After 40 hours or more of wandering around Ghost of Tsushima’s beautiful open-world, it’s obvious the game has been developed by a team passionate about bringing to life both samurai traditions and the cinematography of esteemed Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa.
Set during an important era of the country’s history, it loosely retells the events of the first Mongol invasion of Japan. But Ghost of Tsushima is a more of a samurai power fantasy than it is a historically accurate retelling of events.
That’s totally fine, of course, but history nerds like me are likely to be excited by the opportunity to explore Sucker Punch Production’s take on 13th century Japan. Some of what they’ll find will actually come as a pleasant surprise for its accuracy, while one or two glaring mistakes are also likely to stick out like a sore thumb.
Here I’m going to run through five key takeaways that caught my eye over the past week with the game.
As we’ve noted in our recent feature that examined Ghost of Tsushima’s map size, Tsushima is divided into two islands. While technically speaking this is geographically accurate in a modern context, the division between Tsushima’s two islands is actually the result of a man-made canal that wasn’t built until the 17th century.
Therefore, Tsushima should really just be a large, single island, as it was during the Kamakura Period in the 13th century. Quite how Sucker Punch made this error, I’m not sure. Perhaps it was a deliberate ploy to stop players exploring past a certain point? Although, surely they could have just made it impassable in some other way?
For the record, the Ōfunakoshiseto canal was built in 1671. Tsushima is now technically three islands after the construction of subsequent canals during the early 20th century.