Is Ghost of Tsushima like Dark Souls?
Ghost of Tsushima is not like Dark Souls, nor any of the Souls games. It is not even a Souls-like game. The game has more similarity to The Witcher 3 than any of the Souls games.
Is the combat as difficult as Dark Souls or any of the Souls games? The answer is no. However, it does not mean it is not engaging or enjoyable.
Among all FromSoftware games, the one that is most similar is Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and not just because of the Samurai-Ninja duality of both characters. It's because of the mechanics on Stealth and Sneak Attacks like Assassination, Slaughter, Critical Strike, and Chain Assassination.
We compared it to Witcher 3, however, the combat of Ghost of Tsushima has more depth than that of Witcher 3. Based on the gameplay shown, its combat is engaging, skill-based, and challenging.
You can even parry an arrow in Ghost of Tsushima and it has charged attacks like Bloodborne!
Basics of Attacks
Before we go through the advanced topics of combat, let's begin with the basics of attacks and how Ghost is similar to Sekiro.
Quick attacks are executed from the current stance of Jin. There is minimal wind up and they are executed instantaneously. There is no staggering impact on the target though.
We can divide the flow of a heavy attack into three stages. First, there is an extra animation where Jin pulls back to give extra force to the attack. While doing this, the enemy can hit you, so time it well.
In Sekiro, strong attacks have a wind up animation.
The moment a heavy attack lands on an enemy, a meter will start gaining a build-up, accumulating based on the attacks you hit him.
You can imagine this as something similar to Sekiro's Posture mechanic as shown below.
With enough number of attacks, the posture will become broken
Similarly, in Ghost, once the meter is filled up, a large impact animation is shown and the meter is broken.
You execute a Stab attack by holding the Triangle button.
The equivalent of this is the Thrust Attack in Sekiro.
Absence of Lock On
In the Souls games, the first combat mechanic you learn is the Lock On.
You can lock on to your target by pressing the right analog stick, and then change the focus by using the left analog stick.
Ghost of Tsushima does not have a Lock On mechanic, however, it is using an auto focus that you can control via the left analog stick.
If you want to see if there are any similarities between Souls game combat and Ghost of Tsushima, you can view our Combat Guide. The following are the shared characteristics of their combat:
Dark Souls and Ghost of Tsushima both have Blocking. However, Ghost does not use the mechanic of Stamina, which the Souls games rely on to prevent spamming of attacks.
Both games contain the game mechanic of Parrying, where you can react to an attack just before it lands, such that the Block becomes a Parry. This leaves the enemy open for a counter-attack.
The concept is similar in both games, where you can avoid the attack and do a counter-attack.
You execute a dodge by pressing Left Analog Stick + Circle
This is very similar to Sekiro's Step Dodge.
They have a similar three-stage execution. First, there is a wind-up from the enemy.
Then you execute the dodge.
And then punish the enemy with a counter-attack.
Here is the exact sequence of the above stages in Ghost.
First, the attack winds up.
Then we have the dodge.
And finally, the punishment, in the form of a Quick attack.
This mechanic enables you to stop the current action you are about to execute on an enemy and quickly transition to another attack.
Like in the scenario below where the player initiates a Charged Attack. You can cancel if the situation is no longer advantageous.
This mechanic enables you to stagger an enemy by reacting at the last moment when an attack is about to land and deflecting the attack. This leaves the target open for a deadly counter-attack.
Visit our Ghost of Tsushima 100% Walkthrough to get more details.