How Ghost of Tsushima Was Inspired By Samurai Movies

Jin in Ghost of Tsushima.

One of the four games that served as the focus for PlayStation's E3 2018 showcase, Ghost of Tsushima earned a lot of buzz for its beautiful setting, tense battles and dramatic moments. According to Sucker Punch Productions Creative Director Nate Fox, the team was specifically trying to capture the feel of playing through a classic samurai film, one where the breathtaking beauty of feudal Japan is counterbalanced by a brutal story and a tale of retribution.

During Ghost of Tsushima's first showing at E3 2017, it was explained that the team at Sucker Punch started developing the game because it was one they had always wanted to play. To help build a supply of inspiration, Nate Fox said during our E3 2018 chat that the team watched a lot of classic samurai films, especially the works of the legendary director, Akira Kurosawa. According to Fox, Sucker Punch put in a lot of work to make sure they got the look just right.

We knew we had to nail the sublime beauty of nature and how it accents these scenes of tension. Our demo opens on one such scene, a lone samurai standing in an open field of swaying grass.

Nate Fox explained that these types of scenes are peppered throughout great samurai films, giving the viewer a moment to pause and take in the beauty of the landscape before being thrust into the next desperate struggle. He said there's an interesting dichotomy that comes from these scenes, mixing stunning nature with our own brutality.

Indeed, there are several such scenes in the game's new trailer, from the opening moments where Jin looks out over fields of grass, to the jaw-dropping final showdown where he and another samurai cross swords under a maple tree with a fire building in the background.

Nate Fox explained that Ghost of Tsushima is not a simple war story, adding that the player will learn that, in hard times, sometimes good people must do bad things. While Jin will be working toward his own quest for vengeance and to overthrow the invading Mongol forces, the game will offer plenty of opportunities to learn more about the region and its people through optional missions.

He also described GoT as an "anthology of stories" where the player will meet people living through the Monol invasion and be given the ability to step in and help them during their time of need.

It's an open, massive world. We want to transport you back in time to 1274 and give players the ability to discover feudal Japan in their own time.

At the same time, Nate Fox explained that Ghost of Tsushima is inspired by history, but that the team is not attempting to "rebuild it stone by stone." He said Sucker Punch wanted to get the details right, but without being disrespectful to a time in history that hurt a lot of people.

Ghost of Tsushima is a PlayStation 4 exclusive and still without a launch date but, for now, it certainly seems like the game is coming along nicely.

Ryan Winslett

Staff Writer for CinemaBlend.