Ghost of Tsushima was one of the most talked about games at last years E3 Conference, as Sucker Punch went on to show players a glimpse of the amazing scenes and seamless mechanics. The combat system in particular has received a fair amount of appraise, beind described by Chris Zimmerman, Sucker Punch developer and co-founder, as way for the controller to just “melt away.

Lets take a look at the combat system of Ghost of Tsushima.

Fluidity and One-Hit Kills

Sucker Punch prides itself in creating a combat system that prioritizes fluidity in motion, and the explosive, lethal nature of Samurai combat. In this pursuit, One hit kills are possible, taking a step away from the conventional hack and slash combat systems. This new combat system will require players to always be alert.

It looks like a lot of the focus will be on patience, waiting for the right moment to strike, while also remaining aware of the environment, and multiple enemies at the same time.

One hit kills will not be 100% though, as armor, hit locations, weapons, will all have a factor to play in how health decreases. It seems like combat is heavily based on skill, while also pulling towards the more realistic, where different factors lead to the outcome of the battle.

There are plenty of different ways to initiate combat. Whether its a one-on-one, gangk, or a stand-off battle, these situations can escalate quickly, calling for swift movements and opportunistic strikes, especially against multiple opponents.

The combat seems likes it is meant to mimic the world they have created. As scenes of beauty and grace collide with the flames of war, so to does the elegance of the samurai arts collide with gore of the kill.

However, that does not mean that the combat will be all realistic, as the developers have said they will try to remain as authentic as possible, while keeping the player experience as optimal as possible.

Ghost of Tsushima’s Combat System

For any situation that may involve combat, it is important to consider whether it is the best option. Instances where combat will not be the best option may arise, whether due to player skill or ease. But a great part of a combat system is knowing when the best time is to use it.

The combat from the E3 demo looks heavily counter attack based. It is about waiting for the right time to strike. At least, it seems like making the most efficient movements rewards the player with a quick kill. This was with the enemies before the boss battle, which may prove to be different from each other.

The combat in the boss battle seemed pretty rinse and repeat, however its just an alpha and I wouldn’t expect the combat of the boss battle to be as bland as we saw in the demo. I do think boss battles will be more dumbed down to provide a more cinematic and narrative experience for players.

There look to be three or four forms of defense in the form of parrying, deflecting, dodging, and static blocking all of which lead into different opportunities to attack. Depending on how perfect a defensive tactic is issued will result in a killing blow, as seen here where the time slows during the opening.

Throw techniques and other varieties of nonlethal attacks seem to be present as well. Not to mention instances of stealth that may allow of the use for different tools before or during combat.

One thing that was hard to catch at first, just because of how seamless a transition it was were the finishers. When the player goes to finish off the spearmen after severing his arm, a little animation is triggered where he is stabbed through the chest.

There seems to be a different in the weight of some of the players attacks, which hint at a light attack/ heavy attack system. players will decide which attacks they can fit into a certain time frame in order to maximize damage.

Environment and Opponents

At this point we are not too sure how different environments will affect combat. However, we do know that the environment will play a big role in laying out the scenes of certain events. If anything, they are sure to add to the cinematic nature of the game.

When it comes to opponents, and depending on the opponent skill level, it looks as they work under the same combat system. And when I say that i mean NPCs are able to perform the same counter-measures during combat against the player. As seen with the shield warrior in the clip above, he is able to dodge out of the way of the player’s incoming attack.

One of the not-so-great parts about the demo is that there wasn’t much in terms of fighting multiple opponents. It seemed kind of like Assassin’s Creed 3 where enemies would wait to die. I can’t make any certain judgments until the game comes out, but creating a combat system where players are forced to deal with multiple opponents in a more realistic way, which is to say all of them attacking at once, would make players think twice or “git gud” when it comes to picking fights. That would be a level of immersion I would be pleasantly surprised with.

That was all I could pull from watching the Ghost of Tsushima Game play debut. Although its just an alpha, the combat system alone has shown much promise in giving a dynamic experience. However, some aspects of the combat may come off as dry if boss battles are too scripted and NPCs are too lax about their friends being cut down before them.

What do you think about the combat system of Ghost of Tsushima? Let us Know!