The world’s most populated city has never been so eerily quiet. Yet if Ghostwire: Tokyo’s dense, detailed setting gives you the creeps, this isn’t the kind of horror you might expect from the team behind The Evil Within. In E369’s extensive cover feature, we explore this distinctive paranormal action-adventure with insights from director Kenji Kimura, development manager Masato Kimura and studio founder Shinji Mikami.
It’s Tango Gameworks’ most ambitious release to date, and it could well be the studio’s best, too. Battling the hordes of yokai that wander Tokyo’s mist-shrouded streets involves a captivatingly unique kind of melee combat that blends elements of judo, FPS and exorcism rituals. Once you’ve exposed the spiritual core of these demons, you can grapple onto it via spectral threads, the DualSense controller reverberating as you yank it out, ensuring that it feels as satisfying as it looks.
Beyond the combat, this urban sandbox is positively stuffed with spooky folkloric tales and myths: it’s designed to reward the inquisitive player at every turn. “You can look behind buildings in neighbourhoods where it would be hard in real life,” Masato says. “We wanted to tickle everybody’s curiosity.” You can move from street level to rooftops in no time, too, using those spectral threads to latch onto flying tengu as you seek out torii gates to purge spirits and clear the fog to expand the explorable space.
It’s a bracingly singular game, in other words, one that Mikami hopes will give players a different view of Tango Gameworks. “It’ll make me happy if customers say, ‘Really? Tango made that game too?’” he tells us. There’s more from Mikami, too, about the departure of original director Ikumi Nakamura, and a tease for what The Evil Within 2 director John Johanas is working on next.
Elsewhere in E369, we get our hands on Steam Deck, putting Valve’s handheld through its paces as Gabe Newell tells us about his hopes for the portable’s future. We examine the rise of the factory sim genre, and what it says about real-world automation. Inkle tells us about the making of its brilliant murder-mystery Overboard!, while in Time Extend we look back at Florence, and explain why it’s more than just a love story.
In our Hype section, we catch up with Larian’s extraordinary Baldur’s Gate III, find out why Mask Of The Rose marks a successful shift into the visual novel genre for Failbetter, and somehow find time between sessions of Vampire Survivors to talk to its creator Luca Galante about the story behind his surprise hit. In Play, meanwhile, we deliver the Edge verdict on Horizon Forbidden West, alongside reviews of Dying Light 2, Sifu, Pokémon Legends: Arceus, OlliOlli World and more.
With all this, and a detailed look at what Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision means for both parties and the wider industry, E369 is a packed issue, and it’s on sale now (opens in new tab).