Shinji Mikami’s new game was hyped up to be vast and exciting, even releasing a visual novel to showcase the game’s story early to the game’s release; however, it fell flat when the game came out as its bland mission design, and weak gameplay loop begins to bore you throughout the game, which is a shame because 2022 is seeming to be a great year of games.
Mikami’s track record isn’t the greatest, he’s widely popular for Resident Evil 4, but other than that, his other popular releases are Godhand, The Evil Within, and more games that are honestly better left forgotten.
The gameplay of Ghostwire is highly underwhelming, with a minimal amount of things you can do in the game, mainly consisting of beating enemies, doing missions, beating enemies, collecting souls, beating enemies, and searching for things. It’s pretty disappointing compared to games like Dying Light 2, whose gameplay loop never gets boring no matter how many times you play.
But it’s not all bad, some fun can be found in the combat, with different types of elemental magic gameplay, and the enemies can be pretty challenging at harder difficulties, but it’s still somewhat limited as the game can feel pretty slow until you start upgrading your skill trees, and even then it doesn’t offer much other than upgraded fire rates and radius upon impact.
It is just a walking simulator, and there aren’t even any movement upgrades, so you’re stuck with slow movement until you unlock fast travel. Death Stranding pulls off this feeling much better; the map in it is much emptier. The gameplay isn’t anything special either, with the added fact that the bosses are extremely easy. Still, the gameplay of walking to your destination with different vehicles to help with cargo and placing bridges and zip lines enhances the experience significantly no matter what the other aspects lack. Still, I can’t say the same about Ghostwire, and it doesn’t try anything new, which makes it not a worthwhile option compared to the current games in store.
The bosses are pretty good in this game, and surprisingly, even though there are four actual bosses, one of them being a hide and seek boss, they’re pretty good at best and boring at worst, with only Yaseotoko being good; there’s also the fact a lot of them are reused a lot, but still a good job.
Shibuya, Tokyo has been used in so many games as their map that, at this point, it’s starting to get boring, as this game doesn’t offer anything new to make the world seem special other than the supernatural fog they had, but that’s just a way to stop you from progressing without cleansing the torii gates, this games synchronization points, where it’s just a tower with some enemies there to beat and cleanse.
There isn’t anything interesting to do in this game, it is focused on the gameplay part, but the world seems empty, but that is its premise, so that’s fine story-wise.
Overall the world isn’t anything special, nor would you have any enjoyment exploring it, as it doesn’t even give you some kind of fast mobility other than running and gliding via grappling to tengus, a better example of a plain open world but with excellent mobility would by Dying Light 2, it has one of the best parkour systems in games so far as it never gets boring grappling, climbing, and gliding, things this game have and probably could’ve done something similar, but this is supposed to be horror so the slow pace can be seen as essential for the feeling of dread when facing the enemies on the streets. Still, it doesn’t help that even hard; they’re not a huge challenge.
The game is exceptionally bland, it doesn’t try to be a lot of things, but that is its problem, and even for the things it does try to be, it fails to fill in any sense of horror or make you feel challenged with the combat as it is pretty slow and straightforward, which is why I’m giving this game a 5/10, there’s not a lot to do in this game which makes it seem so lifeless, and that’s the biggest downfall it has. Hopefully, Mikami’s next game captures some of the magic he put in RE4 that we all will and always will enjoy.
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