The ethereal fabric characteristic of Tokyo

The ethereal fabric characteristic of Tokyo
The ethereal fabric characteristic of Tokyo 1

After a paranormal disaster plunges Tokyo into a real-life world of conspiracies and urban legends, players take up arms to battle the otherworldly visitors who have taken over the city…literally! In Ghostwire: Tokyo, players combine conventional gear with a special technique called Ethereal Weaving, which fuses spiritual energy with the elements of wind, water, and fire, to fend off enemies and save the city.


Melee Combat - Crafting Ghostwire: Tokyo's Signature Ethereal Weave

hands on

Instead of a special weapon or conduit, Ethereal Weaving uses only two hands, weaving hypnotic moves into the game to unleash your power on hostile apparitions in Tokyo.

“The evil spirits that appear in Tokyo are supernatural beings, not physical ones, so we tried to think of the most intuitive way to combat them,” explains Kenji Kimura, Game Director for Ghostwire: Tokyo at Tango Gameworks.

“Japan has a long history of warding off bad events like natural disasters or disease through prayer at shrines and temples. If a child was injured in the neighborhood, his parents would wave their hands over the injury while saying words of incantation, as if to magically ease the pain. It is this historical reliance on nature and other unseen forces controlled by hand movements that inspired its use in the game.”

The “tradition meets modernity” motif is common to Ghostwire, creating a vision of contemporary Tokyo meeting the spirit world in a unique hybrid that stands on its own, right down to its combat skills.

“Of course, we knew about the ‘kuji-kiri’ or the ‘nine symbolic cuts’ and the gestures used in ninjutsu and other practices,” explains Kimura, “but we weren’t really looking for explicit sorcerer or ninja vibes. We wanted to focus on how a person living in modern Japan with traces of unique traditional elements would grow up and adapt. So, we look for more original gestures informed by those of the past.”

cool rule

What really drove Tango to develop and animate Ethereal Weaving was its “feel”—that is, making hand movements make sense to the environment and abilities being used.

“We tried to imagine what kind of movement, for example, would take advantage of the wind (and look as cool as possible) before thinking of a specific gesture,” says Kimura. “Animating these gestures was a main focus, so we acted them out, asking ourselves things like, ‘does this look cool?’ or ‘is this too ridiculous?’ The process was so much fun.”


Melee Combat - Crafting Ghostwire: Tokyo's Signature Ethereal Weave

Of course, players can also use their bare hands to experience Tango’s beautifully haunted vision in Ghostwire: Tokyo, now available exclusively on PlayStation 5. Doubling down on bringing players closer to the action, Ghostwire: Tokyo supports the DualSense wireless controller to not only show players the action, but let them feel it.

“Once we settled on gestures, we worked on visual and sound effects, as well as haptic feedback and adaptive trigger responses. [on the DualSense controller]Kimura says. “All the elements were connected and, in my opinion, it is that interconnection that makes the experience really immersive.”

Ghostwire: Tokyo is out now for PS5. Download and play today or upgrade to Ghostwire: Tokyo Deluxe Edition for exclusive content and more.

The ethereal fabric characteristic of Tokyo 1

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