Ghostwire: Tokyo gameplay deep dive, developer spotlightAn in-depth look at Tango Gameworks' paranormal action adventure game.
Publisher Bethesda Softworks and developer Tango Gameworks have released 10-minute gameplay deep dive and 10-minute developer spotlight for paranormal action adventure game Ghostwire: Tokyo.
Here is a brief overview of the game, via Bethesda Softworks:
Ghostwire: Tokyo is an action adventure game that challenges players to master the mystical arts of Ethereal Weaving while working to defeat the menacing Hannya and his followers, the Visitors, who have invaded Tokyo. These supernatural entities roam the stunning world of Ghostwire, creating a scintillating atmosphere that is a love letter to Tokyo, its curiosities, and secrets.
Ghostwire: Tokyo will transport players to an intriguing world filled with characters from Japanese legends, folklore, and tales. These stories have inspired many of the unusual creatures you will encounter, giving Ghostwire a true-to-Tokyo flavor. Crafted by the inventive minds at Tango Gameworks, players will traverse Tokyo’s ultra-modern cityscape, discover iconic landmarks, and uncover secrets hidden throughout it.
Players who venture off the beaten path will also find charming characters in need of assistance, countless spirits in need of rescuing, and unexpected purry friends who can exchange rare finds for generous rewards. Optional stories in Ghostwire are not the usual side content fare, but rather lovable tales that further flesh out the game’s world and vision.
Ghostwire: Tokyo is due out for PlayStation 5 and PC via Steam and Epic Games Store on March 25. Digital pre-orders for the Deluxe Edition on PlayStation Store will include three days of early access to the game on March 22, as well as the “Streetwear Outfit Pack,” “Shinobi Outfit,” and “Kunai Weapon.”
Watch the new footage below.
Gameplay Deep Dive
Kenji Kimura, Game Director: “Hello, I’m game director Kenji Kimura, and all of us at Tango Gameworks are very excited to give you a deeper look at the story and gameplay you’ll experience in Ghostwire: Tokyo.”
Welcome to Ghostwire: Tokyo, a supernatural action adventure thriller set in an eerie, haunting vision of Tokyo, with explosive first-person combat and dangerous monsters at its core.
After nearly all of Tokyo’s population mysteriously vanishes, the city is flooded with supernatural creatures. Our story begins here. In the fallout of the vanishing, you will wake in the deserted streets of Tokyo with an unknown voice inside your head, and strange elemental powers coursing through your veins. Possessed by a mysterious spirit named KK, who has his own agenda, you’ll need to work together to unravel the truth behind the disappearances and save the city from this twisted nightmare.
In Ghostwire: Tokyo, you’ll harness an arsenal of powerful abilities known as “Ethereal Weaving,” channeling raw ether such as wind, fire, and water. As the story unfolds, you’ll learn to upgrade and master these abilities based on your playstyle, incorporating powerful core grabs and perfectly-timed blocks all to devastating effect.
Alongside your abilities, you’ll have a range of more traditional and mystical tools at your disposal. Traversal and exploration are a central part of Ghostwire: Tokyo. And with the tengu ability, players can grapple and maneuver through the city with ease.
Areas of dense fog not only harbor dark energy that drains your health, but are infested with deadly, paranormal creatures. To clear these infected areas, you’ll need to cleanse corrupted torii gates scattered throughout the city.
And by freeing untethered souls, you’ll acquire experience to upgrade your ethereal abilities.
Throughout Tokyo, you’ll discover strange distortions in reality known as Utena Spaces, where time and space themselves cannot be trusted. And the only way to complete your mission is to power through them.
In this video, we want to bring together these mechanics to show you the world’s first extended gameplay preview of Ghostwire: Tokyo.
We pick up at a moment where Akito and KK have been separated, leaving Akito with only his wits and traditional weapons. Akito must track the spirit down. Sneak attacks and core grabs are a great way to clear your path without attracting unwanted attention.
Now that you’re reunited with KK, you can use his powers again and gain access to devastating supercharged attacks. From now on as you fight, you’ll charge your synergy with KK. At full charge, you can enter “Wire In” mode to boost your powers.
To grapple between buildings, you’ll need to latch on to the nearest tengu yokai. These creatures are not only the fastest way to get around, but also open a new dimension to the city.
The corrupted torii gate is just ahead. Cleanse it to clear up some of the sinister fog throughout the city.
As you progress, your powers will grow. And with many enemy archetypes to fight, you’ll need to evolve your abilities and strategies to take on these supernatural threats.
Explore the city, and you’ll also find other tools and weapons, like these talismans, to expand your combat options.
Using Spectral Vision, you’re able to sense visitors and other points of interest as you make your way through Tokyo.
Kimura: “We hope you enjoyed this first look at the gameplay in Ghostwire: Tokyo. This is just a small slice of the game and we have a lot more to show you, so please keep an eye out for Ghostwire: Tokyo as we work towards our launch on March 25!”
■ One Word to Describe Ghostwire: Tokyo
Shinji Mikami, Founder of Tango Gameworks: “This may be a difficult question to answer—if you had to describe Ghostwire: Tokyo in one word, what would it be?”
Junya Fuji, Environment Design: “That’s difficult.”
Tsuyoshi Okugawa, Programmer: “Well, it’s a little hard.”
Suguru Murakoshi, Game Designer: “Strawberry shortcake.”
Mikami: “What? What do you mean?”
Murakoshi: “The strawberry shortcake was designed from the Hinomaru rising sun design, the origins of it are truly Japanese. In a Japanese studio, and a game set in Japan. It’s a game where everyone can find something to love. With some sweet and tangy parts, just like a strawberry shortcake. That’s the image.”
Mikami: “OK. (To Hirashima) Can you please describe it using single word?”
Reiko Hirashima, Character Designer: “To describe Ghostwire in one word… I think ‘paranormal would be the word I would choose.”
Okugawa: “If I’m putting it ion one phrase, it’s ‘authentic Tokyo.'”
Fuji: “As far as world-building, Ghostwire: Tokyo is directed in a way that allows people to sense the reality of Tokyo. It is created realistically. And by doing so, we can create a setting where unusual phenomena and paranormal enemies can really stand out.”
Kenji Kimura, Game Director: “The name of the game is Ghostwire—and this indicates something important, and we used the elements of ‘wires’ as an important part of the game. You can use wires to fight your enemies in different ways, making the combat feel unique. We really wanted the actions to feel fun, so that’s how we designed it.”
■ Sound Production
Mikami: “Tango has mostly created horror games in the past, and this time, it’s an action adventure game. How is it different in terms of sound production? I would like to hear about this. Please share.”
Masatoshi Yanagi, Music Composer: “If it’s horror, then we stimulate the player’s anxiety with high-pitched shrieks, and we choose sounds that give psychological effects, and this has been the majority, but with action adventure, because we want them to feel heroic and challenge the bad guys, and also explore the game, I wanted to create sounds that inspire positivity in the player. This was our motive behind our sound choices.
Mikami: “Was there any music, movie, manga, or anything like that which influenced your work on Ghostwire: Tokyo?”
Hirashima: “My influences are from the old Ukiyo-e Japanese woodblock prints. You know, the old images of Yokai or ghosts?”
Kimura: “Goethe’s Faust.”
Okugawa: “Clamp’s X, Tokyo BABYLON comics.”
Kimura: “Connie Willis’ Passage.”
Yanagi: “I listened to quite a lot of traditional Japanese music. Japanese music albums, and a lot of Noh compositions…”
Kimura: “And lastly, Hideaki Sena’s Brain Valley.”
Mikami: “I don’t read many books, so I had no idea what you were talking about in that last part.”
■ Battle System
Mikami: “The battle system and its design—what can you tell us about that?”
Kimura: “In Ghotswire: Tokyo, the power of the hands plays such an important role. By using your hands, you can manipulate different elements like wind and water, as well as initiate fire attacks. There will be many challenges throughout the game that I hope you will enjoy.”
Okugawa: “You can choose different weapons according to your taste. It’s really fun to be able to use all of them.”
Mikami: “The hand actions came out looking really awesome. The way you fight is different compared to other games, it has a different kind of appeal. I know I’m biased, but I really, really like that about this game. This just sounds like a commercial now. Not good!”
■ Development Challenges
Mikami: “What were the major challenges when making this game?”
Murakoshi: “It was the first time we created a non-linear game.”
Fuji: “Tokyo is the grand setting, and the player can walk around freely. I had a lot of trouble trying to figure out how to convey that.”
Hirashima: “Figuring out how to make it work was a lot of trial-and-error.”
Okugawa: “In Ghostwire, we have a total of 2,200 map segments and hundreds of thousands… millions of objects that we have to constantly load in and out. And processing all of that has been a bottleneck. But the [next-gen] hardware helps mitigate that, and our optimizations help with it, too. It’s been a challenge—but totally worth it because it allows us to express our vision throughout the game.”
■ Are Ghosts Real?
Mikami: “Do you believe in ghosts or paranormal phenomena? Please share your experiences if you’ve had any.”
Murakoshi: “Ghosts are something that I basically don’t believe in at all. For me, I want to believe in ghosts, but I don’t have experience with paranormal phenomena, so the truth is, I don’t really believe in them.”
Hirashima: “I would like it if ghosts are real. I’ve never seen one, but I’d like to, if possible. I’ve never encountered any paranormal phenomena. I hope they’re real and I would like to experience one someday.”
Kimura: “I don’t have much experience with paranormal phenomena, but sometimes, in my dreams, I get chased by a black thing with a pair of scissors in its hand.”
Mikami: “You want to meet them?”
Hirashima: “I want to see them.”
Mikami: “See them and meet them… Would it be like meeting a famous person or celebrity?”
Hirashima: “No, probably better than that.”
Mikami: “Better than that, huh? OK, so if you have the opportunity, please get a ghost’s autograph.”
■ Game Features
Mikami: “What are your favorite features in Ghostwire: Tokyo?”
Murakoshi: “The story, and its sense of the world.”
Mikami: “That was a quick answer. Thank you very much. (To Hirashima) Same question, go ahead.”
Hirashima: “The best part for me is all the paranormal effects. From scary to cool—even funny—things that can happen, I think that the variety of impressive paranormal effects are the best features.”
Fuji: “I’d have to say it would be Mr. Mikami’s version of ‘Moonlight Sonata.'”
Mikami: “Why are you picking on me?! (Laughs.) Thank you for your enthusiasm.”
Yanagi: “We took advantage of the 3D audio system from PlayStation 5.”
Mikami: “That’s right!”
Yanagi: “The 3D audio is really amazing. If you accidently kick or knock something over in the game, then the resulting sound will follow. It sounds so incredibly real that you wonder and look around to see if your broke something inside your house. That’s the best feature, in my opinion.”
Okugawa: “It’s 4K HDR and when you turn ray tracing on, you’ll really see how beautiful the art looks in high definition. The 4K, HDR, ray tracing—it’s a great match for the wet ground, and the colorful night of Shibuya. I think people will be able to see and experience something they haven’t before.”
Kimura: “The premise of the game is to have fun and feel good.”
Mikami: “I believe the game is really well done.”
Mikami: “Thank you. It’s the first time I didn’t have to do most of the talking.”