PC Review: Ghostwire: Tokyo

Can you save the souls of Tokyo’s residents?

Save a Tokyo under siege by spirits in a new adventure from mastermind Shinji Mikami and the team at Tango Gameworks. Explore the streets of a city filled with spirits and mysterious otherworldly threats, with an arsenal of powerful abilities at your command. Tokyo has become a city under siege; overwhelmed by paranormal threats beyond our understanding. After a devastating occult event leads to the disappearance of 99% of the city’s population, only you stand between the loss of this great city and its salvation. After the vanishing, a strange encounter causes your own supernatural abilities to take shape. Explore a beautiful city that blends ultra-modern cityscapes and stunning ancient shrines as you purge the darkness from your home. Armed with a bevy of formidable, upgradeable powers, you will face off against evil spirits (referred to as The Visitors) haunting the city of Tokyo.

Ghostwire: Tokyo is a very different game from Shinji Mikami and Tango Gameworks than The Evil Within series or survival horror in general, what we have here is a first-person open world adventure with a focus on the supernatural, occult, and Japanese folklore. You can only progress as far as the next Torii gate to dispel the fog that keeps you trapped in the surrounding areas, while also discovering side-quests and clues as to what has happened to the souls of Tokyo’s residents.

Your character Akito will gain the ability to glide across the rooftops of the city and grapple to the tops of buildings. The city itself is beautifully designed and there’s tons to do from collecting spirits, completing side-quests, finding hidden creatures like tanuki’s disguised as objects like vending machines and billboards or random encounters like arena fights and protecting cubes that contain hundreds, if not thousands of souls.

The enemy designs are superb and unsettling, but the combat itself is a bit of a mixed bag. I never really felt like it was a challenge and the formula of simply hitting enemies with your wind, water or fire spells became predictable quickly. I did appreciate the times I was separated from my powers though and had to rely on pure stealth to defeat a boss or make an escape, it made me rethink my whole way of playing and I wish there were more moments like it.

The heart of the game lies in its side-quests though, with some truly great moments that either made me laugh due to the random nature of the mission or made me smile as I brought peace to some spirits that couldn’t move on till I finished their quests. The main quest is also well done and the partnership between Akito and KK has some great moments, both with witty dialogue and at times truly moving moments.

The game never felt like it outstayed its welcome either, that is until the end and having to gain all 240,000+ spirits through exploring but also random encounters like the arena fights that took me hours to track down with no discernible pattern. That is for full completionists though, other players will find that the rest of the game flies by and is a joy to play.

Exploring the city is great either across the rooftops or on the streets, with plenty of collectibles to find and it looks stunning from start to finish. The game runs well overall on PC, I didn’t have the best rig to test it on but it managed to handle well under the right settings and there’s a wide variety there so hopefully you can find what works best for you. The voice-acting is Japanese by default, but the English VO is also very impressive and the soundtrack is also superb.

The Verdict

While the combat can become stale and predictable, the world of Ghostwire Tokyo does not. The city is stunning and a joy to explore with plenty of things to do that makes me hope we get some form of DLC or a sequel to make me book a return journey.

Score: 8.5