I’ve just finished watching today’s State of Play and my socks are well and truly knocked off. The 18 minutes of Ghost of Tsushima gameplay I just witnessed opened my eyes to how much I really need this game.

About a minute or so into the gameplay, I couldn’t help but draw comparisons to the last two Assassin’s Creed Games, Origins and Odyssey. The gameplay looked strikingly familiar to both these Assassin’s Creed games but that’s a very good thing in my book. Watching Jin traverse Tsushima Island on horseback whilst picking up Bamboo brought back fond memories of riding through Ancient Egypt or galloping through Ancient Greece.

The developer commentary mentioned that exploration will be a big part of Ghost of Tsushima. Exploring big open-world games, finding secrets and well-hidden places is one of my favourite things to do in games.

From the looks of it, Tsushima Island will have plenty to explore. I’m not sure how big the island will be, there was only a brief glimpse of the map. But it seems that there is things in the game to guide you.

The developer mentioned that the guiding wind can lead you to different locations and story moments. There will also be visual clues to look out for to help in finding secret, off the beaten path type locations.

The Ghost of Tsushima

In Ghost of Tsushima, you can play in a couple of different playstyles. We can play as an honourable Samaria or as a dishonourable Ghost. From the gameplay, it looks like playing as a Samurai is a more honourable way to fight your enemies, with Jin facing his enemies man-to-man. The Samurai combat, according to the developer commentary, requires skilful precision with no wasted energy. Every strike must count.

In Ghost of Tsushima, you can also take a more stealthy approach to combat. The developer commentary described this as the Ghost, where Jin will resort to every dirty trick he can think of. Even using fear as a weapon.

Playing as the Ghost looked very enjoyable. Watching Jin jump from a rooftop to stealth kill an enemy below again reminded me of AC Odyssey/Origins stealth gameplay.

Customisation – more than just about looking good

Ghost of Tsushima Customisation

In the State of Play gameplay reveal, we got a look at customisation in Ghost of Tsushima.

The developer commentary mentioned that armour in Ghost of Tsushima will give you different mechanical advantages. Depending on whether you’re playing as a Samurai or a Ghost. This will help accent your chosen playstyle.

There will also be various Charms which can be picked up and equipped. These look like some sort of upgrading system or like modifications.

Ghost of Tsushima Charms

In the screenshot above, we can see some Charms which look like they will enhance your abilities. The developer commentary also mentioned that we will be able to learn new techniques. These techniques will transform Jin from a Samurai into the Ghost. It sounds like we won’t be able to play as the Ghost right away but rather unlock this playstyle as we progress.

Gaining techniques and charms to help you fight off the Mongols is all well and good. But we need to look good while doing it. In the gameplay, we saw Jin collect Flowers called Dye Flowers. Dye Flowers are collected throughout the open world and can change the colour of Jin’s armour and fine-tune the look.

Photo Modes are awesome

Yes, Photo Modes are indeed awesome. And it looks like Ghost of Tsushima will have one cracker of a photo mode. As well as having the usual photo mode options like colour grading and depth of field, Ghost of Tsushima’s photo mode will have a few extra features.

In Ghost of Tsushima’s photo mode, we will be able to change things like wind direction and speed as well as the ability to change to different particle effects to make your in-game snapshots look crazy good. There is also the option to add a track of in-game music, so you can create a cool looking video to.

Ghost of Tsushima is shaping up to possibly be my favourite game of 2020 and I’v not even played it yet. It’s got pretty much everything that I like in a game. An open world to explore, amazing looking graphics, great combat and a superb photo mode.

Here we are, in what is pretty much the last year of this generation and Sony is still pulling AAA masterpieces out of its hat. And we’ve got The Last of Us Part II a month before Ghost of Tsushima. Not to mention the Epic PS5 gameplay reveal yesterday. 2020 is without a doubt the year of PlayStation.