A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The game features general themes of teamwork, helping others, and doing what's right.
Positive Role Models
The main protagonist is strong and brave, and often goes out of his way to help those in need.
The protagonist and most of the supporting characters are East Asian and speak Japanese.
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Ease of Play
Numerous systems and mechanics are introduced consecutively, early in the game. While this won't be a problem for those familiar with the genre, it could be potentially confusing for newcomers. The basics of combat and exploration are easy to pick up, but secondary features, such as praying at statues to increase energy, performing hand gestures to breach obstacles, and freeing spirits -- which can seem confusingly similar to protecting souls -- can get jumbled together.
Violence & Scariness
Combat encounters with spirit-like creatures, while not bloody or gory, are violent and include the use of spell-like abilities, such as fire, water, and wind. A bow is also used. Players fight disturbing looking ghosts and demons. Players rip heart-like "cores" from specters, resulting in a graphic, but not gory animation.
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"Hell," "s--t," a--hole," and "pr--k" are used infrequently.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ghostwire: Tokyo is a supernatural-themed action-adventure game available for the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S/X, and Windows PC. The game deals heavily with death, ghosts, and other aspects of spiritualism. The story sees the entire population of Tokyo wiped out, with only its citizens' empty clothing and personal belongings left behind. Players use spell-like abilities to fight unsettling, sometimes scary ghosts and demons in encounters that, while not bloody or gory, are violent and visceral. Ripping heart-like "cores" from enemies triggers a graphically intense (but not gory) animation. Foul language includes infrequent use of "hell," "s--t," a--hole," and "pr--k." The male protagonist, as well as most of the supporting cast, are East Asian and speak Japanese. The main hero is also strong and brave, and often helps those in need.
Is It Any Good?
At its core, this fright-filled offering is a familiar open-world action-adventure, complete with first-person combat and an objective-cluttered map. But Ghostwire: Tokyo's detailed urban setting, specter-slaying encounters, and supernatural-themed storytelling -- now enhanced with extended cut scenes that further develop characters as well as the game's yokai lore -- help separate it from genre contemporaries. Trading the typical guns, grenades, and melee weapons for an arsenal of elemental-based abilities feels great, as does upgrading these various paranormal powers via a sprawling skill tree. There's a bit of a learning curve, as the game introduces and teaches several of its systems and mechanics at a pretty rapid pace. The basics of combat and exploration are easy to pick up, but secondary features, such as praying at statues to increase SP, performing hand gestures to breach obstacles, and freeing spirits -- which can seem confusingly similar to protecting souls -- can get jumbled together. Seasoned gamers should clear these hurdles with little effort, but newcomers could become a bit overwhelmed.
When not taking on the game's imaginative line-up of nightmare-conjuring ghouls and ghosts, you're free to explore its sprawling city -- an intricately crafted, highly atmospheric take on modern day Tokyo -- and engage in spooky side quests and activities, including a new school area with new missions and skills introduced in the Spider's Thread update. Saving lost souls, helping troubled spirits, and interacting with plenty of cute cats and dogs are all on the agenda. As much fun as this ghost story can be, especially once you get a handle on all it has to offer, it does suffer from some repetition and pacing issues. Because it front loads most of its gameplay features and enemy types at the start of the adventure, its back half just doesn't pack as many surprises or fresh threats. Still, if you're craving an open-world romp that trades the usual tropes for an inspired setting, story, and characters, Ghostwire: Tokyo is worth getting goosebumps over.
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