PG Score: 9.5/10
Ghost of Tsushima is an absolutely incredible game. I sunk around 40 hours into it in order to obtain the platinum trophy, and nearly every single second was thoroughly enjoyable. I milked this gem for all it was worth and did not want my journey to end.
Set in Japan during a Mongol invasion in 1274, you play as samurai warrior Jin Sakai. The story moves flawlessly as you control the protagonist through a plethora of action-packed and varied side quests, one-on-one duels, and main missions. You have the ability to employ stealth to achieve your objectives or take a more head-on approach to cut down your foes.
While the stealth mechanic is functional and sometimes satisfying, the swordplay is the heart and soul of Ghost of Tsushima. It’s extremely fast-paced, lethal, and wildly entertaining. Every strike is impactful and the clash of steel during deflections and parries was music to my ears. There are four different stances; each has its own skill tree for upgrades and new move sets and abilities to unlock. The combat truly never gets old.
The side activities and collectible hunting are also very entertaining. Nothing feels like a chore and I was genuinely excited to clear all the landmarks on the expansive map. It also helps that the setting is consistently gorgeous. As I rode on horseback through each picturesque environment, the lush landscapes had me in constant awe. The graphics are a true technical marvel.
There are two possible endings and I went back to get the other after the credits rolled the first time. Both conclusions evoked raw emotion from me and that is a testament to the game’s profound storytelling. I don’t give ratings like this out lightly, but this was honestly one of the most amazing journeys I’ve ever embarked on in a video game. It further cements the PlayStation 4 as the king of exclusives and is the perfect swan song for a truly transcendent console. Ghost of Tsushima is the definition of a masterpiece, and it’s my game of the year.