Developed by Tango Gameworks, who created The Evil Within franchise, and published by Bethesda Studios, GhostWire: Tokyo will see a shift to the action-adventure genre, while still maintaining strands of the Gameworks’ signature horror appeal. As someone that loves the horror genre in most mediums except games, this probably wasn’t the likeliest game to hook me in. But the trailer shown completely sold me on the world that they are building.
Tokyo is an obvious choice for the ‘city of the future’ type in fiction, and Japanese horror, which rose immensely in western culture through films such as Ju-On: The Grudge (2002)and Ringu (1998), holds a wonderfully creepy aesthetic – emphasised by stark white-and-black colour palettes – that’s hard to replicate. That being said, the combination of technology and vengeful spirits, while not new (Ringu infamously paired the supernatural with VHS tapes), has gone untapped in the western world of gaming.
GhostWire does seem to be taking it one step further, with the spirits being shown to have a glitch effect in their appearance, conjoining spirituality with technology to a point of inseparability. As someone that doesn’t often play games for their storytelling, I place much more emphasise on these design choices to explore the games themes – and GhostWire looks like a great contender.
Beyond design, which in case you haven’t noticed yet is the big selling point for me, the gameplay looks entertaining, if not a bit standard. Still, exchanging the usual magical hand powers trope for something on theme with the brand should make this ghostbusting adventure something greater than extra ordinary.
While I don’t often play games for their story, the gameplay trailer edited in a couple of cutscenes that felt strangely different from the world that the actual gameplay exists in. For when the gameplay is has a hazy, dreamlike framing to it, the cutscenes (or what little of them we’ve seen) have a more grounded and tangible feel.
Naturally, the game that I want to play now won’t be coming out for another year. Fortunately, the PlayStation 5 should be closer to the ‘affordable’ side of the price spectrum by then. Here’s hoping!