Ghost of Tsushima

At long last! My arduous journey is complete! Ghost of Tsushima has you playing as Samurai Lord Jin Sakai, who after narrowly surviving a disastrous attack on an invading Mongol horde, must alter his tactics, viewpoint, and the very definition of Honor in order to protect his island. This game is wonderful: from the gorgeous environments, including dense forests, pale flood plains, mountain paths and snowy highlands; the rich lore that goes into legendary skills; the calm reflection that comes with finding hot springs and writing haikus; the beautiful yet haunting soundtrack that punctuates every aspect of the world. The combat, while rough at first, gives way to tense use of your incredible arsenal. Also standoffs never get old! The story and characters are also fantastic, as you see what the war does to everyone, and several points got me emotional. Jin himself is a remarkable protagonist: vicious and unflinchingly brutal toward the Mongols, but always kind and caring toward his people. He truly embodies the spirit of the Samurai. There are some issues, as sometimes the camera won’t do what you want during battle, and occasionally the AI will freeze up. The perfect parries and dodges aren’t as precise as Sekiro, but they are nice when they work. For me, however, the most consistent feeling I had with this game is the feeling of love that the creators had for Japanese culture. So go, my friends! Become the Ghost! Save Tsushima!!!

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