“Red Dead Redemption 2” was 2018 telling Rockstar Games’ Magnum Opus. Like “Ghost,” it’s an open-world game that has gained even wider universal critical acclaim and has also won the hearts of the audience. He is still celebrating for his design philosophy in the open world. Video game fans are famous for partisan vitriol when it comes to defending their favorite game, but my tweet above is just eyebrows because so many people have a deep affection for Arthur Morgan, the protagonist of “Red Dead,” living in a world without him.
And the inspiration for both games comes from similar sources. After all, samurai and Western films have borrowed and inspired each other for decades. If “Red Dead”; used the visual language of Western creators, these directors learned from Akira Kurosawa, who was inspired by old western shows. A recent article VG24 / 7 considered comparing the two games; the author eventually decided that he remembered Arthur Morgan’s western frontier better than Lord Jin Sakai’s samurai effort for liberation.
Paul Tassi of Forbes wrote about these two games and landed on the same page I have: We both had more “fun” with “Ghost” than with “Red Dead”. The cowboy game was known for its long, strenuous animation cycles for every player’s movement, from waving hello to opening drawers to find things. You do a lot in “Red Dead 2” and everything takes a long time.
Both games also perfectly outline two different paths for the future of impressive storytelling in virtual worlds. Rockstar’s vision is a vision that the pantomime “realizes.” No wonder this is a studio that once thought about implementing a feature that would run out of gas in a small driving game called “Grand Theft Auto”. In “Red Dead”, Rockstar wants to believe that his world can live without you. He can’t, but he’s going through a lot of pain to convince you otherwise. Even horses that are used exclusively for the function of video games to get you from place to place have an individual life. If your horse dies, you will need to catch or buy a new one. Don’t forget to train for it and eventually develop a “bond” with him.
On the other hand, Jin Sakai in missiles “Ghost” around the Japanese country on a horse that can not be killed no matter how many bombs you shoot. She names him and rides him. This is the extent of player interaction. There is also no cycle of “looting”. Gets items as fast as you can press a button. Venturebeat’s Jeff Grubb put it best in his response to my initial tweet: “The Spirit of Tsushima” is not afraid to be a video game.
Simply put, “The Spirit of Tsushima” is not “Red Dead Redemption 2” for players.
The ambitions of “Red Dead Redemption 2” are closer to another first page hit by Sony, “The Second Part of Us”. Arthur Morgan’s epic saga across America presents itself as a prestigious HBO show and makes every effort to maintain this look, even through optional “open world” activities. Real-life poker play can move very fast, especially with an experienced dealer. This is not the case in “Red Dead 2”, which prefers to maintain the mood of the card game among cowboys, and not so much the game itself.
It’s a game that gives you dozens of ways to interact with its world. You can be greedy or rude to people, get drunk or play cards. Sure, it’s also a shooter, although the shooting range is quite limited. However, the core of the game is world interaction, not shooting. The “spirit” hardly allows you to talk to people yet. But it gives you four different fighting positions and almost complete freedom in how you want to deal with your enemies. The struggle forms the core of the “Spirit.”
“Ghost” is the creative culmination of an early-age open world formula promoted by Rockstar but popularized by the “Far Cry” and “Assassin’s Creed” series. We never know Jin Sakai almost as well as we Arthur Morgan. Rockstar put Arthur’s hopes and uncertainties at full swing. Meanwhile, Sucker Punch Studios provides us with a samurai action figure called Jin Sakai and Tsushima is a play set, complete with fun clothes and great action tools such as hooks and smoke bombs.
Yes, the game has a bit of a challenging film ambition. But it’s also a game that gives you nine mission quests to find the killer of the whole family (including children), and you can solve tasks in any order you like. The game does not seek to maintain the illusion that you are breaking time or referring to things that should not have happened yet. “The Spirit of Tsushima” doesn’t bother how you get the story. You can skip ahead just like in Netflix season.
It is difficult to determine the future legacy of both games. Even in 2017, “Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” a milestone in open-world design, had a slight effect on the “Spirit.” There’s no game you’d quite like, or even “Red Dead 2.” But it’s easier to figure out which game should relate to whom. Lovers of storytelling and immersion will keep “Red Dead 2” as their tall watermark. People who prefer games above all others lean towards the “Spirit”.
It depends on how we define “fun” and “engagement” in games. The creator of the film “The Last of Us” Neil Druckmann re-developed this discussion in promoting his sequel and insists that many players do not find his tragic story “funny”. Many who have played it now disagree: Torturous and violent video games have been fun experiences because they appeal to people who like to think of written stories with complex, morally ambiguous characters.
There is no objective truth about how each individual defines entertainment. However, you can expect this meeting of design philosophies to continue in the future. Finding out how you define a good and fun video game means an easier time to choose the winner of any future online video game discussions. You are always the winner.