Following up on the lengthy Ghostwire: Tokyo developer interview posted yesterday, we’re now able to publish our early impressions of the game. You may have seen other publications going live with previews yesterday, but those were conducted on the PlayStation 5 version of the game. Sadly, as part of Sony’s timed exclusivity deal with Bethesda before Microsoft’s acquisition, even previews of the PC version were delayed by one day. Luckily, the review embargo will be the same for both platforms.
Anyway, I have fairly good news about Ghostwire: Tokyo on PC. First of all, the game supports several upscaling technologies, from the Unreal Engine’s own Temporal Super Resolution (TSR) to NVIDIA DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) and AMD FSR (FidelityFX Super Resolution). You’re going to want at least one of these enabled if you also wish to activate the ray traced effects, such as shadows and reflections. Both are particularly suited to the atmosphere since Ghostwire: Tokyo takes place entirely at nighttime (at least as far as I’ve seen), right in the center of the Japanese capital’s neon-lit streets.
As you can see from the screenshots below, there’s a decent amount of graphics settings, such as the ability to tweak the ray tracing culling distance and the quality of shadow maps, texture streaming, subsurface scattering, and global illumination. You can also turn off the motion blur, which I generally recommend, and thankfully Ghostwire: Tokyo supports both uncapped frame rate and exclusive fullscreen mode. Once you activate HDR mode, the brightness slider is updated to allow for tweaking of the maximum luminance and the UI luminance level. These settings should be mandatory in 2022 games, but even major titles sometimes lack them, so it’s always nice to see them.
Lastly, while I couldn’t confirm this personally due to the lack of required hardware, the developers told us that Ultrawide displays are supported in Ghostwire: Tokyo.
Having a PC powered by an RTX 3090 graphics card (and 12700KF CPU), I’ve opted for NVIDIA DLSS on the Balanced preset. This provided a satisfactory performance, albeit not entirely devoid of stuttering instances. Then again, this isn’t the final build, and we don’t have the optimized Game Ready driver yet either.
Visually, Ghostwire: Tokyo can look great at times, but I do have one major gripe and one minor gripe. The minor one is that there is no setting to remove chromatic aberration, though this might be fixed via modding after launch on PC. The major one is that the game’s rain effect looks quite bad, to the point where I often wished to be able to turn it off somehow. Unfortunately, it rains a lot, which would do wonders for the ambiance if not for this issue.
I won’t speak too much of the game itself due to the proximity of the launch, leaving most details to be discussed in the review. Suffice it to say, the preview build included access to the first two chapters of Ghostwire: Tokyo. It’s in the latter of the two that Akito can finally begin his exploration of this weird version of the city, albeit only after cleansing nearby Torii gates. That’s because the city is fully engulfed by an evil fog that turned normal people into spirits. Having been possessed by KK, this isn’t an issue for Akito, but the fog can still damage him, essentially forcing players to cleanse Torii gates if they want to go into a specific area still enveloped by the fog.
The exploration is definitely one of the game’s highlights. As the developers had revealed in our interview, Ghostwire: Tokyo fully exploits the city’s vertical element. Thanks to the helpful Tengu, legendary Yokai with avian characteristics, Akito can use his newfound powers to grapple up the rooftops. But plenty of buildings also let you climb stairs or find other clever ways to go up (or down, since there are also underground paths).
Combat is also pretty fun, and I’m happy to report that the PC version fully supports the DualSense controller’s unique features. The developers at Tango Gameworks spoke excitedly of both haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, which further enhance the player’s immersion in the main character. Even the touchpad is used to perform exorcism seals, although sometimes I found it unresponsive to my commands and had to switch to using the regular sticks.
Check back for our Ghostwire: Tokyo review in the coming days.