it, It could something different. I was glad to see its a more reasonable £59 not the £69 PS has set as standard, although its £49 ON steam. I can't play it on PS though as it says controller vibration is required and it triggers spasms due to my disability. It's understandable why PS is mandating the use of the controller functions otherwise developers will just side line them. It's just unfortunate for those of use that can not use them.
Evil Within 2 was my favourite horror game,a huge improvement on the excellent first game.To say I was disappointed when Ghostwire was announced instead of Evil Within 3 would be a huge understatement.However this stream immediately convinced me this would be another great and original game that id have to play..it looks awesome!
And if Evil Within 3 gets announced as an Xbox Exclusive then I'll just have to jump ship..maybe.
This really looks to be doing it’s own thing, which is enough to get me excited. A horror tinged, open world action adventure in which you dispatch demonic entities across a dilapidated, neon lit Tokyo with nothing but your magic hands? I’m in.
I'm so glad this game exists and it looks so damn awesome. Really happy we're getting something new instead of another evil within
This looks utterly fantastic, and VERY unique. I am now officially on media blackout for Ghostwire: Tokyo. TRUST IN TANGO, y’all 👻
Finally we have a game with horror elements that wusses like me can play!
It'll never happen but this game looks perfect for psvr2
Looks all-round awesome to me. I can't wait!
graphics seem a bit.....lacking - has a look of a ps3 game to be honest
Now I'm not sure about this or Tiny Tina's Wonderland. Both are out on the same day it would seem. It's like 2017 all over again. My back log can't take much more.
I can't understand this article. Was the demo shown different than the one posted on YouTube? Because this game, honestly, looks boring. It's only my opinion, but the monsters looked very standard, like an asset you get after searching on Google: creepy horror monsters everyone knows about.
The city being empty and unhabitated by only enemy NPCs only made it seem like a worse version of Batman:Arkham. I'll give it that the hand movements were very well designed, but if I'm buying a game just for hand movements I'll rather buy an Oculus Quest Hand Movement Tracker game, plenty of those there...
By watching the gameplay I had the feeling this is going to flop. Badly.
Their first trailer made it look more horror, creepy oriented, like a Silent Hill with first person view, and what they've shown now is reminiscent of old games like Far Cry, even the gates you have to clean are copies of it. So, I'm guessing Pushsquare and the people appraising it saw a different trailer than me.
@CarlosR87 yep - it's not clear to me what they have been watching. The game looks like it might be interesting (but then again, I lived in Tokyo for 3 years so there's a lot of interest just to walk the streets again for me)... but the combat looks weirldy un-engaging... it reminds me of one of those old-fashioned arcade shooters except magic instead of gunfire. I hope there's more to it than what they are showing... and maybe they just want to keep the good stuff for the game (but that's a strange way to market). It also seems to be open world, but everything in-game looks incredibly linear (and on rails).
@Oz_Momotaro @CarlosR87 I saw 30 minutes of raw gameplay that was different to the public showcase.
@LiamCroft ok... so I'd really like to understand 2 things: is it really open-world, and do the enemy NPCs actually fight "realistically" - or are they magic sponges? Actually - it was good to watch the studio interviews (in some ways this had a lot more interesting aspects) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGDEn7zTINo
Have they confirmed how the game is played as far as the spell casting goes? For example is it lame and you are just selecting a spell from a "weapon" wheel or are the spells combo based like L1 + R1 + R2 for one spell or L1 + R2 + R1 for another and etc. The hand animations just look way to cool for it to be a simple "weapon" wheel or swap; adding a "Mirrors Edge" complexity to casting spells sounds pretty dope.
Either way I think the game looks very cool and it has my attention.
One of the combat designers on DooM 2016 is behind the combat in GhostWire..So personally I thing that part will be good !
If you look closely in some part of the video presentation there was some combos happening and I think it will just get more hectic later in the game!
@Spanky It might have the quick tap to switch weapons/spells instead of going to the wheel every time like in the DooM games!
I was aware of this game but I’m definitely interested now.
The game looks a lot more focused compared to Evil Within so it's definitely getting a buy from me if reviews from Skill Up and ACG say its worth it.
I'm still very interested in this title, but sadly my March gaming budget is already being spent on Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin.
I have a huge problem getting into first person games, as I can't get past the thought of being a floating camera with arms. There are exceptions, but they are very rare.
Keeping my fingers crossed for The Evil Within 3 sometime in the future.
How the spell casting mechanics work? Is it you spend more time on a spell - spell does more damage kind of thing? Is there some sort of mana?
For me that's the thing that will make or break this game
This game looks dope! I will most certainly pick it up. Sure, I got Game Pass and Series X too but I’m also impatient, so waiting a full year? Not happening.
This game looks really interesting and really cool!
I like the supernatural elements, and hope to see a lot of monsters from the Japanese lore!
Am I the only one thinking the hands' movements look really cool and fascinating?
Looks really great and I enjoyed the Evil Within 2 so maybe day 1 purchase
@Oz_Momotaro i thought the same, but judging by the comments, we seem to be the only ones. What they've shown seems bland, devoid of any interesting thing around the city besides fighting Sponge Bob Square Pants and it's associates. Hopefully I'm wrong and the game is indeed something else, otherwise, it's a very hard pass for me. Shame, as I really enjoyed both The Evil Within games and found them to be rather creepy.
@LiamCroft that might be it, then. For me, the 9 minutes show were not enough to capture my attention and if I'm being honest, nearly made me fall asleep.
@Scoobijohn it looks like the darkness 2 on PS3 but with a less interesting protagonist. It seems decent but PS5 is so loaded over the next month there is no way I'm touching this. I will be knee deep in Forbidden West and Gran Turismo. Possibly Elden Ring and Sifu.
@CarlosR87 I agree. It looks average. Probably fun but nothing impressive. The biggest motivating factor to play is the fact that it's set in an interesting version of Japan but as far as the game goes... Nothing hooked me.
I don't believe this game will score nearly as well as death loop but probably low 80s or high 70s. It'll be another decently rated game that nobody really plays. If we are talking about first person combat and a spooky but not so spooky setting I would rather play The Darkness 3. The best thing about this game is it reminded me of the Darkness 2 a little bit. I know that's the lower rated of the two Darkness games but I still enjoyed it even if it wasn't spectacular.
@iamtylerdurden1 man...I loved The Darkness... Being a fan of the comics helps. XD But, yeah, Ghostwire seems like it will come and go. Probably will sell well, by the comments here, but will be forgotten shortly as it doesn't seem to be set to change anything in the industry.
@iamtylerdurden1 Darkness 2 was 100% underrated, fun and very entertaining to me, at minimum I would love remasters of both games.
It might not be pushing anything especially new but visually it looks lovely with some great enemy design and the gameplay looks fun. I’m definitely planning to pick it up and I’m not normally one for first person games. The Darkness and Bioshock are notable exceptions so that so I guess it’s that resemblance that’s sold me along with the Japanese setting.
Tap here to load 44 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...