How Tango Gameworks’ Ghostwire: Tokyo takes a magic-action focus rather than traditional horror

Ghostwire: Tokyo was first shown in an announcement video at E3 2019 (Image via PlayStation)
Ghostwire: Tokyo was first shown in an announcement video at E3 2019 (Image via PlayStation)

Tango Gameworks' first new project since The Evil Within 2 is GhostWire: Tokyo, and it's turning out to be a departure from the previous installments. The original reveal trailer for GhostWire made it out to be more of an action thriller with a supernatural bent.

It was first shown in an announcement video at E3 2019, and then in a gameplay trailer that was released in the summer of 2020.

Tango Gameworks and Shinji Mikami are strongly intertwined. Although the Tokyo-based studio employs many developers, the Resident Evil co-creator is still easily recognized as the face of Tango Gameworks, more than a decade after leaving Capcom to start the company.

Ghostwire: Tokyo is set in a deserted Shibuya City, and is more action-oriented than either of the Evil Within games. It primarily focuses on the player fighting demonic Yōkai around the city as they try to solve the mystery of why everyone has mysteriously vanished, leaving only their clothes where their bodies once stood.


Ghostwire: Tokyo offers a combination of action-magic instead of horror

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Tango's major purpose, according to Mikami, was to create games using the "great ability of young designers." Despite this, Mikami would go on to lead Tango's first game, The Evil Within, a survival horror game released in 2014.

It combined inventory management of classic Resident Evil titles with horrific monsters and adrenaline-pumping boss fights.

Long before concentrating on the Shibuya region, Tango Gameworks had the idea of incorporating Tokyo into their game. Because the atmosphere of Ghostwire: Tokyo closely mimics that of real-life Tokyo, developers could draw inspiration from it.

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GhostWire isn't like Tango Gameworks' other survival horror games, according to Ikumi Nakamura. In 2020, Bethesda announced:

"Though the setting has an unsettling flavour to it, this is the studio's first effort into the action-adventure realm."

The protagonist appears to be wielding several magical abilities through hand gestures in the new gameplay reveal teaser, which suggests that gamers will be playing in first-person. Think of it as a more complicated version of Skyrim's spellcasting.

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In GhostWire, players can initiate takedown techniques against enemies from afar. When foes are susceptible, their "core" is revealed, which you may take out with your spiritual cables, thus killing them. Of course, certain foes are weak to specific attacks.

In Bethesda's recent breakdown, Hara explained:

"We want the user to feel like a badass, spell-casting, high-tech ninja exorcist destroying innumerable demonic spirits."

He further elaborated:

"Instead of simple firearms, we picked elaborate, intentional hand motions as our primary weaponry to achieve this."

Since the player's hands are organic extensions of the character, there is a lot more movement into the player's actions as compared to firearms.

The GhostWire-only system is a fusion of karate and magic. Magicians have a reputation for not being physically strong. With GhostWire, this isn't the case, as players will have to use martial arts to conjure spells.