Sucker Punch’s New Game Is Samurai-Focused ‘Ghost Of Tsushima’


#1

We don't know much about it yet, but Sucker Punch has finally announced a new game, after putting the superhero-focused Infamous series behind them. Ghost Of Tsushim will apparently focus on a samurai, but beyond that, we don't know much about it, other than being "open world":


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/7x4xab/sucker-punchs-new-game-is-samurai-focused-ghost-of-tsushima

#2

The dude did the bad ass blade across the inner arm cleaning move from 13 Assassins so I am 100% hype for this thing.


#3

This looks pretty interesting. Presumably its set during the Mongol invasion considering the dates line up and Tsushima island was the first point of contact. Here’s hoping Sucker Punch do a good job and don’t just end up in the pile of bad western depictions of Japanese history.


#4

Yep, Kotaku confirms Mongols.

Between this and The Last of Us Part 2 trailer my fingers are crossed hoping the discourse of the week will be about the representation of East Asians in video games. Who wants to talk about Sleeping Dogs!?

Though also thanks to the brutality of the new The Last of Us Part 2 trailer, it’s more likely we’re gonna get a week of hot takes and Twitter threads about violence in video games.

Wooh, that conversation again.

How poetic perhaps then that the narration of the trailer just has a guy declaring that he did his research on Japan.


#5

“I know your culture. I know your beliefs. I know your language. I did Rosetta Stone for, like, a month.”


#6

This announcement worried me for some reason, and I’m having trouble pinning down why…
Nothing smells “off” culturally about the contents of that trailer, and yet…

Maybe ya’ll can help; I never played the Infamous games beyond 2. Did Sucker Punch handle anything awkwardly in Second Son or First Light? I don’t remember any particularly poor handling of the pseudo New Orleans setting in 2, not that they did anything particularly culturally relevant there either.

This looks genuinely intriguing, so what am I worried about? Maybe I’m worried about the setting for no reason? Do people generally trust SP to do the research and get details right?


#7

It used the main characters native American heritage as set dressing and hired a white dude to play him but I don’t recall anything especially awful beyond that. It’s been a while though


#8

Generally, they were pretty good with their characters and did their best to avoid stereotyping. I definitely agree that the Native American heritage was more window dressing as it didn’t go beyond that and having a white male actor play the role is questionable (Not to say Tory baker was bad). However, Sucker punch was making the game in short time and probably had to cut some stuff and simplify the game certain aspects which is apparent. With this I hope they had a lot more time to insure they get things right or at least do the most they can to best represent the characters of both sides.


#9

I picked up a little on that too. I think it’s because the story setup uses the concept of “scary foreign invaders” which has been used to such gross extents that I have an instinctual negative reaction to it. That’s probably not a fair complaint in this case though. The trailer seemed fine and there’s a historical basis for having the Mongols be conquering invaders.

It’s just that after years of stories where “home” (presented as American or traditionally western, usually white), is under attack by “them” (different culturally, usually racially, and implied to be inferior because of that) I’ve learned to spot it coming.


#10

I just hope the game isn’t a bunch of English VO with some accents. Go full Nioh with your casting instead of “I know your language, but I’mma talk at you in English.”


#11

One massive difference between this is Nioh: That was made by people who actually live in Japan. I don’t have high hopes for this. An Americanization of Asian action archetypes rarely goes well without combining it with another genre (like superheroes, ala Teen Titans).


#12

These are some good points to consider for sure. I love Nioh and it just wouldn’t be the same game if it was made by an American studio.

For a filmic example of historical Japanese stuff altered by American perspective and ignorance we can point to The Last Samurai (a film that I am very critical of but also really enjoy). A lot of people criticize that film as being a part of the white savior trope (which is debatable because Cruise’s character saves no one) and rightly so, but in the actual history there was a man—who was French, not American—who took part in that rebellion and died during it. The movie spends way too much time on an American version of a historical actor who was essentially a footnote and invents this whole history for him so that we have to follow along with his pretty uninteresting struggle. Especially compared to the struggles of other characters in that same movie.

With something like Ghosts of Tsushima I’d worry about something similar happening. Like with The Last Samurai, they’ve picked a real historical setting and like with that movie a lack of perspective could easily ruin it. Perhaps they’ve hired Japanese historical and cultural consultants to help them in that regard. I hope so, but I’m not holding my breath.


#13

Looking beside the political tightrope the devs just put themselves on, I’m inclined to be a bit optimistic.

Hey guys, there’s what looks like a new stealth action game coming out! I thought that entire genre died with MGSV. And from Sucker Punch! I mean, Sly Cooper was arguably rather simplistic stealth action but it was good simplistic stealth action.


#14

True. And I really miss Tenchu. So I want this to be good. Mechanically it’ll probably be fine, but what if it was both fine and also respectful of the culture and history it pulls from? BETTER.


#15

In a perfect world it would have excellent gameplay, respect the culture and history of its story and setting and would celebrate the nontraditional masculinity of the stealth game that’s been missing with the genre’s decline and also that crappy last Splinter Cell game.


#16

Yeah, after talking this over with some peers Imma try to step down whatever broken Defcon scale I’m using from “Worried” to “Cautiously Optimistic”.

This was gnawing at me until I realized I know someone at Sucker Punch I can vent to about it, and while they reasonably can’t speak for the whole org, there was talk about the advantages of being a Sony umbrella studio and having access to lots of resources that are decidedly un-western in perspective.


#17

That’s good to hear and I’m kind of amazed we haven’t heard more about international communications between studios, publishers, etc. for research. Like you’d almost assume when Watch_Dogs 2 was being made someone called Ubisoft San Francisco and asked “What’s Embarcadero Center and how can it be the one thing we get right and to scale in the game?” and that kind of would be interesting to read about but you heard nothing of it. Of course that’s getting into more transparency from game makers and that’s it’s own can of worms but it would be nice to know what is entailed or even what is supposed to be entailed when they say they’re doing their research on this game set outside the presumed experience of the developer.


#18

Can I just say I’m bummed that this game and discussion is getting overshadowed by the bad Last of Us Too trailer.


#19

I don’t know if there’s much to talk about that hasn’t already been said. We’re not positive on what the game will be besides some Japanese-inspired stealth-action samurai game. When the first gameplay trailer comes out I’m sure this game will blow up a lot more.


#20

while stealth will no doubt be a part of it, they were leaning more on the open world part of it in the promo “interview” thingy they did that’s up on youtube.