If Ikumi Nakamura’s incredibly endearing stage presence at the Bethesda conference back at E3 2019 wasn’t enough to get you interested in the new game from Tango Gameworks, then the mysterious trailer for Ghostwire: Tokyo certainly sealed the deal. This is only the third game from this new team founded by legendary director Shinji Mikami (who you will know as the director of Resident Evil 4 among other classic survival horror games) and a new IP.
Ghostwire‘s plot isn’t the only aspect of the game still shrouded in mystery, however. A lot of behind-the-scenes details have shifted with this title, making solid information about it hard to pin down. We’ve pulled together all the facts we have about this upcoming survival horror title and give our best estimates on what has yet to be revealed.
There was a lot of speculation as to when we could expect to see Ghostwire: Tokyo hit store shelves, with the initial window simply being 2021. Many speculated that it would come in October based on Mikami previously releasing a couple of his titles in that month and also the fact that it would be thematically appropriate to drop a new horror title that month. Those predictions turned out to be accurate when Sony revealed details on several titles’ release windows during their CES presentation, and Ghostwire was officially given an October release window. There was also some worry that the game would be delayed when Ikumi Nakamura left the project near the end of 2019, but the game appears to remain on track under the capable hands of Shinji Mikami, who took over directorial duties.
In an unfortunate turn of events, Tango Gameworks released a statement that the game would be delayed into early 2022. The statement came via their official Twitter account and states that the delay was to let players “experience the unforgettable version of a haunted Tokyo that we’ve been hard at work building” and that they are “focused on protecting the health of everyone at Tango.” Hopefully, that means this extra time will not only make the game a better product but prevent the team from having to crunch to make the release date.
This game was one of the few, along with Deathloop, that was originally announced as a PS5 exclusive, but it got some people questioning whether or not it would remain an exclusive for Sony’s platform after it came out that Microsoft had purchased Bethesda, who was publishing the game. Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait long for official statements to come out, both from Bethesda and Microsoft, confirming that all the exclusivity deals made before the purchase would remain. We still don’t know how long Ghostwire will be available only on the PS5 — it’s billed as making a “console debut” on the system — but deals like this typically range from six months to a year. After that window, we know to expect it on PC and likely the Xbox consoles as well.
The announcement trailer was all we had up until recently, but was plenty to get people interested in the mystery of what Ghostwire: Tokyo would present to players. We are shown modern-day Tokyo on a normal rainy day when suddenly people simply start vanishing, leaving behind their clothing as if their bodies were evaporated. However, not everyone has disappeared. Aside from the few normal people who remain, new ghostly entities appear with unknown goals, as well as another group known as Visitors who hide their faces behind masks. The trailer is full of the visual transitions and impossible spaces that we got small tastes of in the studio’s previous title, The Evil Within.
The second, and last, trailer we have is the gameplay reveal shown as Sony’s Future of Gaming event. This trailer gives us a little more information on the character we will be playing as. We will apparently be playing as someone who is more aware of the spiritual world that is invading Tokyo and is therefore more capable of fighting back. Aside from more spiritual and horror elements, there seems to be a technological side to things as well as illustrated by some digital distortion and transitions. Beyond that, though, the trailer remains light on any details. It ends with the appropriate message to, “Face the unknown.”
We had to wait a long time since the 2019 E3 reveal to really know what the gameplay of Ghostwire: Tokyo would be. Up until the gameplay trailer, we didn’t even know for sure what perspective the game would be played in, but now have a much better idea of what this game really is. According to Ikumi Nakamura and Bethesda, while she was still directing the project, this is going to lean more on the action side of the horror genre. “Though there is an eerie element to the world, this is the studio’s first foray into the action-adventure sphere.”
This gameplay trailer, while still showing plenty of horror-inspired enemies, certainly showcases a wide range of ways the player will be able to combat these ghostly foes. Bethesda also reported, “Assisting them in creating a more action-oriented game is Shinichiro Hara, who worked on the push-forward combat and Glory Kill system in Doom (2016), and is now the Combat Director on Ghostwire: Tokyo. Hara and the combat team and Tango have created an intricate, combo-based system that utilizes movements inspired by traditional Kuji-kiri hand gestures.”
Our protagonist will have a suit of supernatural or magical abilities that seem to be triggered via the previously mentioned hand signs that vary from what look like melee strikes to elemental projectiles. We see multiple combo attacks that end in a takedown-style move that looks very reminiscent of the Glory Kill system from Doom. We also get a tiny glimpse of a bow and arrow, but it seems like these hand gestures will be our primary method of dealing with these supernatural threats.
In contrast to what the first trailer showed, the gameplay is clearly going for something leaning far more on the action side of the spectrum, as evidenced by the quote promoting the same combat director as Doom, rather than a traditional survival horror experience.
Plus, for those who find details like this important, do not fret. Shinji Mikami himself went on video to confirm that you will be able to pet every dog in Ghostwire: Tokyo.
Unless Tango Gameworks makes a very sudden and surprise announcement, there’s no evidence that Ghostwire: Tokyo will have any multiplayer components. The team has never implemented multiplayer in the games in the past, and nothing about the gameplay or marketing has even hinted that this will change for Ghostwire. Bethesda isn’t the type of publisher to usually force multiplayer components into games where they don’t belong, so hopefully that holds true for Ghostwire.
No DLC plans have been announced yet, but those typically come when a firm release date is set. For now, we can only speculate on if this title will get any additional content, and there is a strong case to say it will. The Evil Within had several DLC packs that put players in new characters’ shoes for their own campaigns, one of which was an enemy from the game that had a completely different combat system. In a world where 99% of the population has vanished, there is plenty of room in Tokyo for additional, smaller stories that don’t necessarily connect to the main plot to be added.
Once again, we’re still forced to wait until the final date in October is revealed before pre-orders go live. Once a date is confirmed and pre-orders are available, we will update this section.