Ghost of Tsushima developer Sucker Punch wanted to "honor the lethality of the sword."
Ghost of Tsushima's combat won't be easy, even if it may have looked that way in the recent gameplay deep dive. According to developer Sucker Punch, the person playing the demo was very experienced, so we'll find it much more challenging than that when we get our hands on it.
"We are trying to make a grounded game in that sense, so a couple blows from the enemy will kill you," game director Nate Fox told IGN. "The game is very challenging."
Fox said that Sucker Punch likes to describe the game's combat in three words: mud, blood and steel. "We absolutely honor the lethality of the sword," he explained.
"We watched samurai movies and people go down with one or two strikes, and that is embedded inside of the combat. Beating the Mongols in battle will be hard, but it’s that challenge that makes it feel alive and the victory rewarding. You can’t just run into a camp and fight five people at the same time, you will get overwhelmed and die."
Another element being borrowed from samurai cinema are the fateful duels against masters of the sword, something Ghost of Tsushima will have. Sucker Punch even wanted to include it in the recent State of Play episode (the most watched SoP ever) but ultimately didn't.
"One thing we didn’t show at State of Play which I wish we had, was that the game features duels against other expert swordsman," confirmed Fox.
"This is classic samurai stuff. Those fights are incredibly difficult and they’re driven from personality and get solved in the most cinematic way possible, which is also true to fantasy. You need to study your opponent and understand how they attack in order to win."
Sucker Punch recently confirmed that samurai and ghost are not binary choices, and that players will be able to switch between them at any time.
Ghost of Tsushima is out July 17 on PS4.