Ghostwire: Tokyo – Everything We Learned From Our Preview

Ghostwire: Tokyo Preview

In case you missed the news, Ghostwire: Tokyo is officially releasing this March 25! To help garner some hype and prepare you all for what’s to come, we were invited to see an exclusive hands-off demo of Ghostwire: Tokyo. Here’s everything we learned about Ghostwire: Tokyo behind closed doors, organized into concise, straight to the point bullets, along with our general thoughts and impressions of the game at the end.

Ghostwire: Tokyo is a first person, semi-open world, action-RPG with a heavy focus on supernatural and horror elements. The game is set in Tokyo, Japan where a mysterious event has eliminated most of the population. Ghosts and spirits now roam the streets.

Ghostwire: Tokyo Info Overview – Everything We Learned From Our Preview

Ghostwire: Tokyo – General Information

  • The game is now in the final polishing phase and is scheduled to release Spring 2022.
  • It’s set in Tokyo, Japan, where most of most of the people have been mysteriously turned into ghosts, including the main character’s own family.
  • The protagonist is a Japanese man named Akito, who has somehow fused with KK, an experienced Ghost hunter who has become a spirit.
  • Together, Akito and KK will use the supernatural powers of “Ethereal Weaving” to fend off against evil spirits scattered throughout the city.
  • Main antagonist is a man named Hannya, who wears a large Oni mask. Your goal is tracking and stopping him, saving not only the city, but also Akito’s family.
  • KK has been hunting Hannya for some time now, but he was eventually killed. No cause was given in the preview.
  • There are friendly and enemy Yokai throughout the game. Capturing them can reward you with new powers.
  • A cat Yokai was shown off during the demo that offered the player work, and served as an in-game shop for healing and other items.
  • There are other animal Yokai, with a tanuki (racoon dog) and a Tengu shown.
  • There are still some humans left in the city. Some of them will become your allies. Akito will have to hunt down Hannya, in addition to helping his friends confront their lost loved ones.
  • There appear to be other biomes besides Tokyo. We saw a forest area, a snowy area, and a foggy dreamland type of area. While the game takes place in Tokyo, you will be transported to these other areas and have to find your way back.
  • KK the ghost hunter will communicate with you from within your own body as you explore Tokyo.
  • Specifically, Ghostwire: Tokyo takes place in the Shibuya district.

Gameplay

  • The game is primarily played from a first-person perspective (previously known).
  • Fog surrounds the city, with KK commenting to stay away from it as it is dangerous.
  • A round mini map, similar to that from the Yakuza franchise is displayed on the lower left of the screen. There was a clear indication of where the fog extended to on this map and you could slowly clear out zones one by one.
  • Also similar to the Yakuza games, the world in Ghostwire doesn’t appear to be fully open world. Rather, the area we saw the player explore was a large city filled with corridor style pathways, which diverted into multiple directions.
  • The map looks large with some open areas on it.
  • There will be fast travel in the game.
  • Our first enemy encounter was with some Slenderman looking Yokais with umbrellas.
  • This is where we saw our first spell. The character shot energy from their hands, and used an energy string to grab their cores (think Dr. Strange)
  • On the screen there was an ammo counter, which indicates how many spells you can cast.
  • Upon defeating an enemy, you’ll be able to grab their core and replenish this ammo.
  • The ammo indicator was green with a tornado symbol, suggesting that this was a wind based elemental spell.
  • Enemies had large amounts of particle effects disintegrating from them as they were being exorcised.

  • Experience points were awarded for every enemy defeated, indicating some sort of leveling system.
  • There are “Torii Gates” which can be cleansed, in order to clear the fog in that area.
  • Inside the Torii Gate was a small shrine holding a Katashiro, a Japanese paper doll.
  • Dogs roaming the streets will bark when they see an evil spirit.
  • Yes, you can pet the dogs, as well as cats, and other critters.
  • Additionally, with the use of KK’s powers, you can also read animal’s thoughts.
  • Friendly spirits will also appear on the streets. We saw a pair being encased by Yokais in a containment cube, who needed to be saved.
  • Upon saving them, the character pulled out their Katashiro and absorbed the spirit.
  • It looks like phonebooths are scattered throughout the city. These phonebooths hold a secret device in them that’s used to transfer spirits from the Katashiro.
  • We aren’t sure what other functions these provide, but KK did comment that any spirits caught in the fog and brought to a phone booth will return back to “normal.”
  • Spirits will have their own dialogue. One was talking about a ramen shop as the player passed by.
  • You can perform a “quick purge” on enemies, which is essentially a stealth takedown.
  • There are floating jars that can be broken. These rewarded what we assumed was meika, the name of Ghostwire’s in-game currency.
  • There are in-game shops. In the demo we saw the player enter one and be greeted by a Yokai cat who offered an assortment of goods.
  • Katashiro was one of these items, which noted that the more you held, the more spirits you can absorb.
  • Kibi Dango was another purchase, which looked to have restorative values for the player.
  • It appears that entrances to buildings can be locked by hand seals. Players can remove these and unlock the doors by performing hand gestures in a sort of mini-game.
  • Energy barriers can trap players inside of a location. In order to take them down, there are Barrier stones throughout the area that need to be destroyed.
  • When the energy barrier showed up, a countdown timer was displayed. KK mentioned the barrier around the building would crush them if they didn’t destroy the stones.
  • This barrier was around an apartment complex. It changed the environment inside it, twisting, and warping reality.
  • Some verticality was shown off, though nothing fancy other than some basic jumping.
  • There is something called “Spectral Vision,” which revealed a trail left by a spirit.
  • In addition to the fog, there is also corruption around the city. A black substance that branches out. This can be destroyed by the player.
  • It appears certain glowing objects can be destroyed and give the player ammo.
  • In the preview, a Torii gate was located on the rooftops. A Tengu appeared, which served as grappling point for the player.
  • Additionally it looks like there’s some sort of spirit dash/glide that lets you fly for a bit.
  • Specter can be found, with hand seals being used to purge them.
  • A bow is confirmed as a weapon that can be used.
  • There are side missions scattered around the city.
  • One of these side missions involved helping the spirit of an old woman’s daughter.
  • The skill menu was shown off briefly. Looks to have a lot of unlockable abilities and upgrades associated with them. We saw a tracker which indicated 31 ability unlocks.
  • It looked like there were 21 ethereal weaving (magic), and 16 equipment skills/upgrades that can be unlocked.
  • There were 4 kinds of equipment with the Bow and Talisman being two of them. The other two looked to be food/health and ammo related.
  • Spectral Vision was upgraded for increased range in the demo.
  • As mentioned earlier, there are stealth takedowns. These can be used with Spectral Vision to highlight enemies and objects through walls, allowing you to take a stealth approach.
  • You can parry projectiles and send them back to enemies.
  • You can deposit money at prayer boxes to reveal specific item locations on your map (Jizo statues for example). There were a number of wishes the player could make at these prayer boxes.
  • The demo ended with the player absorbing a small ball of energy, which granted them a new spell. This was fire based as indicated by the new red, fire shaped ammo icon and effects of the spell.
  • Additional footage after the event also confirmed three element types: Fire, Wind, and Water.
  • There’s a “weapon wheel” of some sort that allows quick selection of of spells and arrow types. There were 8 slots total on the wheel.

General Tech

  • Full Dualsense support and 3D audio are confirmed for PS5.
  • Ray traced reflections will also be included on PS5.
  • 4K with 60FPS
  • Performance appeared to be running solid despite being a beta build. We didn’t notice any frame rate issues.
  • Impressive particle effects not only from defeated enemies, but from the different kinds of spells the player can cast.
  • Character models could have been better, especially in cutscenes.

Overall Impression:

Ghostwire: Tokyo has been a relative mystery up until this point, and it’s great to finally have some clarity.  Keep in mind however, that all of this information comes from a 28-minute gameplay demo from very early on in the game. It’s tough to gauge how the entire game will play based on such a small slice.

From a design perspective, the game looks great. It has a distinct art style, with supernatural elements weaved in with elements of traditional Japanese architecture. Gameplay wise, I would describe the combat as Bioshock-esque. The first person combat looks flashy, thanks to the excellent animations, interesting enemy designs, and heavy use of particle effects. The combat loop has you rotating between a variety of different spells and combat abilities, while fending off enemies with your block and parry, and making sure to keep ammo topped up.

While the enemies look interesting though, the AI in our demo seemed laughably bad. Most of them run straight at the player and do little to fight back or pose any real threat. We would have liked to have seen some mini-bosses or more challenging enemies.

Aside from combat, it seems like you’ll mostly be exploring the semi-open world, following the main path and completing side quests as you go. It all seems like pretty basic stuff gameplay wise. As for the story, Tango seem to have gone the detective route, as you try to discover what happened to your family, and to the people of Tokyo. It’s an intriguing premise, and one that we know Tango Gameworks have some experience with, thanks to their Evil Within games.

Developer Tango Gameworks seem to have a stylish, lore-filled world crafted with Ghostwire: Tokyo. However, with the preview demo only being 28-minutes long, it’s hard to form a full opinion on the game. The game appears to have some fun, unique set pieces and an intriguing premise that definitely shows promise. But while the first-person combat and open world look flashy, we can’t help but wonder about the substance. What we saw looked promising, but we’re eager to see more.

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