Here in the middle of 2020, a terrible year by nearly every measure, cultural authenticity is the name of the game. Pretending to be what you are not by appropriating anyone else’s identity will get you canceled in a TikTok minute.
Fortunately for Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) and developer Sucker Punch Productions, they have just released the year’s most celebrated transcultural video game, Ghost of Tsushima. The last major title created exclusively for Sony’s PS4 console platform and already a money-spinning international hit, Ghost of Tsushima earned its online street credentials through painstaking research and collaboration.
The game’s stunning visual depiction of feudal Japan under Mongol invasion in the year 1274 is rendered so convincingly that it has won praise from industry critics both here (Weekly Famitsu gave it a coveted perfect score) and abroad, as well as near-unanimous thumbs-ups from gamers on social media. The estate of the late director Akira Kurosawa, a seminal master of samurai epics, even granted naming rights for a special “Kurosawa mode” of gameplay in grainy '50s-style black-and-white.