Ghost of Tsushima’s Samurai Cinema mode gets the blessing of Kurosawa’s estate

By Sherif Saed
9 July 2020 10:06 GMT

Sucker Punch really went all out for Ghost of Tsushima’s Samurai Cinema mode.

One of the neat features in Ghost of Tsushima developer Sucker Punch debuted at the gameplay reveal was a black-and-white mode the studio initially dubbed Samurai Cinema, but later renamed to Kurosawa Mode.

While developing this filter, the studio decided to get input from Akira Kurosawa’s estate. The late filmmaker’s iconic works inspired much in Ghost of Tsushima, so it made sense. And so it was, the studio showed Kurosawa’s estate the game and explained the effect the team is going for with that mode.

“We have this great game that transports people back to feudal Japan and Akira Kurosawa was one of our reference guides, especially early on about how we wanted it to feel,” creative director Jason Connell explained to Entertainment Weekly.

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“As we got closer and closer to making that a reality, we were like, ‘What do we call this special mode that we created, this black-and-white throwback?’ We threw out a bunch of different words and we thought, ‘What would be awesome would be if we could call it Kurosawa Mode.’ In order to do that, we felt that we needed to reach out to the estate and see if that’s something they’d be interested in. We sent a short video showing what it generally looks like, what it feels like.”

Connell added that there’s more going on than a simple black-and-white filter. The mode also applies film grain, and attempts to recreate the look of Kurosawa’s work with respect to colour depth, and by ramping up wind speed a little. It also recognises how the films sounded to audiences at the time by changing sound effects slightly to mimic those coming out old TVs and radios.

We’ve been playing Ghost of Tsushima, and you can look forward to our review (and more) next week. The game releases July 17 on PS4.

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