Ghost of Tsushima gets a lot of stuff right, as you can read in our review, but one of the most impressive aspects is actually its loading times. For an open world game, Sucker Punch's latest has unfathomably fast load speeds. Whether you're fast travelling across the map or respawning after taking a fatal blow, the game loads in seconds -- it's pretty crazy. What's even crazier is that these load times could've been even shorter.
Speaking to Kotaku, lead engine programmer Adrian Bentley explains what's happening to enable the game's speedy loading. It makes for interesting reading, but we'll spare you all the technobabble. Long story short: Sucker Punch's game engine is extremely efficient, keeping disc reads to a minimum by placing data very precisely. In layman's terms, pretty much every art asset used in Ghost of Tsushima is ready and loaded for whenever it's needed, and this, combined with the game's mostly simple, natural environments, means pop-in is basically non-existent and reloading after dying can be ultra-quick.
"When you die, we only need [to] re-run this quick ‘spawn’ process with most of the data already loaded," Bentley says. "In contrast, many other engines use serialization-based approaches, which require reloading a substantial amount of data to run again."
Amazingly, loading after death was once so fast that it would've been impossible to read any of the tooltips that appear while you wait. Bentley says the team had to artificially extend this downtime to allow people to take in at least one of these tips. If Sucker Punch is able to make respawns almost instantaneous in an open world PS4 game, imagine what it'll be able to do with PS5 and its ultra-fast SSD.
Have you started playing Ghost of Tsushima yet? Have you noticed the fast load times? Think fast in the comments section below.