Tango Gameworks’ The Evil Within and its sequel are the quintessential Shinji Mikami games that boldly follow in the footsteps of Resident Evil 4 by blending survival horror and action with an over-the-shoulder perspective. However, the studio was never intended as a path for Mikami’s own creative vision. Tango was founded with the aim of showcasing new and talented young creators, and Ghostwire: Tokyo is the first game to truly demonstrate that aspiration. There’s nothing else that compares to its idiosyncratic brand of open-world exploration and supernatural combat, as it borrows familiar elements and combines them with new ideas in imaginative and surprising ways. It may stumble at times, but the sheer creativity and attention to detail on display throughout constantly shines through.
Ghostwire: Tokyo’s story begins at a rapid pace when one of its protagonists lies dead on the ground. After a fatal car accident at Tokyo’s famous Shibuya Scramble Crossing, Akito Izuki is brought back from the dead when a shadowy spirit calling himself KK merges into his body. The unholy bond between the two gives Akito access to KK’s supernatural powers, but before he can even figure out what the heck is going on, the rest of Tokyo is engulfed in a malevolent fog that covers the entire city. In their place, a menagerie of evil spirits called Visitors now roam Shibuya’s streets, so it’s up to Akito and KK to stop the masked villain in charge before things get worse.
Both protagonists have different motivations for embarking on this dangerous quest beyond their responsibility to save the world. KK seeks revenge while Akito desperately tries to save his younger sister after she was kidnapped by the villain for nefarious purposes. The connection between Akito and KK is the most powerful aspect of Ghostwire: Tokyo’s narrative, as their budding relationship takes center stage and develops naturally throughout the game. The occasional banter between the two brings lightness to the often sombre subject matter, and it’s easy to delve into their predicament, even if the secrets of KK’s past ultimately remain unfulfilled.
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