Ghost of Tsushima devs teamed with Akira Kurosawa's estate for its cinematic mode

Sucker Punch did more than just put a cinematic mode in Ghost of Tsushima paying homage to classic Japanese films, they actually teamed with Kurosawa's estate to make it perfect.

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Ghost of Tsushima’s cinematic black and white mode is an interesting inclusion. It allows players to play the game in a grainy black and white visual style that is meant to pay homage to classic Japanese film. That said, Sucker Punch didn’t just slap an amusing filter on their game and call it a day. No, in fact they went to the estate of legendary Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa himself to partner up and bring true authenticity to the Ghost of Tsushima cinematic mode.

Sucker Punch’s partnership with the Kurosawa estate was revealed in an exclusive feature on Entertainment Weekly, published on July 8, 2020. According to the feature, the team was so inspired by Kurosawa’s works that they actually sought to make what they called “Kurosawa Mode.”

Ghost of Tsushima's style draws heavily from the likes of Kurosawa's 1962 film Sanjuro.
Ghost of Tsushima's style draws heavily from the likes of Kurosawa's 1962 film Sanjuro.

“Akira Kurosawa was one of our reference guides, especially early on about how we wanted it to feel," Co-Creative Director Jason Connell explained. "As we got closer and closer to making that a reality, we were like, 'What do we call this special mode that we created?’ We thought, 'What would be awesome would be if we could call it Kurosawa Mode.' In order to do that, we felt that we needed to reach out to the estate and see if that's something they'd be interested in. We sent a short video showing what it generally looks like, what it feels like.”

Serious work was put into making such a mode worthy of the director of such fine films as Seven Samurai, Rashomon, and Sanjuro. The team put effort into exploring the bend and grain of film around Kurosawa’s pinnacle of directing, the nature of the particular black and white hues, and the sound of old film productions.

“Our audio team have an internal tool that mimicked sounds of old TV and, specifically, megaphones, radios, TVs back to the '50s,” Connell revealed.

Ghost of Tsushima's Kurosawa Mode features a change in visuals, sound, and wind effects in the game to better capture every element of Kurosawa's golden era of movie direciton.
Ghost of Tsushima's Kurosawa Mode features a change in visuals, sound, and wind effects in the game to better capture every element of Kurosawa's golden era of movie direciton.

All of this put together makes for an altogether faithful experience to the many works that inspired Ghost of Tsushima. With the game hitting the 2020 gaming calendar on July 17, complete with a photo mode, it’s sure to be an experience that players with modern tastes and fans of the classic cinema of Kurosawa are likely to adore.

News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. When he's not handing out beatdowns in the latest fighting games, exploring video game history, or playing through RPGs with his partner, he's searching for new food and drinks in the constant pursuit of good times with good people inside and outside the South Texas area. You can also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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