I have a very limited capacity for horror games, and so my first reaction to Ghostwire: Tokyo, the new project from Evil Within studio Tango Gameworks, was, "Eh, I don't need this stress." But the more I've seen of it, the more interested I've become.
A new 18-minute gameplay trailer posted today by IGN (watch it here) really cements that impression. It's definitely weird, but the player character is way too much of a heavy hitter for any real aspect of horror to enter into it. It's more of a supernatural stealth-brawler: Use your powers to find some bad guys, sneak up on them, and throw hands.
Of course, there's a lot more than just fistfights going on here. As Mollie put it in her recent preview, your primary weapon in Ghostwire: Tokyo is—and I quote—"cool dancey hand magic," known within the game's lexicon as Ethereal Weaving. Among other things, the power enables players to deliver a beatdown onto enemies and, when the time is right, to tear out their "core," a sort of quick-and-dirty exorcism of the demons that have turned all the people of Tokyo into spirits that are being sucked into the void, which is why the place is so damn empty. Like I said, it's weird.
A more specific example of that weirdness occurs during the early bit of the video, when the player hunts down something called a kappa with a cucumber. But as it turns out, it's contextually appropriate weirdness: A kappa, according to Wikpedia, is an amphibious spirit in Japanese folklore, and yes, they have a deep fondness for cucumbers. (They also apparently make a hobby of pulling the shirikodama out of their victims by way of their anus, and it'll be fun to see how that plays out in the game.)
The segment also served up one of my favorite bits of captioning in recent times:
Ghostwire: Tokyo is set to come out on March 25. A free visual novel that sets up the events in the game called Ghostwire: Tokyo – Prelude is now available on Steam.