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"Ghost Line: Tokyo" Review: Headless JK, Corporate Beast Attack! Tokyo Exorcism Record

Combining Japanese-style and Japanese-style urban legends with exorcism and ghost-catching themes is not uncommon in film and television novels, but it is still very rare in the gaming market. In addition, the characters in the promotional video holding talismans and making seals to exorcise evil spirits have the flavor of old-fashioned horror movies. These elements combined together are believed to have made many players look forward to this work.

Bizarre Tokyo

Ghost Line: Tokyo is a first-person action adventure game. The story is set in Tokyo, where the protagonist Xiaoren, who died in a traffic accident, is possessed by a spirit named KK and saves his life. At the same time, a supernatural phenomenon similar to “divine disappearance” occurs in Tokyo, causing all citizens to disappear. Players need to control Xiaoren to cooperate with KK while fighting against the vicious visitors wandering in the city and pursuing the truth behind the entire incident.

The opening routine of the game can be said to be very common, and the selling point is mainly in the shaping of the bizarre world. The whole Tokyo is deserted, but there are still clothes left behind when humans disappeared. Countless wandering spirits float in the air, constantly murmuring their experiences in life; terrifying visitors wander on the streets; the Torii Shrine, which was originally a holy place, is shrouded in fog, and a large number of crows hover in the sky, occasionally making terrifying screams…

Although there are a lot of ghost elements and it is a First-Person Perspective, as mentioned by Shinji Mikami earlier, this game is not a terrifying game that makes people’s hair stand on end. There is no sudden jump scare, and most scenes and ghost shaping do not have too much horror atmosphere. If we want to talk about specific feelings, it is actually a bit like last year’s “True Muse Reincarnation 5”. It is also an empty Tokyo and the beginning of possession and fusion. Most of the time, the protagonist in the game can only deal with wandering ghosts and monsters.

On the other hand, the game adopts a sandbox or box-style map design with a certain degree of openness. However, in the early stages of the process, most areas are covered by dangerous fog, and forcibly entering will result in continuous damage and death. Players must purify the birds in the area to dispel the fog and expand the scope of action and exploration.

With the purification of Torii, the surrounding Side Mission and collection points will gradually be displayed on the map. The game is essentially a “formulaic open world” design of opening strongholds and exploring maps, but many contents are combined with ghost themes. The initial experience is still quite fresh.

The Tokyo map in this game is quite large in scale, including landmark facilities such as Shibuya subway station. Although it is not a complete 1:1 reproduction, it can still give players a sense of being in Tokyo. For example, walking to a crossroads and seeing the “Hundred Ghosts Night Walk” team walking towards the depths of the fog is quite visually impactful. However, except for some mission areas, most buildings in the scene are inaccessible, and players’ exploration areas are mainly concentrated outside the streets.

Tokyo residents who were swallowed by the fog turned into wandering souls floating in the streets and alleys. Players can use Genji (paper people worshipped during worship) to collect wandering souls. Then, they can use the “soul teleportation device” in the public phone to escape the fog and return to the present world. After the spirit body is transformed, it will receive hell currency and experience as rewards, which is the main means of obtaining money and experience to improve levels in the game.

Some wandering souls will be sealed. Players need to use the touchpad or joystick to draw a seal to lift it. At the same time, the game also provides a one-click automatic completion function.

The exploration design of this game is quite three-dimensional. Many torii and wandering souls are placed on high-rise buildings or rooftops. Players need to use spiritual ropes to hold the tengu in the air in order to climb to high places. Simply put, tengu is designed as a hook point in the game. In the early stages, players need to find suitable routes to collect items based on the terrain and the distribution of tengu.

After the character level is upgraded, the summoning tengu skill can also be unlocked. Just like using a grappling hook, players can summon tengu at any time and quickly jump to the designated location, which will bring a smoother and freer exploration experience. Of course, the distance and height of summoning tengu in the game are limited, so it will not completely destroy the map exploration design itself.

In addition to tengu, players can also glide in mid-air, and the exploration experience in vertical space is quite smooth

As a game with a supernatural theme, it is natural to have settings such as “yin-yang eyes” and “spiritual vision”. The main function of the spiritual vision in this work is similar to that of the eagle eyes in many similar games, which can be used to scan and discover enemies and interactive objects around. However, some designs that fit the theme of spiritual communication have also been added, such as using spiritual vision to communicate with cats and dogs on the street to obtain some task leads and explore point locations; finding hidden walls in the scene to open up roads; or finding the root cause of destroying barriers to break through barriers…

Although there are few people in Tokyo in the game, players can still communicate with the wandering souls and monsters in the city. Like humans, they also have various troubles and problems. The content of the side quests in the game is mostly to help them solve various problems. For example, using cucumber ambush to capture kappa, retrieving the stolen Shizuyu; rushing into the building controlled by the evil spirit to rescue the wandering souls trapped inside… These plots often involve Japanese-style urban horror stories or monster legends, and the experience is like watching horror stories like “New Ear Bags”.

The distorted space that appears in the process has strong expressive ability, and the expression of that eerie and supernatural atmosphere is very appropriate

The game map also contains other collection elements, such as searching for Ksitigarbha statues to increase the use of spiritual skills, tracking a floating wooden sponge, and so on. However, as mentioned above, apart from the monster elements, the exploration gameplay in the game is a relatively conventional formulaic design. Purifying torii and shrines → searching for nearby resource points, this exploration mode is still easy to create a sense of repetition.

Discovered collectibles can be given to the cat and exchanged for rewards. At the same time, the cat will display these collectibles, such as giving it a lion’s head, and it will wear it on its head.

Essentially, it is still a first-person action shooting game.

Many players are attracted by the handsome seal and various spell attack actions in the promotional video. In the game, wind, fire, water seals, and bows and arrows are commonly used as attack methods. Simply put, they are shooting weapons of different types of bullets.

The Seal of Wind has a fast firing speed and sufficient ammunition. After charging, it can fire multiple shots in a row, and can be used at both long and short distances. It is the most commonly used attack method. The attack of the Seal of Water is a one and a half moon arc. By charging, the attack range can be further expanded. Although the damage is high and the range is large, the range is not far and it is only suitable for close-range use. The Seal of Fire has higher damage, and the fireball charged has a certain range of explosive effects, but the ammunition is less.

When the enemy is damaged, a crack will appear on their body. As the damage accumulates, the crack will become larger and eventually expose the spirit core. After exposing the spirit core, the enemy will fall into a stiff state. At this time, you can use the spirit attack to remove the spirit core and directly eliminate it.

Players can use spiritual power ropes to carry out soul-grabbing attacks from a distance, or directly remove the spirit core from the body when approaching the enemy. Soul-grabbing can effectively restore spiritual power ammunition, and has very cool action close-ups, which can be regarded as the execution method and feature of the game. However, the soul-grabbing action itself does not have invincibility judgment, and even if the speed of soul-grabbing is improved through skills, players are still vulnerable to enemy damage or interruption during the soul-grabbing process.

The spiritual ammunition of wind, water, and fire seals is mainly obtained by eliminating enemies or destroying objects in the scene, while bows, arrows, and talismans can be purchased in the store for replenishment. In open outdoor battles, the pressure of ammunition supply is not high. However, in high-difficulty situations, players still need to make more use of soul-grabbing to ensure the endurance of ammunition, otherwise they may fall into the embarrassing situation of having no ammunition available. After all, the protagonist’s melee attack actions are somewhat weak and not suitable as a commonly used attack method. On the other hand, the perfect block judgment in the game is relatively generous. In addition to completely resisting damage, it can also restore spiritual ammunition. Proficient use can further enhance the game’s sense of operation.

In addition, the game advocates using charged attacks to strike enemies. Firstly, charged attacks can more effectively strike enemy spirit cores. Secondly, the amount of spiritual ammunition carried by characters, especially the ammunition for water and fire marks, is extremely limited and not suitable for long-term flat attacks. Therefore, the combat time of the game is relatively longer, and the distribution density of outdoor enemies is not too high.

The DUALSENSE controller of the PS5 has a very good adaptation to the game. Through the resistance change brought by the Self-Adaptation trigger, you can clearly feel the character’s bow pulling and charging, the different shooting sensations of wind, water, and fire marks, and the violent dragging sensation when the soul-grabbing action removes the spirit core.

The player can simultaneously attack multiple enemies with exposed spirit cores

The game also has a stealth mode, where players can carry out spirit attacks from behind to cause high damage without being detected. The talisman paper plays an auxiliary role in the game, including paralyzing enemies, hiding themselves or making sounds to attract attention, etc…

Most of the enemy’s designs follow the concepts of current action and shooting games. For example, some enemies use umbrellas as shields to resist the shooting of Wind Seal. Players can attack their legs to create stiffness or use Water Seal or Fire Seal to directly destroy the umbrellas. Some will help friendly enemies recover their lives… Elite enemies like Rift Girl will create pressure by constantly rushing towards players.

In terms of combat, the game mainly presents elements such as exorcism and seals at the visual level, without much in-depth combination of gameplay, so it is essentially a conventional first-person action shooter game. On the other hand, the conventional weapon and skill tree designs in the game are not particularly rich. The freshness brought by the theme fades away, and the combat experience will feel somewhat monotonous.

The skill tree design in the game is relatively traditional, mainly to enhance the performance of various mechanisms in exploration and combat, such as extending the time of spiritual vision, carrying the amount of recovery items, strengthening the range brought by charging, and the number of consecutive shots, etc

[Review Summary]

Overall, ” Ghost Line: Tokyo ” has created a fairly large-scale Tokyo city, and a large number of traditional “Japanese-style” elements, including monsters, items, etc., have been integrated into this modern metropolis, better creating a feeling of “urban legends” for players. However, the performance of the gameplay is conventional, mostly formulaic design, and the appearance of ghosts and demons is relatively ordinary.

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