Ghost of Tsushima is now PS4’s fastest selling first-party original IP debut with more than 2.4 million units sold through globally in its first 3 days of sales.
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Ghost Of Tsushima’s Loading Times Are So Good That They Had To Be Nerfed by Ian Walker for Kotaku
“We really got where we are through focus and substantial team effort,” Sucker Punch Productions lead engine programmer Adrian Bentley told Kotaku via email. “I wrote the foundational code for our fine-grain texture and mesh streaming systems for Ghost. It started as a forward-looking side project and came online just in time as we began running out of memory on PlayStation 4 developer hardware due to the huge amount [of] art the team was adding.”
Ghost of Tsushima is lush as heck. Vast fields of flowers intersected by dusty roads give way to claustrophobic bamboo forests containing secluded Buddhist temples. Leaves, cherry blossom petals, and pollen filter through the air thanks to an ever-present, guiding wind. Waves crash on beaches, hiding rocky pathways to offshore secrets. And while the responsibility for pulling all those disparate assets together was already monumental, Bentley explained that the art team also had to make sure to keep data compact as it ate more and more memory.
I picked up my copy of Ghost of Tsushima today and am so jazzed to start it up later. One comment I found in common amongst reviews was the fast loading times. On the precipice of solid state drives becoming the standard next-gen, I thought these snappy load times interesting for the end of the PS4. With the insanely fast decompression of assets on PS5 and the ability to use extremely high detail models, I wonder what Ghost of Tsushima would have looked like in development with that technology in place.
“We only have one copy of every asset on the disc. During most loads, when not jumping into a close-up, we only load newly required assets and can dial down our streaming density a bit…”
This sounds like what the SSD will provide PS5 and Xbox Series X: Instead of writing copies of trees, bushes, etc., Sucker Punch seems to have figured out a way to streamline their asset loading in memory on the PS4. This seems like a small taste of what is to come initially with the transition to solid state technology.
What a dope, in-depth tech review for the PS4’s last big first-party title. Sony and its first-party teams squeezed every last ounce out of the base PS4 and PS4 Pro and they seem to have made gallons of technically juicy games. I can’t wait to see what they accomplish on PS5.
Ghost Of Tsushima Is Being Praised By Japanese Critics by Brian Ashcraft for Kotaku
Brian went around and collected some tidbits from Japanese reviews of Ghost of Tsushima. I find it wonderfully reassuring that Japanese critics seem to enjoy this depiction of Japan. These individuals know the place, culture, language, and history far better than I and most Western players ever will.
Earlier this month, among international players, there was chatter about the Japanese language on the menu screen, but to native Japanese speakers, there didn’t seem to be an issue. Akiba Souken’s reviewer also didn’t feel like the Japanese in the game was strange or off. The reviewer even went on to say the game could be useful for Japanese people to study kogo (古語) or archaic words.
This hullabaloo came about around the game’s main menu being revealed back when the review embargo was announced. Interesting that the folks I saw complaining about this were not native speakers, as far as I could tell. Google translate is not your friend when it comes to context and culture.
Weekly Famitsu gave Ghost of Tsushima a perfect score. This is only the third time a Western game has gotten a perfect score, with Ghost of Tsushima taking its place alongside The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Grand Theft Auto V.
Interesting company that Ghost of Tsushima is sitting amongst in Weekly Famitsu.
As Famitsu notes, when people outside Japan depict the country, they tend to pepper their creations with strange, incorrect language and mix Japanese culture with Korean and Chinese culture, collapsing Asia into a single monolith. Famitsu admitted that it didn’t know how real the game’s depiction of the era was but explained that nothing about it felt odd. This is a fictional account of the period, and in that regard, Famitsu believes the game succeeds.
This speaks to the level of detail and dedication that Sucker Punch openly talks about having. I feel like hearing this would be just as if not more satisfying to hear about the game if you worked on it.
…one nitpick Famitsu had was regarding the speed at which characters speak. For Famitsu, the dialogue’s tempo is much faster than it should be for the time, and there isn’t the same importance on pauses in conversation that are typical of period pieces.
And sometimes creators fall short of total accuracy. I wonder if this is simply due to a modern telling of a story set in the 13th century, the directors’ interpretation of the script and the performance they were after. Either way, I never would have even noticed a nitpick like this. I wonder how many Japanese players will notice this and share the sentiment. By no means does this sound egregious or even intrusive; just sounds like a critique of performances. People have those all the time around the world.
As Sony inches closer to the release of Ghost of Tsushima, the company releases more trailers. I have enjoyed watching both the Western and Eastern trailers for the game, given its world and story.
I think the Japanese trailers are significantly cooler. Not only does this particular trailer show off more of the game, I feel like it matches the game and its themes much better. Either way, I am stoked to explore the island of Tsushima this weekend.