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It's close to midnight and something evil's lurking in the dark. Under the moonlight, you see a sight that almost stops your heart. Suffocating fog rolls through the streets of Shibuya, capturing anyone in its path, and crashed cars are scattered like leaves on the crossroads.
Check out Ghostwire: Tokyo's trailer here, transporting us to this twisted version of Tokyo, populated by spirits and yokai, on the precipice of oblivion!
Collapsed on the wet concrete, Akito gasps and sits upright like he’s been shocked back to life, seemingly shrugging off the injuries that he’s sustained from the chaos. The other survivors approach him to ask if he’s alright, but they scream in terror and run off. Why? It’s his appearance that scares them — black sooty smoke flowing from his face and limbs with light tracing its way through his veins — and Akito starts to hear a voice inside his head.
This is KK (not that one). A spirit who descended to Earth thanks to the thinning of the veil between the realm of the living and the dead, he needed a corpse to possess to carry out his revenge against the person who did this to Tokyo. The issue is that Akito was only mostly dead, not all dead, and he’s not thrilled with his new look nor sharing his headspace with a grumbly ghost. After a minor war of words and a incidental instance of attempted murder, KK and Akito bury the hatchet and focus their efforts towards taking Hannya down.
Sermonising from the screens across Shibuya to the remaining survivors, Hannya believes that this world is past salvation and must be born anew. I’m sure there’s some out there who would agree, however, I doubt that you’d be on board with his method which is to let loose legions of greedy yokai to gorge on souls. These Visitors range from the unsettling nopperabō hunched under their umbrellas to the vengeful nukekubi who skip and dance in the form of beheaded schoolgirls.
In the previous preview, I hadn’t had the opportunity to play Ghostwire: Tokyo, but now that I’ve spent several hours with it, the marriage between the visuals and the sensations of the horror game is something to savour. If you’re caught in a rainstorm, the pitter patter of droplets echo inside the controller. As Akito approaches a Visitor, the DualSense starts to crackle audibly and haptically, with the intensity of the sound and vibrations increasing as you step closer and closer.
The vibrations are ever so slight, though, like you’ve caught a spider in your hands, and I assume this is to represent KK’s ability to detect evil entities while coasting in Akito’s body. You’ll hear KK’s lines emit out of the DualSense speaker and your telly’s speakers adding a layer of eerie reverb to his sarcastic comments on your shoddy aim (that’s a little insight into how well sniping yokai out of the sky is going for me).
The devastation that Hannya has wrought on the city incites curiosity, too. Clambering over rooftops, I stumbled upon a small park where those headless schoolgirl demons were hopscotching aimlessly with one of them watching the game on a bench. I charged up my attack and killed her with one hit, causing the lamppost light to turn bright red and plunge me into a terrifying darkness as her friends charged and frisbeed spectral blades at me. Girls supporting girls and all that.
Of course, I don’t want to start spoiling the game’s story, but the side missions often are surprising and they offer moments for Akito and KK to banter with each other. KK is kind of devastated that DVDs are no longer a thing, by the way.
At the moment, it looks to be a sizeable map with lots to tick off however streets are blocked with that choking fog until you cleanse the corrupted torii gate in the area and there are black and fuschia “trees” that erupt from the pavements trapping souls inside them. As such, the skill point system feels synced up with the city so that I’m not unintentionally walking into a boss that I’m much too underleveled for. In fact, it is almost like all of this spookiness was already there, the supernatural simmering under the surface, and Akito didn’t notice as he was anchored in the world of the material. Not only is the game visually impressive on the PS5, the environments are worth the sparkle and shine due to the work that’s gone into turn the city into a tangible place.
I've only spent a couple of hours here, as aforementioned, and I'd say the vibes are action-horror with a sprinkling of influences from Silent Hill, P.T. and The Evil Within. Akito is as alien as the Visitors are, but, with these explosive powers against this eerily orchestrated world, I can't wait to barrel down Shibuya's streets again.
Ghostwire: Tokyo will release for PC and PS5 on March 25th.
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