There are a million ways to kill people in Ghost of Tsushima, the new open-world, samurai-themed action game for PlayStation 4. Some methods are honourable (duels, standoffs, shooting people in the head with flaming arrows). Some are dishonourable (kunai, poison darts, shooting people in the back of the head with flaming arrows). Some, like the one you can see in this viral GIF from the Twitter account @SunhiLegend, elude such neat categorisation:
— SunhiLegend (@SunhiLegend) July 20, 2020
We can glean four truths from this flabbergasting GIF:
- This is freakin’ awesome.
- You can throw bombs while in midair.
- You can throw bombs at Mongols while they’re in midair.
- Seriously, how cool is this?
Now, I’ve played this game about as thoroughly as one can. I’ve finished every side-quest. I’ve unlocked every skill and upgraded every piece of gear. I made it a point of personal pride to switch between playstyles and loadouts from mission to mission. Over 60 hours, I’ve turned pretty much every stone on Tsushima – or so I thought – and still had no clue you could throw bombs while planting zero feet on the ground.
In retrospect, it should have been obvious. Broken down, a combo like this is something you can pull off, too.
Just jump – off your horse, off a building, off a bale of hay – and tap R1 to throw whatever item you have equipped in the quickfire slot. Sticky bombs should automatically target the closest enemy, while smoke bombs will blow up below you. (To switch items, hold R2, then tap up on the d-pad for sticky bombs, or down on the d-pad for smoke bombs.) This clip shows how helpful a leaping throw can be with a smoke bomb, but its applications with a sticky bomb are limitless. Just make sure you’ve upgraded the thing to the point where you’re not affected by its blast!
As for that kick, if you level up the Wind stance, your Typhoon kick (hold Triangle) will knock opponents back even further. That should launch even the bulkiest, hulkiest Mongol goons high enough in the air for you to tag them with a sticky bomb.
Technically, all of the tools you see here are “Ghost weapons” – powerful, stealth-minded accessories that can turn the tide of battle. Ghost of Tsushima narratively shames you for using them, but doesn’t offer any gameplay ramifications. If you want to play stealthily, that’s your prerogative. Just know that Jin’s uncle, the venerable Lord Shimura, will probably be mad at you.
But no one can reasonably look at this clip and slander it as a purely stealth kill. After all, Jin approaches his foes with a galloping horse. You’d definitely hear it. Jin then performs a perfect parry on the big guy, before firing off an ahistorical adhesive explosive that, against all known laws of physics and biology, leaves him stunned, but not harmed. Only then, in clear day, does Jin walk up and finish the job. Is this honourable? Dishonourable?
In my mind, if Jin’s uncle saw a move like this, he wouldn’t be mad. He’d just be disappointed, and, okay, slightly impressed.