Following a paranormal disaster that plunges Tokyo into a world of urban legends and conspiracies, players take up arms to face supernatural visitors who have taken over the city. In Ghostwire: Tokyo, players will have to fight enemy creatures and save the city using conventional equipment and a special technique, Etherweaving, which fuses spiritual energy with the elements of wind. , water and fire.
Aetherweaving uses no weapons or special equipment, it only requires two hands: chain together spellbinding in-game moves and unleash your powers on hostile apparitions roaming Tokyo. “The evil spirits that have invaded Tokyo are supernatural, non-physical beings, so we thought about the most intuitive way to fight them,” says Kenji Kimura, Ghostwire: Tokyo Director at Tango Gameworks.
“Japan has a long tradition of praying at shrines and temples to protect against dire events such as natural disasters or epidemics. If a child was injured, his parents passed their hand over his wound while reciting incantations, as if to relieve the pain by magic. It is this historic relationship with nature and other unseen forces channeled through hand movements that inspired their use in the game.”
The coexistence of tradition and modernity is a recurring theme in Ghostwire, which offers a vision of a unique, self-sufficient hybrid world, in which contemporary Tokyo meets the spiritual world, and combat skills reflect this uniqueness. “Of course we know the kuji-kiri or the nine syllables, as well as the gestures used in ninjutsu and other practices”, explains Kimura, “but we were not trying to give the impression of incarnating a wizard or a ninja. What interested us was to think about how a person living in modern Japan, imbued with its own traditions, would evolve and adapt. We were therefore looking for more original movements by drawing on our past.”
The cool factor
When developing and animating Aetherweaving, Tango Gameworks placed great emphasis on consistency: the moves had to make sense in relation to the game setting and the abilities being used. “Before creating a gesture, we would try to imagine what kind of movements were best suited for each action (like harnessing the wind) while looking as cool as possible,” adds Kimura. “Animating these movements was a priority, so we were reproducing the gestures ourselves and wondering if we looked cool or if it was too ridiculous. It was really fun.”
Of course, players can also use their own hands to enjoy the supernatural experience provided by Tango Gameworks in Ghostwire: Tokyo, available now and exclusively on PlayStation 5. To bring players even closer to the action, Ghostwire : Tokyo uses the DualSense controller to make them feel the best combat sensations. “Once we decided on the right movements, we worked on the SFX and VFX as well as the haptic feedback and the resistance of the adaptive triggers [of the DualSense controller],” explains Kimura. “All the elements are interconnected, and I think that’s what makes the game a truly immersive experience.”