Ghost of Tsushima developers say Jin will face "dozens of enemy types"

By Heidi Nicholas,
Sucker Punch seems to have put a huge amount of research into Ghost of Tsushima, with its latest update describing the sort of katana combat Jin will rely on against the game's "dozens of enemy types."

E3 trailer screens

Jin's katana — the Sakai Storm — is a family heirloom, and Chris Zimmerman, co-founder of Sucker Punch, says the team aimed for "speed, sharpness, and precision" for katana combat. The devs have previously discussed how they drew inspiration from samurai cinema, but Zimmerman says they quickly realised that "the things that work in movies don't always work in games". The "quick slashing attacks" of the katana were achieved through mo-cap and "represent realistic movement speeds", but Zimmerman says they then discovered these speeds were too fast — players wouldn't have time to react. Sucker Punch conducted internal tests of human reaction times and even watched footage of real sword fights in an attempt to perfect both Jin's attack and player response speeds, finding that "really fast player attacks" and "overlapping enemy attacks" ensured the sort of "intensity" the devs were aiming for.

To ensure the sort of precision that Jin would have after "a lifetime of discipline and practice", you'll be able to cancel Jin's slower attacks — if he has to turn his attention to an unexpected enemy, for example — and return to his quicker style of combat. The 20 mins of Ghost of Tsushima gameplay footage gave us a quick look at some of Jin's combat stances, each of which will be "particularly effective against a subset of the dozens of enemy types Jin faces", and Zimmerman elaborates on these: Stone Stance, for instance, is one Jin has learned as an "ancestral style" and part of his samurai training, for use against swordsmen. Water Stance, meanwhile, is one he created "in frustration after the techniques he's practised for decades prove ineffective".

Ghost of Tsushima

"Players have plenty of techniques to defend themselves, and even more ways to attack", Zimmerman says. "If you concentrate, if you stay focused, you’ll survive the fight. If you lose focus, you’ll die. We’re trying to put you in Jin Sakai’s footsteps; those are the rules he is forced to live by, and they apply equally to you."

Ghost of Tsushima is Sucker Punch's biggest ever project. It releases in just under a month on July 17th — and just recently went gold ahead of its July launch — and if you're looking for more Ghost of Tsushima info while we wait, be sure to check out our Ghost of Tsushima roundup.
Heidi Nicholas
Written by Heidi Nicholas
Hey, I'm Heidi! I've just finished studying a Masters in English Literature, but I've been obsessed with gaming since long before then. I began on the PS2 with Spyro, before graduating to the Xbox 360 and disappearing into Skyrim. I'm now a loyal RPG fan, but I still like to explore other genres — when I'm not playing Assassin's Creed Odyssey, or being lured back into Red Dead Redemption 2 or The Witcher 3!