Last year was terrible, and this year isn’t shaping up to be so great, either. But one of the bright spots of 2020, entertainment-wise, was Ghost of Tsushima, a samurai stealth video game from American developer Sucker Punch Productions. I wanted to be transported away — not necessarily to another country, but to a time in which COVID-19 didn't exist. Thirteenth-century Japan fit the bill pretty well.

One of the great strengths of video games is their ability to immerse. When Ghost of Tsushima first hit the PlayStation 4, I found myself battling through the 1274 Mongolian invasion of Japan, controlling a stealthy samurai named Jin as he snuck around enemy encampments, faced samurai foes and liberated his fellow countrymen. On Aug. 20, the game got a director's cut on the PS4 and PS5: Perfect for those looking to escape this year, too, even if only temporarily.

While the game is set in a real place, and takes place during historical events, Ghost of Tsushima is a work of fiction, as is the protagonist Jin Sakai. Inevitably, a lot of nit-picky details about Japan aren’t quite right.