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GhostWire: Tokyo: everything we know about the spooky action thriller

GhostWire: Tokyo
(Image credit: Tango Gameworks)

GhostWire: Tokyo is Tango Gameworks' first new project since The Evil Within 2. Neither its announcement trailer from E3 2019 nor its newer trailer from fake E3 2020 really told us much other than that it would be supernatural in nature and pretty darn odd. Fortunately, Bethesda has followed up the newest trailer with some text-based info on its magical karate combat and spooky Visitor spirits.

As we saw in the announcement trailer, people have vanished all over Tokyo—apparently a full 99% of the population. With the humans gone, all kinds of creepy spirits roam the city with unknown intent. It falls to you (because of course it does) to find out what happened to everyone while purging the city of its new demon interlopers.

Here's everything else we know about GhostWire: Tokyo and Tango Gameworks' new action-y direction.

GhostWire: Tokyo release date

GhostWire: Tokyo will launch sometime in 2021 according to the new gameplay reveal debuted during the PlayStation 5 showcase event in June.

Check out the new GhostWire: Tokyo gameplay trailer

GhostWire: Tokyo - Torii gate

(Image credit: Bethesda, Tango Gameworks)

The new gameplay reveal for GhostWire: Tokyo definitely displays some of the action game elements that Tango say they're going for, even if the setting is still just flashes of monsters and bright lights in Tokyo. You can spot all manner of spooks in the new trailer, from headless schoolgirls to things that look a lot like slendermen to spooky child demons in raincoats. 

What will GhostWire: Tokyo's gameplay be like?

During its reveal in 2019, Ikumi Nakamura explained that GhostWire isn't like the survival-horror games that Tango Gameworks is known for. 

"Though there is an eerie element to the world, this is the studio’s first foray into the action-adventure sphere," Bethesda said in 2020

The new gameplay reveal trailer shows that we'll be playing in first-person and our protagonist seems to be wielding a lot of magical abilities through hand gestures. Think Skyrim spellcasting, but a bit more complex.

"Assisting them in creating a more action-oriented game is Shinichiro Hara, who worked on the push-forward combat and Glory Kill system in DOOM (2016), and is now the Combat Director on GhostWire: Tokyo," Bethesda say. "Hara and the combat team at Tango have created an intricate, combo-based system that utilizes movements inspired by traditional Kuji-kiri hand gestures."

You can initiate takedown moves on monsters from afar in GhostWire. When enemies are vulnerable, their "core" is exposed, which you can pull out with your spiritual wires (right, of course) to kill them. Certain enemies are of course vulnerable to certain kinds of attacks.

A new tweet shows off the protagonist cleansing one of Tokyo's shrines to banish the spiritual Visitors. It looks like this is the magical ability we saw shown off during the original reveal trailer in 2019.

So how does this magical gesture combat work?

Ghostwire: Tokyo core grab

(Image credit: Bethesda, Tango Gameworks)

“We want the player to feel like a badass, spell-casting, high-tech ninja exorcist defeating countless evil spirits,” says Hara in Bethesda's recent breakdown

“In order to achieve this, we chose intricate, deliberate hand gestures as the primary weapons, instead of simple guns. Unlike guns, our gestures allow us to put a lot more movement and personality into the player action as the player’s hands are organic extensions of the character. 

"This system is unique to GhostWire. It’s karate meets magic. Often, magic casters have this image of not being physically strong. That isn’t the case with GhostWire. In GhostWire, you’re casting magic with martial arts movements.”

In the new trailer, you can spot the protagonist wielding fire, water, and electrical magic attacks along with a standard bow.

Does Microsoft's Bethesda purchase change anything?

You'd think so, but Microsoft said that Ghostwire Tokyo will maintain its timed exclusivity on the PS5, as planned. It's a weird though, but along with Deathloop, this means Microsoft is behind two PS5 exclusives (and some of the most enticing ones, at that).

Of course, when that exclusivity expires, Microsoft will undoubtedly jump on the opportunity to throw Ghostwire on Game Pass. If you're excited about the game and can wait upwards of a year, that'll be the most economical way to play it.

Screenshots from GhostWire: Tokyo's original teaser trailer

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GhostWire: Tokyo

People are disappearing from Tokyo and you need to figure out why (Image credit: Tango Gameworks)
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GhostWire: Tokyo

Dangerous spirits stalking the streets (Image credit: Tango Gameworks)
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GhostWire: Tokyo

More spooky spirits (Image credit: Tango Gameworks)
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GhostWire: Tokyo

Some kind of magic cast by the protagonist (Image credit: Tango Gameworks)
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GhostWire: Tokyo

GhostWire: Tokyo's potential protagonist (Image credit: Tango Gameworks)

GhostWire: Tokyo will definitely be "spooooky"

GhostWire: Tokyo

(Image credit: Bethesda)

(Former) Creative director Ikumi Nakamura promised. 

Ikumi Nakamura left GhostWire: Tokyo only months after announcing it

We were surprised to hear that Nakamura would be leaving Tango Gameworks in September, only a few months after announcing GhostWire: Tokyo at E3 2019. Her tweet about leaving the studio sounded positive, but was a bit muddled by the language barrier. Bethesda later confirmed Nakamura's departure from the project.

"We can confirm that Nakamura-san has decided to leave Tango and we wish her the best of luck in whatever is next for her," a rep said. "Tango continues to be led by the legendary Shinji Mikami and his talented team in the development of Ghostwire: Tokyo. We look forward to sharing more on what they’re creating in the coming months."

It seems a bit odd for a creative director to depart so quickly after positive reception of a new project announcement, so we can only hope that Nakamura and GhostWire continue to be successful separately.

By the way...you can pet the dog

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Very glad Tango shared this crucial detail before explaining dumb stuff like story and characters.

Lauren loves long books and even longer RPGs. She got a game design degree and then, stupidly, refused to leave the midwest. She plays indie games you haven't heard of and will never pass on a story about players breaking games or playing them wrong.