Sucker Punch Productions has unveiled a special cinematic mode for Ghost of Tsushima, inspired by classic Akira Kurosawa samurai movies such as Sanjuro.
Ghost of Tsushima tells the tale of a lone samurai, Jin Sakai, during the Mongol invasion of Japan in the year 1270.
As can be expected, the game draws more than a little inspiration from legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa’s entire body of work, attempting to recreate the aesthetic from his iconic samurai movies.
Recreating Sanjuro in Ghost of Tsushima
The newly revealed cinematic mode – also dubbed “Kurosawa Mode” by the developers, takes the game from simple homage to genuine, officially licensed replication.
The game mode will transform the player’s display, providing both a black-and-white filter and some classic film crackle to make things look as authentically cinematic as possible.
According to co-director Nate Fox:
“I think one that is just crystal clear is the movie Sanjuro. It’s a film that features, at the very end of it, a standoff between two samurai. The tension that those two warriors have, they wait for the other to make a first move and then one of them dies with just one stroke of his sword. We tried to translate that into the standoff in our game very directly.”
Akira Kurosawa Approved
Apparently, the team at Sucker Punch were able to get the blessing of Akira Kurosawa’s estate to use the director’s name within the game.
The developers insist that they put painstaking research into making Ghost of Tsushima’s Kurosawa Mode look like Sanjuro, Seven samurai, and other movies of the era.
This involved figuring out the particular image curve created by the lenses used to shoot these films, as well as deciding just how deep and rich to make the blacks within the greyscale rendering of the game. It also meant cranking up the wind speed, because what’s a good samurai movie without a strong sense of atmosphere?
All of this is good news for anyone who likes a good samurai movie. Ghost of Tsushima looks set to capture the vibe of Sanjuro or any other classic samurai film from Akira Kurosawa.