Reviews

Ghostwire: Tokyo’s charm can’t make up for its frustrations

Ghost Wire: Tokyo is a game that is not afraid to ask big questions. What if we die? Is the body really just a physical prison for our true essence? Can you find the second roll of toilet paper for that ghost, go to heaven and make the next ghost use the bathroom?

Undoubtedly a unique game, but the most interesting elements are often drowned out due to uneven execution.

Akito is an ordinary young man who moves between life and death in a motorcycle accident, whose body is unconsciously kidnapped by a ghost named KK. Because Akito doesn’t fully handle his body, the two form a precarious alliance.

KK’s arrival is just in time, as Tokyo is shrouded in a mysterious mist that separates the human soul from the body and spooky ghosts soar between skyscrapers and rooftop gardens.

His phantom partner focuses on Deadly Mists, but Akito has his own motives. His sister Mari is lying helpless and unconscious in the hospital. He has to get to her, and working with her KK is the only way she can get there thanks to the evil demons lurking in her current streets.

Image: Tango Gameworks/Bethesda Softworks

In exchange for taking up physical space, KK gives Akito the ability to cast elemental magic at his fingertips. Power is roughly the archetype of classic first-person shooters. Wind can fire quickly from your fingertips, water has a wider, shotgun-like arc, and fire spells are explosive blasts with a wide area of ​​effect.

However Ghost Wire: Tokyo It could be metaphorically equivalent to a classic first-person shooter, but it doesn’t seem that way. I changed the controller because it seemed too slow and floating. I thought something was wrong. It helps to max out the acceleration of the camera, but it’s not a grace.

It also has much shallower attacking skills than you would expect from a modern shooter. How flat is it? Well, you already know all three abilities listed above. That’s it you can charge one of these three for a more powerful build, and get a bow useful for rare (but boring) sequences that are decoupled from the power of KK. They can also rip through an enemy’s core when almost dying. But after learning all these skills early in the game, you’ve seen almost everything.

Akito’s Mira hunt soon feels like an arduous affair, as little has been offered since the opening segment. Enemies offer some variety, but the skills you use to defeat them aren’t that different. Block their attacks and shoot them.

Even this basic battle loop has some sort of feel. Charged attacks don’t cost extra ammo, so you should always charge them whenever possible. However, blocking an attack requires pausing it very often. Even perfectly timed blocks don’t lead to counterattacks of course. This prevents enemy attacks from causing havoc rather than a real threat or opportunity and combat enters a satisfactory flow.

Akito summons water spells to fight enemies in Ghostwire: Tokyo.

Image: Tango Gameworks/Bethesda Softworks

Systems built around core combat feel similarly isolated. Talismans that help turn battles to your advantage are consumables, but they were too expensive to use. There are so many healing items that I have never used before. (I’ve never even been close to one.) And a very useful and game-changing force that lets you create your own grip points is randomly placed in the upgrade tree.

Despite all these basic flaws, there’s no denying that I’ve often been fascinated by it. Ghostwire: Tokyo— Mainly when I left an important path to help stubborn ghosts get an unfinished job.

These side quests aren’t very appealing from a mechanical point of view, but many are interesting little illustrations. The toilet mission mentioned above is the craziest I’ve ever met. But there are a lot of people who switch between the sad and the stupid, the poignant and the mundane.

This personal story, like the rest of the game, works in part because it is deeply rooted in Japanese culture and folklore. Example: Find a “Zero Statue” to increase your spell’s ammo. At first, the term was unfamiliar to me, so I came across beautiful and sad stories of these characters. They are believed to protect travelers and help guide the souls of dead children.

Akito rips apart the enemy's core in Ghostwire: Tokyo.

Image: Tango Gameworks/Bethesda Softworks

All enemies are typical of Japanese society, and they are chased by the devil for one reason or another because of their dissatisfaction with their existence on earth. Here is a description of a headless young man in a school uniform called “Students of Pain”.

A kind of visitor born out of the anxiety of male students facing an uncertain future. They expose their frustration directly to someone who is unlucky enough to cross the road with them. »

(This accounts for most of my interactions with ordinary, energetic high school students, but neither here nor there.)

Damn, the standard is Japanese dialogue with subtitles, but you can use English voiceovers if you want. However, the Japanese voice was omitted altogether, thanks to which I was able to immerse myself in the world more. It makes immersion easier. Ghost Wire: Tokyo Even though everyone is dead, the streets and houses are beautifully rendered and lit with meticulous attention to detail that makes the streets and houses appear to be inhabited.

Ghost Wire: Tokyo Of course you won’t be an expert on Japanese culture, but the typical “Help, my basement is full.” rat charge.

Akito has one of Shibuya's many dogs as a pet.

Image: Tango Gameworks/Bethesda Softworks

If there is one central theme that binds these diverse threads together, it is living for the present and the madness of holding on to anger and guilt. Its impact is undermined by a central story that sometimes works, but never really captures it.

First, because Akito and Mari’s relationship doesn’t have enough oxygen, there’s little narrative fuel needed to progress the story. The game’s final chapter has cluttered sequences that try to develop that relationship, but it’s… too late. Whenever Marie is mentioned, I am ashamed to completely forget that my beloved sister is trapped somewhere between the world of the living and the world of the dead. I won’t spoil KK’s core motives here, but that’s good enough. They also lack a narrative drive.

maybe the best thing i can say is Ghost Wire: Tokyo It is a lovely experience. There are many upbringing and on-screen cultural details in the sweet parallel tales that express the world itself engulfed in rain. But whatever its appeal, it has been bogged down by disappointing design choices and sluggish mechanics. It can be an attractive setting, but Ghost Wire: Tokyo Recommended only for students most devoted to Japanese culture.

Ghost Wire: Tokyo Coming March 25th to PlayStation 5 and Windows PC. This game has been verified on PS5 using pre-release download codes provided by Bethesda Softworks. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. Vox Media may receive commissions for products purchased through affiliate links, but does not affect editorial content. you can find For more information on Polygon’s Ethics Policy, please click here..


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Ghostwire: Tokyo’s charm can’t make up for its frustrations

Ghostwire: Tokyo is a game that’s not afraid to ask the big questions: what happens after we die? Is the body really just a bodily prison for our true essence? Can you find a second roll of toilet paper for this ghost so he can ascend to heaven and the next ghost can use the bathroom (and then also pass to the realms beyond)?
It’s a singular game, no doubt, but its most intriguing elements are often drowned out by uneven execution.
Akito is an ordinary young man, hovering between life and death after a motorcycle accident, until his body is unceremoniously hijacked by a spirit named KK. Since Akito isn’t quite done with his body, the two are forced into an uneasy alliance – body mates, if you will.
KK’s arrival comes at just the right time, as Tokyo has just been blanketed in a mysterious fog that separates human souls from their bodies, leaving their ghostly apparitions floating between skyscrapers and rooftop gardens.
Although his spectral partner is focused on the disastrous fog, Akito has his own motives: his sister Mari is lying helpless and unconscious in a hospital. He needs to get to her, and cooperating with KK is the only way to get there, thanks to the malevolent demons now lurking the streets.

Image: Tango Gameworks/Bethesda Softworks
In exchange for taking meat space, KK provides Akito with the ability to cast elemental magic at his fingertips. Powers correspond, loosely, to classic first-person shooter archetypes: wind can be fired quickly from your fingertips, water has a wider, shotgun-like arc, and the fire spell is an explosive blast with a wide area of ​​effect.
But Ghostwire: Tokyo may be metaphorically in line with a typical first-person shooter, it doesn’t look like much of one. The controls feel sluggish and floating so much that I swapped controllers because I thought something must be wrong. Increasing the camera’s acceleration and deceleration to maximum helps, but it’s not a silver bullet.
Despite all its basic flaws, I can’t deny that I was charmed by Ghostwire: Tokyo.There’s also a much shallower pool of offensive abilities than you might expect in a modern shooter. How shallow? Well, you already know all the powers: the three I listed above. That’s it. You can load up each of these three for a stronger build, and you get a bow that’s useful for those rare (but boring) sequences where you’re separated from KK’s power. You can also rip an enemy’s core when they are near death. But after learning all of these skills in the early hours of the game, you’ve pretty much seen it all.
With little new stuff offered after the opening segment, Akito’s hunt for Mira soon feels like a slog. The enemies offer a bit of variety, but the techniques you’ll use to defeat them aren’t all that different. Block their attacks, then shoot them.
Even this basic combat loop feels somehow. Charged attacks don’t use extra ammo, so you’ll always want to charge, if possible. But you have to interrupt your charge very, very often to block an attack. A block, even perfectly timed, does not naturally lead to a counter-attack. This turns every enemy attack into an interruption rather than a real threat or opportunity, and prevents battles from settling into a satisfying flow.

Image: Tango Gameworks/Bethesda Softworks
Systems built around core combat feel similarly disjointed. The talismans that can help turn a fight in your favor are consumable, but so expensive that I wasn’t inclined to use them. There are so many healing items that I have never run out of them. (I never even got close.) And an incredibly useful and game-changing power that lets you create your own grapple points is just randomly dropped into the upgrade tree.
Despite all these fundamental flaws, I cannot deny that I have often been charmed by Ghostwire: Tokyo— most often when I left the critical path to help some wayward ghost wrap up their unfinished business.
These side quests aren’t that compelling from a mechanical standpoint, but many are intriguing little vignettes. The aforementioned toilet mission is the wackiest I’ve come across; however, there are plenty of others that oscillate between sad and silly, poignant and mundane.
These personal stories work well in part because many of them – as well as much of the rest of the game – are deeply rooted in Japanese culture and folklore. For example: you increase your spell ammunition by discovering “Jizo statues”. I was initially unfamiliar with the term, which led me to the beautiful and sad story behind these characters. They are believed to provide protection to travelers and help guide the spirits of deceased children.

Image: Tango Gameworks/Bethesda Softworks
The enemies, too, are all archetypes of Japanese society who, for one reason or another, have been driven demonically out of dissatisfaction with their earthly existence. Here is the description of the headless young guys in school uniforms called “Students of Pain”:
“A type of Visitor born out of the restlessness of young male students facing unclear futures. They unleash their frustration head-on on anyone unlucky enough to cross paths with them. »
(This describes most of the interactions I’ve had with regular, lively high schoolers, but it’s neither here nor there.)
Heck, the default is Japanese dialogue with subtitles, though English voiceover is available, if that’s your thing. I left out the Japanese voices for the entirety, though, as they helped me sink into the world even more. Immersion is facilitated by the fact that the world of Ghostwire: Tokyo is beautifully rendered and lit, with an attention to detail that makes the streets and houses look lived in despite, you know, everyone being dead.
Ghostwire: Tokyo won’t convert you into an expert on Japanese culture, obviously, but I feel like I received tiny bits of information about this world and the Shinto religion as I played some side quests really high above the typical “help, my basement is full of rats” fare.

Image: Tango Gameworks/Bethesda Softworks
If there is a central theme that connects these different threads, it is that of living life for the present and the madness of clinging to anger and guilt. While affecting at times, the impact is undermined by a central story that never really finds traction.
First, there’s not enough oxygen in Akito and Mari’s relationship, so there’s very little narrative fuel to propel you through the story. There’s an overloaded sequence in the game’s final chapter that attempts to develop that relationship, but it’s…too, too late. Every time Mari was mentioned, I was embarrassed to have completely forgotten that my beloved sister was imprisoned somewhere between the world of the living and the world of the dead. I won’t spoil KK’s core motivations here, but suffice it to say: they also lack narrative propulsion.
Maybe the nicest thing I can say about Ghostwire: Tokyo is that it is an endearing experience. There’s a lot of on-screen care, cultural details in the sweet parallel stories to the rendering of the rain-swept world itself. But whatever its charm, it’s bogged down by frustrating design decisions and slow mechanics. It may be a captivating setting, but Ghostwire: Tokyo is difficult to recommend to all but the most devoted students of Japanese culture.
Ghostwire: Tokyo will be released on March 25 on PlayStation 5 and Windows PC. The game was reviewed on PS5 using a pre-release download code provided by Bethesda Softworks. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, although Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased through affiliate links. You can find additional information on Polygon’s ethics policy here.

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#Ghostwire #Tokyos #charm #frustrations

Ghostwire: Tokyo’s charm can’t make up for its frustrations

Ghostwire: Tokyo is a game that’s not afraid to ask the big questions: what happens after we die? Is the body really just a bodily prison for our true essence? Can you find a second roll of toilet paper for this ghost so he can ascend to heaven and the next ghost can use the bathroom (and then also pass to the realms beyond)?
It’s a singular game, no doubt, but its most intriguing elements are often drowned out by uneven execution.
Akito is an ordinary young man, hovering between life and death after a motorcycle accident, until his body is unceremoniously hijacked by a spirit named KK. Since Akito isn’t quite done with his body, the two are forced into an uneasy alliance – body mates, if you will.
KK’s arrival comes at just the right time, as Tokyo has just been blanketed in a mysterious fog that separates human souls from their bodies, leaving their ghostly apparitions floating between skyscrapers and rooftop gardens.
Although his spectral partner is focused on the disastrous fog, Akito has his own motives: his sister Mari is lying helpless and unconscious in a hospital. He needs to get to her, and cooperating with KK is the only way to get there, thanks to the malevolent demons now lurking the streets.

Image: Tango Gameworks/Bethesda Softworks
In exchange for taking meat space, KK provides Akito with the ability to cast elemental magic at his fingertips. Powers correspond, loosely, to classic first-person shooter archetypes: wind can be fired quickly from your fingertips, water has a wider, shotgun-like arc, and the fire spell is an explosive blast with a wide area of ​​effect.
But Ghostwire: Tokyo may be metaphorically in line with a typical first-person shooter, it doesn’t look like much of one. The controls feel sluggish and floating so much that I swapped controllers because I thought something must be wrong. Increasing the camera’s acceleration and deceleration to maximum helps, but it’s not a silver bullet.
Despite all its basic flaws, I can’t deny that I was charmed by Ghostwire: Tokyo.There’s also a much shallower pool of offensive abilities than you might expect in a modern shooter. How shallow? Well, you already know all the powers: the three I listed above. That’s it. You can load up each of these three for a stronger build, and you get a bow that’s useful for those rare (but boring) sequences where you’re separated from KK’s power. You can also rip an enemy’s core when they are near death. But after learning all of these skills in the early hours of the game, you’ve pretty much seen it all.
With little new stuff offered after the opening segment, Akito’s hunt for Mira soon feels like a slog. The enemies offer a bit of variety, but the techniques you’ll use to defeat them aren’t all that different. Block their attacks, then shoot them.
Even this basic combat loop feels somehow. Charged attacks don’t use extra ammo, so you’ll always want to charge, if possible. But you have to interrupt your charge very, very often to block an attack. A block, even perfectly timed, does not naturally lead to a counter-attack. This turns every enemy attack into an interruption rather than a real threat or opportunity, and prevents battles from settling into a satisfying flow.

Image: Tango Gameworks/Bethesda Softworks
Systems built around core combat feel similarly disjointed. The talismans that can help turn a fight in your favor are consumable, but so expensive that I wasn’t inclined to use them. There are so many healing items that I have never run out of them. (I never even got close.) And an incredibly useful and game-changing power that lets you create your own grapple points is just randomly dropped into the upgrade tree.
Despite all these fundamental flaws, I cannot deny that I have often been charmed by Ghostwire: Tokyo— most often when I left the critical path to help some wayward ghost wrap up their unfinished business.
These side quests aren’t that compelling from a mechanical standpoint, but many are intriguing little vignettes. The aforementioned toilet mission is the wackiest I’ve come across; however, there are plenty of others that oscillate between sad and silly, poignant and mundane.
These personal stories work well in part because many of them – as well as much of the rest of the game – are deeply rooted in Japanese culture and folklore. For example: you increase your spell ammunition by discovering “Jizo statues”. I was initially unfamiliar with the term, which led me to the beautiful and sad story behind these characters. They are believed to provide protection to travelers and help guide the spirits of deceased children.

Image: Tango Gameworks/Bethesda Softworks
The enemies, too, are all archetypes of Japanese society who, for one reason or another, have been driven demonically out of dissatisfaction with their earthly existence. Here is the description of the headless young guys in school uniforms called “Students of Pain”:
“A type of Visitor born out of the restlessness of young male students facing unclear futures. They unleash their frustration head-on on anyone unlucky enough to cross paths with them. »
(This describes most of the interactions I’ve had with regular, lively high schoolers, but it’s neither here nor there.)
Heck, the default is Japanese dialogue with subtitles, though English voiceover is available, if that’s your thing. I left out the Japanese voices for the entirety, though, as they helped me sink into the world even more. Immersion is facilitated by the fact that the world of Ghostwire: Tokyo is beautifully rendered and lit, with an attention to detail that makes the streets and houses look lived in despite, you know, everyone being dead.
Ghostwire: Tokyo won’t convert you into an expert on Japanese culture, obviously, but I feel like I received tiny bits of information about this world and the Shinto religion as I played some side quests really high above the typical “help, my basement is full of rats” fare.

Image: Tango Gameworks/Bethesda Softworks
If there is a central theme that connects these different threads, it is that of living life for the present and the madness of clinging to anger and guilt. While affecting at times, the impact is undermined by a central story that never really finds traction.
First, there’s not enough oxygen in Akito and Mari’s relationship, so there’s very little narrative fuel to propel you through the story. There’s an overloaded sequence in the game’s final chapter that attempts to develop that relationship, but it’s…too, too late. Every time Mari was mentioned, I was embarrassed to have completely forgotten that my beloved sister was imprisoned somewhere between the world of the living and the world of the dead. I won’t spoil KK’s core motivations here, but suffice it to say: they also lack narrative propulsion.
Maybe the nicest thing I can say about Ghostwire: Tokyo is that it is an endearing experience. There’s a lot of on-screen care, cultural details in the sweet parallel stories to the rendering of the rain-swept world itself. But whatever its charm, it’s bogged down by frustrating design decisions and slow mechanics. It may be a captivating setting, but Ghostwire: Tokyo is difficult to recommend to all but the most devoted students of Japanese culture.
Ghostwire: Tokyo will be released on March 25 on PlayStation 5 and Windows PC. The game was reviewed on PS5 using a pre-release download code provided by Bethesda Softworks. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, although Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased through affiliate links. You can find additional information on Polygon’s ethics policy here.

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