Ghostwire: Tokyo

I promised to post gaming content on here as well as autism things, so here we go. My latest gaming obsession has been Ghostwire: Tokyo. It’s an interesting game with some wonderful imagery, however it isn’t without its issues.

The basic premise is that a young man called Akitio is involved in a bike crash, while unconscious his body is “possessed” by a paranormal investigator called KK. At the same time, central Tokyo has been cut off by a mysterious fog and everyone inside has been “raptured” leaving the streets full of clothes and creepy ghostly enemies. A big bad, is gathering souls as well as Akitio’s sister for reasons he explains when you annoy him enough. To help rescue Akitio’s sister and get to the bottom of the big bad’s motivations, KK lends his powers to Akitio and chaos ensues.

For the most part, I found that the main plot felt lacking. The two leads didn’t really have any compelling characteristics that made me want to reach the conclusion of the plot. Akitio is pretty bland and doesn’t really start to get interesting until toward the end of the story, as for KK, he has similar issues when it comes to character development. What kept me engaged was the side missions. While there is a certain amount of copy/paste, quite a few of them felt well crafted and interesting. One that sticks in my head is the case of a paranormal YouTuber struggling to pass on, when you enter the house you realize something is wrong because the place is gothic as hell and is surrounded by spirits that want in on the action. The set pieces in the main plot were creepy in all the right ways, the world reshaping itself around you as the enemies within them make an effort to ensure that you get lost or destroyed before you confront them. Plot may take second place, but set design certainly didn’t. It is very reminiscent of an MMO called The Secret World (re-released as Secret World Legends) by Funcom. That isn’t a bad thing, as TSW managed to create some amazing ambiance as well as story beats.

Combat is pretty simplistic. There are three basic attacks (wind, fire and water) as well as a bow. It’s a case of hitting the creatures until they eventually die. While you are limited to ammunition, there’s so much of it lying around that it is nigh on impossible to run out (I was playing on easy mode, so it is possible that ammunition is more sparse at higher difficulties). Visually, though, the attacks are beautiful. The Ethereal Weaving is pleasant to watch and quite engaging, especially when doing a “finishing move” on enemies. There are also items that can be collected and brought that help to make you more deadly in combat, including stun talismans and a talisman that creates a big bush to hide you from view. I found using them more frustrating than useful, although there are points where combat can take longer if you don’t use them.

As a rule, I don’t pay attention to glossaries in games. They tend to be full of information I already know or which has little impact on gameplay. The glossaries in, Ghostwire: Tokyo however are fascinating. I have always had an interest in Japanese culture and history as well as the various beliefs, the glossary has been well researched and contains fascinating insights into the enemies, ghost tales as well as explanations on the both the mundane and mystical. I could easily spend ages reading up on a spirit we were hunting down as a side mission and how it came into being. Even if you only have a passing interest in Japanese culture/mythology, it is well worth taking time to read some entries. 

Overall, I would recommend this game to people who enjoy Japanese folklore as well as people interested in experiencing lovingly crafted versions of the central Tokyo area. The atmosphere is well worth the price of the game, even if the main plot is somewhat lacking.

Oh, and you can pet the dog. You can even feed it. The cats don’t trust people enough and only allow the occasional petting.

Published by Kle

A busy bee deep into video games and other gaming related things

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