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Ghostwire: Tokyo Preview – Come For The Combat And Storytelling, Stay For The Cats

Ghostwire: Tokyo PreviewAs having been put in an odd place, Ghostwire: Tokyo has always seemed odd to me. A PS5 exclusive that will be published by Microsoft. Like Deathloop before it, I had trouble really understanding the game until I saw much more of it, and for Deathloop that didn’t come until I played it.

Thankfully I can say that I have reached that point of understanding much earlier with Ghostwire: Tokyo, thanks to developer Tango Gameworks sharing some details about the game and giving PSU a chance to check out about a half hour of beta gameplay footage.

Ghostwire: Tokyo looks to be a gripping and intense story with gameplay that is stylized and looks fun to pull off. It also has cats as representations of yokai who run the convenience stores across Tokyo, since everyone has disappeared.

It truly seems to have something for everyone, and it’s added spook value only makes it look more enticing.

Ghostwire: Tokyo Preview – Come For The Combat And Storytelling, Stay For The Cats

Busting Ghosts In Style

As much as an action adventure game might not have been the next thing fans would have expected from Tango Gameworks, I sure am glad they took the leap.

It’s also worth noting though that their horror roots have really not gone anywhere. Your basic objective throughout the game is to bust ghosts, and you get to look pretty cool while doing it.

You don’t have to be concerned with crossing streams or what not, because you’re not using a gun with a heavy backpack. As Akito, with the help of a spirit known as KK, you use ethereal weaving in order to defeat your paranormal enemies.

In all the gameplay I saw, what was the most striking to me about the ethereal weaving was how stylized it was, and then in turn how stylized the finishing attacks were.

There’s an extra care that’s been taken to add spectacle without making everything feel so crowded, or at least it seems.

In truth something like that will be better tested when we’re playing ourselves. For now, it looks like Tango Gameworks has struck a good balance between the spectacle and over-stimulation.

To be fair there’s also the option to use stealth in some instances, if you really think all the bright lights are too much.

I personally just can’t look at this and not get Bioshock vibes, and I don’t mind that at all.

Where’d Everyone Go?

A big aspect of Ghostwire: Tokyo as an action adventure game is of course the narrative. It’s the first non-linear narrative game that Tango Gameworks has done, with such a large open world to explore.

We know that the developers expressed navigating the new territory was one of the challenges for development, but everything shown so far seems like they should have been making action adventure games a long time ago.

I can’t help but be intrigued by the story – you’re in Tokyo, there’s ghosts everywhere, even inside you!

To back up a bit, as we already know you play as Akito in Ghostwire: Tokyo. He’s possessed by a spirit known as KK, who was a highly experienced ghost hunter before he passed beyond the veil.

Our story starts right after a mysterious fog consumes Tokyo, and all of its citizens suddenly disappear. It’s then Akito wakes up, and meets KK for the first time.

KK is hunting down the one he’s been trying to catch all this time, and the one responsible for his death – Hannya.

Together you try to figure out the mystery behind the why everyone disappeared, save Akito’s family, the lost souls of Tokyo’s citizens, and finish off KK’s last hunt.

There’s also other characters you’ll meet throughout the game, and as you recover the lost souls of their loved ones, helping them move on along the way.

It just seems that the more I learn about the narrative, the more mysterious it gets. We still don’t know who these friends are, or what their stories will be.

We know that KK is a ghost hunter – how did he die going after Hannya? Does he really care about helping Akito save his family?

I’m riddled with questions about aspects big to small and that’s always a telltale sign of a story worth experiencing.

There’s Fear In The Unknown

For all the things I’m excited about in Ghostwire: Tokyo, that’s not to say I don’t have my skepticism.

My concerns lie in the open world-ness of the game. As this is Tango Gameworks first foray into an open world game design, they wouldn’t be the first to fall for the pitfalls of the genre.

Clearing the fog out at different points central points across the city already bring a bad “clear the enemy camp” vibe.

Exploring Tokyo and clearing out these corrupted gates is also tied to how you upgrade you abilities, so it’s not like you’ll be able to avoid them/WhileG

Just going from point A to B to C time and time again could produce a bit of open world fatigue for players, myself included as I can be quite prone to it.

I hope I’m wrong, but years of repetitive open worlds have trained me that it’s better to be pleasantly wrong than stubbornly right. So for now, I will worry.

What could be the saving grace in all this of course is just how fun and interesting it is to get around from points A-C and back again.

Exploration with the grapple hook across Tokyo already looks very fun. I also think it’s especially cool how your environment around you can and will change entirely from time to time.

I don’t just mean get a new coat of paint. I mean you walk into a room from one hallway into what looks like a whole other dimension.

It definitely keeps you on your toes, and I’m interested to see how far Tango Gameworks goes with this feautre.


Ghostwire: Tokyo could have easily been this dark, gritty tale for its entirety with no real levity to be found. It probably still would have worked, and people wouldn’t have thought much about it.

Thank god that’s not what we got. There’s so much more to Tango Gameworks ghost-filled Tokyo than just the spooky side.

The cat yokai are both helpful and adorable, and any opportunity to put cats in a game is an opportunity that should be seized.

You can even come across dogs in Tokyo who you can pet, and who will help you spot ghosts when they start barking at them. They’re definitely good dogs.

And not every ghost or spirit you come across wants to hurt you. Some of them will directly grant you upgrades to your abilities, others are citizens of Tokyo with a side mission for you.

It is very easy to see Ghostwire: Tokyo as a very dark game, and it very well could be depending on how the story goes.

However it’s evident that there’s at least a little more to it than just that side of it. For my part, hopefully that means a lot more dogs.

Who You Gonna Call?

Ghostwire: Tokyo is a mystery of a game, and one that I can’t wait to solve.

It’s stylized combat looks both fun to pull off and spectacular to watch, plus it will be interesting to see how the DualSense controller is utilized for it.

Tokyo looks as vibrant as it does dark, and with how your environment can constantly change there’s no telling what sights are in store.

We still have a short while before Ghostwire: Tokyo will be in our own hands to play, and some questions to be answered once that happens.

Until then, there’s little reason not to be excited for Tango Gameworks latest.

Ghostwire: Tokyo will be available on PS5 and PC on March 25, 2022.