Sucker Punch’s open-world action-adventure-stealth hybrid Ghost of Tsushima has only been out for ten days, but the creators are already dropping a significant update. While fans and critics alike have praised the game’s stunning graphics, smoothly flowing combat, and beautiful open world, some felt that even “Hard” difficulty did not offer enough of a challenge. In response, Sucker Punch released a free update, which adds a brand new difficulty: Lethal.
Lethal difficulty aims to make the combat more robust without seeming impossible or unwinnable. Enemies’ attacks will do more damage — but so will the katana strikes made by the player-controlled character, Jin Sakai. Also, the window for performing Jin’s “Parry” and “Dodge” moves will be smaller, forcing players to rely on timing and employ greater accuracy when in battle. Finally, enemies will be more aggressive in combat, detecting Jin faster and moving towards him more quickly to avoid any “dead time” or “standing around,” which can leave players feeling bored.
One of Sucker Punch’s goal when creating Ghost of Tsushima was to emulate the look and feel of classic samurai movies. Lethal difficulty works to further strengthen this image by emphasizing the concept that a single well-placed cut from Jin’s katana can be enough to bring a battle to its end.
Game difficulty can be toggled at any time, meaning that players who have already started the game can try out Ghost of Tsushima on Lethal mode without needing to restart.
On the opposite end of the scale, the update also adds several accessibility options that can make combat simpler and less stressful should gamers prefer. These include the ability to block some previously unblockable attacks, fewer enemy combos, and greater forgiveness when trying to avoid enemies via hiding or moving stealthily.
Ghost of Tsushima is currently available to purchase for PlayStation 4. For the full patch notes, check here.