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I Love Ghostwire: Tokyo's Database System

I Love Ghostwire: Tokyo's Database System

Ghostwire: Tokyo is quite a large game and, due to that, it's easy to forget exactly what everything is and does, and all the things you can do. To remedy this, Ghostwire: Tokyo implemented a tab in the menu called DATABASE.

As a game set in a foreign country for most (assuming that most readers don't live in Japan), the DATABASE offers a glimpse at numerous things and ways to learn about the unique and interesting culture that it takes place in. With 10 different sub-tabs within it, each with often over a dozen items to read and interact with, the DATABASE menu offers tons of reading for players that are willing to learn.

Of course, we have the TUTORIALS tab that works as a perfect reminder for the numerous systems present in the game. This facilitates being able to return to the game once you've stopped playing for a while, as it has all of the tutorials you are presented with. Not having finished the game just yet, I'm not sure whether I'll get more, but I've currently gathered 62 different entries to read, including simple ones like how to crouch. The TUTORIALS tab simply explains everything there is to know about the game and works as a perfect reminder of the systems implemented.

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But I don't love the DATABASE solely for the TUTORIALS tab, far from it. Although it is a phenomenal way to be able to jolt your memory into action again, it's the following tabs that I'm in love with.

I love learning; you give me a topic that I'm interested in, and I'll try to learn every little bit about it until I can consider myself an expert, and one of my favourite topics is actually culture. As a Colombian that has only lived in Colombia and the United States, I've experienced culture shock with several differences between the two, but none ever so strong as what happens when I look at Japan's.

You see, Japan is an enigma to me; everything about it is just baffling, so I want to learn more so I can understand it better. Whenever playing Eastern-themed games (such as Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice), I revel in the beautiful graphics and the strange culture that feels borderline alien to me. So when I jumped into Tokyo while playing Ghostwire: Tokyo, I revelled in everything strange about it; I explored the corners of the rooms and stared at the doors like they were from some ancient alien civilisation. I tried to soak up all of the information I could about it, but nothing gave me such an opportunity as the DATABASE tab.

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From the moment that the first entry fell under the KEYWORDS category, I loved that the game kept a handy system that allowed me to dive back in and understand what Akito and KK were talking about at any given time. I cross-checked some of the items in the DATABASE with internet websites to ensure that I could trust everything I read (also including some of my personal Japanese folklore knowledge); I found it to be accurate for the ones I checked.

My favourite tab was the RELICS one, which lets you read about whatever collectible you found in the open world and gives you a bit of lore describing what it is in the culture and what purpose it serves. 

That's part of what makes Ghostwire: Tokyo such an enjoyable game: I got to learn so much by simply running around and collecting items, reading the DATABASE, and soaking in the information. Whenever exploring Tokyo, you have so many opportunities to learn about the culture, whether it's through the notes scattered on the ground that let you peek into the day-to-day lives of the residents or the DATABASE, you can learn something one way or another.

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Sure, the DATABASE doesn't make the gameplay better directly, but it absolutely amplifies it; understanding what the yōkai are and how they were formed certainly made the game feel story rich. I spent many an hour delving deep into the DATABASE to learn about various items I acquired. Unlike with fictional worlds, everything I learned about had existed one way or another on this Earth and been a real part of human culture, which made it all the more enticing. It made Ghostwire: Tokyo feel alive in a way that no other game had felt like for me, and I have the DATABASE to thank for that.

Artura Dawn

Artura Dawn

Staff Writer

Writes in her sleep, can you tell?

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