Sunday, November 29, 2020
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Sucker Punch talks Ghost of Tsushima’s inspirations, cultural authenticity, and the studio’s growing identity

Ghost of Tsushima may not be the most groundbreaking of open worlds, but it sure is gorgeous, and with some stylish close-quarters combat Sucker Punch has still brought the traditionally breezy fun.

What’s most interesting, of course, is the influence behind it. Sucker Punch and publisher Sony have leaned heavily on the film references, both in the marketing up to launch and the numerous nods in-game. Speaking before the game’s launch to Sucker Punch’s co-founder and producer Brian Fleming, along with art director and creative director on Ghost of Tsushima Jason Connell, what immediately interested me was how broad those influences were, as well as how deep that influence went. Has the studio tried to do more than just copy the look of mid-century samurai cinema? And how does such a distinctively American studio tackle the culture and history of Japan? The feudal era is one that’s steeped in misconceptions, and Japanese culture as a whole can slip so easily into stereotype when replicated from the outside, I was intrigued to know how they bridged the gap. (Since this interview was conducted, there’s also been a fantastic discussion raised around whether the game has gone too far in the other direction, playing into a more glorified idea of a complex point in time.)

There are lots of little things that hark back to previous games from the Washington-based studio, too, like some remarkably pretty particle effects and, interestingly, an above-average emphasis on getting the most out of the PlayStation 4’s controller, so alongside the questions of cultural influence and sensitivity there was plenty more to talk about, from the studio’s evolving DNA to its (largely still unsaid) plans for the PlayStation 5.

Read more

Ghost of Tsushima may not be the most groundbreaking of open worlds, but it sure is gorgeous, and with some stylish close-quarters combat Sucker Punch has still brought the traditionally breezy fun.

What’s most interesting, of course, is the influence behind it. Sucker Punch and publisher Sony have leaned heavily on the film references, both in the marketing up to launch and the numerous nods in-game. Speaking before the game’s launch to Sucker Punch’s co-founder and producer Brian Fleming, along with art director and creative director on Ghost of Tsushima Jason Connell, what immediately interested me was how broad those influences were, as well as how deep that influence went. Has the studio tried to do more than just copy the look of mid-century samurai cinema? And how does such a distinctively American studio tackle the culture and history of Japan? The feudal era is one that’s steeped in misconceptions, and Japanese culture as a whole can slip so easily into stereotype when replicated from the outside, I was intrigued to know how they bridged the gap. (Since this interview was conducted, there’s also been a fantastic discussion raised around whether the game has gone too far in the other direction, playing into a more glorified idea of a complex point in time.)

There are lots of little things that hark back to previous games from the Washington-based studio, too, like some remarkably pretty particle effects and, interestingly, an above-average emphasis on getting the most out of the PlayStation 4’s controller, so alongside the questions of cultural influence and sensitivity there was plenty more to talk about, from the studio’s evolving DNA to its (largely still unsaid) plans for the PlayStation 5.

Read more

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