Monday, July 15, 2024

PSA: You Don’t Have To 100% Ghost Of Tsushima


The last thing standing in my way of the Platinum for Ghost of Tsushima, as I was working on our many guides for the game, was a hidden Trophy called Cooper Clan Cosplayer. The description was cryptic, but not especially confusing: “Dress up as a legendary thief.” Though I’m not a fan, the GameSpot team and I figured out the reference immediately: Tsushima developer Sucker Punch’s Sly Cooper franchise. I googled some pics of Sly Cooper, a raccoon who does heists, and went to work figuring out what items in Tsushima might constitute cosplay.

The trouble is, there are a lot of cosmetic items in Ghost of Tsushima, and none of them look particularly like what Sly Cooper wears. Several sets of in-game armor have unlockable color schemes similar to those in that game–Sly wears a blue tunic, a yellow scarf, and a red belt. But there are about eight armor sets and none of them look like sneaky raccoon thief gear. Also, the “raccoon” part feels important, so does “cosplay” require Jin to, uh, dress up as an animal?

This sent me spinning my wheels for a couple days. I got a few items that seemed essential to unlocking the Trophy, but I wasn’t sure I was getting the combination right, or if I was missing something. After a while, I started to suspect there was more gear I needed but didn’t yet have. Ghost of Tsushima tells you what rewards you get for each set of collectibles, and I’d gotten all the Vanity Gear that would seem to be part of this Trophy. But I didn’t have all the Sashimono banners that unlock new horse saddles. I hadn’t purchased every single armor dye. I didn’t have full 100% completion–maybe that’s what I needed to unlock some kind of Sly Cooper samurai armor or raccoon mask or floppy hat.

Guess what: That was not what I needed. The Trophy was actually much easier to unlock than I realized. There’s no reason to get everything in Ghost of Tsushima unless you really want to, and actually, you shouldn’t. You should find, unlock, and earn exactly as much as you enjoy finding, unlocking, and earning, because Tsushima is one of the rare open-world games that doesn’t expect you to become obsessed with it or to waste your time kicking over every rock and scouring every corner.

See this mask? I got this mask for finding all 49 Inari Shrines. It was not part of the cosplay thing. (Also none of these 80 banners mattered.)

My big trouble with the open-world genre at large is its tendency to pack in stuff for stuff’s sake. People often complain about the in-game maps in games like Assassin’s Creed or Far Cry becoming an overwhelming eyesore as they bristle with markers for quests, collectibles, upgrades, crafting materials, and all kinds of other junk. There’s a feeling that open-world games have to smash in as much #content as they possibly can to keep you as busy as you can possibly be, even if a lot of that content is just a rehash of an already boring idea, like climbing another tower to reveal the map or collecting 45 boar skins to make the pockets in your in-game pants slightly deeper. Sometimes these games even gate the actually interesting content behind the dull collection stuff–you can’t play the next story mission until you’ve crafted a bigger wallet, so you’ll need to go skin 18 black bears killed with a bolt-action rifle while driving a moped.

To be fair, Tsushima has a version of this problem too. Find the 49 Inari Shrines in the game so you can equip four Minor Charms instead of two. Gather 50 Mongol Artifacts so you can then look at a menu that contains a paragraph of historical context about each one. Track down 80 Sashimono Banners, with each milestone in your collection unlocking a slightly different color scheme for your horse’s saddle.

The good news about Ghost of Tsushima is that it’s actually pretty forgiving about this part. The menu information about every set of collectibles tells you exactly what you earn for finding them, giving you an immediate sense of whether you want to spend the time. You can earn the Platinum Trophy, something that definitely matters to some players, without scouring the game for every stupid and useless item. Most of the collection-based Trophies are about finding locations more than objects, and those locations also convey in-game benefits while also giving a little bit of gameplay–so even finding all 49 Inari Shrines upgrades your character while providing a bunch of tiny puzzles to solve. It seems like Sucker Punch is aware that a lot of its collectibles don’t actually matter to the game and are just stuff for stuff’s sake, so the Trophies tied to them unlock when you’re about halfway through finding all of them instead of when you get every last one. In fact, the Trophies on these collectibles trigger at around the number you might find incidentally as you play if you’re keeping your eyes open.

In general, it’s a nice approach to the open-world’s tendency of providing players a ton of long to-do lists of items to tick off. I’m the kind of person who can get caught up in completionist urges about games, and Tsushima does players like me a favor: It doesn’t force us to find it all. We can scratch the find-everything itch without it becoming an irritating chore. We can hit that Platinum completion status without running the game completely into the ground hunting for stuff.

There's a lot of cool stuff to find in Ghost of Tsushima. If you feel like it.
There’s a lot of cool stuff to find in Ghost of Tsushima. If you feel like it.

And yet, I still did. I found every banner. I unlocked every saddle. I rode across Tsushima picking up flowers so I could buy every armor die. I found literally everything there is in Ghost of Tsushima. Just in case.

And all I got for that effort was a little message toward the end that basically said, “Wow, good job!”

So take it from me: You don’t need to get everything in Ghost of Tsushima. Do as much or as little as you like. There’s no special armor, cutscene, story point, or extra reward if you do it all, though; there’s only the fun you get out of the game. I wish I’d known that before I went looking for all those flowers.

Oh, and if you’re wondering about the Sly Cooper thing–here’s a Cooper Clan Cosplayer guide. Save yourself some time.

Now Playing: 9 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting Ghost Of Tsushima

Ebenezer Robbins
Ebenezer Robbins
Introvert. Beer guru. Communicator. Travel fanatic. Web advocate. Certified alcohol geek. Tv buff. Subtly charming internet aficionado.

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