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PlayStation has unveiled what were the most downloaded games of the last year across the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, and the exclusive to rule them all is Ghost of Tsushima, the samurai saga from Sucker Punch Productions.
On the US charts, it outstripped The Last of Us Part 2 and Final Fantasy VII Remake, which are also exclusives on the platform, showing that the love for the gorgeous yet gruelling game isn't to be trifled with. All in all, Ghost of Tsushima sold more than five million copies around the world, with praise for its impressive art direction and tributes to the samurai films of the 20th century. The Kurosawa Mode plunges the game into a black-and-white filter with film grain and edited audio so that it sounds a lot like the movies made with '50s era technology. "We actually did some research on the curves [the shades of black, grey, and white] that may have existed on that kind of film that [Kurosawa] might've used," said creative director Jason Connell.
Their work didn't go unnoticed and unappreciated by the industry. Toshihiro Nagoshi, the creator of the Yakuza series of games, applauded the studio for their dedication to representing Japanese history and culture accurately and artistically in Ghost of Tsushima. "We often believe Western people would never get certain Japanese things, but the game shows this way of thinking is wrong in the first place," he explained. Though it was divisive among critics, numbers do not lie, and it's very evident that Sucker Punch Productions is planning a sequel. It's been recruiting for a narrative writer, associate outsource artist, and combat designer, and these candidates will be working on a new game set in feudal Japan (and they'll need to have familiarity with Ghost of Tsushima, ideally).
It's interesting that Ghost of Tsushima beat The Last of Us Part 2 and became the top exclusive for the PlayStation 4, seeing as The Last of Us Part 2 launched one month earlier than Ghost of Tsushima, and it walked away with seven awards at The Game Awards 2020. These awards are voted on by communities of players, so one would expect that this trend would have been replicated in the actual data for the games. One explanation could be that The Last of Us Part 2 saw more physical copies sold as a result of the anticipation of a game that was six years in development, offering digital and physical goodies like a bonus ammo capacity, a steelbook, an art book, and a replica of Ellie's bracelet.
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