Video Games

Tokyo has one of the coolest healing systems in the world

Tokyo has one of the coolest healing systems in the world

A screenshot from Ghostwire: Tokyo showing protagonist Akito firing a charged incendiary grenade at a group of "Visitors," enemies who look like people without the physical body.

Ghostwire: Tokyothe cool new project from Tango Gameworks about talking spirits and fighting horrible humanoids, managed to get me away from Ring of Elden. It’s a nice reprieve. ghost yarn is nowhere near as difficult as the latest from FromSoftware souls-to like. So rather than wandering a hauntingly vast open world and being completely decimated by melancholic monstrosities in the Lands Between, I stalk the dark streets and narrow alleyways of Tokyo, feeling badass, blasting the enemies with magic spells that spring from my fingertips. There’s still a challenge here, though, and while I’m not ready to give my opinion on Tango Gameworks’ new supernatural action-RPG just yet, what I can say is that I’m not worried. a lot when I get screwed over it. That’s because healing in this ruleset!

Being an open world game, Ghostwire: Tokyo lets you pick up healing items like dumpling skewers and strawberry desserts littered around the spooky streets of Shibuya. You can also buy them at various yokai-operated stores called nekomata, sleeping two-tailed ghost cats floating in the air. There is a limit to the number of consumables you can carry at once – three to start with – but this capacity can be increased up to 10 by upgrading a particular skill in the Equipment category. It’s a boon in fights where you’re likely to detonate your consumables.

Naturally, healing items do the obvious thing of replenishing your health. There are also foods known as Spectral Food that provide unique passive bonuses, such as increasing a spell’s power for a short time. Whether normal or spectral, however, all foods and drinks have one crucial additional effect, one that makes me love this game’s healing system: they increase your maximum hit points. That’s right, just by using consumables you permanently increase the amount of health protagonist Akito has overall.

I like it because it does two things. The first has to do with how we play games, or rather how games have conditioned us to play them. What I mean is, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably hoarding a lot of your potions and other healing items, maybe imagining a climactic boss fight where you could finally put them to good use. When you roll over a game’s credits, you find that the items you have stored, while useful, have gone unused for a number of reasons. You can do this mainly in Ghostwire: Tokyo, also, keeping the consumables indefinitely. But since healing items also increase your health points, you’re encouraged to snack whenever you’re not at full health. Not only do you recover some health, but you also deepen your overall health pool. Sweet!

Second, this nice little system incites allow you to play more aggressively, and perhaps experiment with other gear and spells as well. Unfortunately, fighting in ghost yarn can be boring and tedious. Enemies aren’t that smart, charging you head-on most of the time instead of strategizing to force you to mix things up. But by giving you health and increasing the health bar, healing items encourage you to take that chance by charging up the slow-but-powerful fire grenade or using some other risky tactic. Or if you want to get in your face, the bountiful, magical, health-restoring, health-boosting foods in the game let you do it without worrying too much about biting the dust. Go ahead, snack and stay alive!

Using healing items isn’t the only way to increase your maximum hit points either. Just like other action RPGs, leveling up in Ghostwire: Tokyo is another way to pump up your HP. But incorporating the concept of increasing your overall health stats into the actual mechanism of healing yourself is a neat idea that I’ve never seen before. And that’s something I hope other games try to implement in the future. Not all of Ghostwire: TokyoThe systems workbut the way he handles the healing definitely does.