Developer Sucker Punch has released the patch notes for Ghost of Tsushima‘s upcoming 1.05 update, and they feature a series of changes that will make the game harder or easier based on your preferences.
Let’s start with Ghost of Tsushima‘s new “Lethal” difficulty level. As you might imagine based on the name, this difficulty level will make the game’s enemies much deadlier. Specifically, it will make enemies more aggressive and grant them the ability to detect your presence faster. On top of that, you’ll now have to work within a tighter window for dodges and parries.
Here’s the really interesting part. According to the patch notes, Lethal difficulty mode will also make Jin’a katana “more deadly.” In other words, it sounds like it will be slightly harder to score clean hits without taking damage but those hits will do more damage than they typically would. That’s an interesting addition to the standard “harder” difficulty mode, and we’re interested to see how that balance plays out.
This patch will also feature a new “lower intensity mode” that will make the game’s combat easier for those who desire a less demanding experience. Rather than simply lower enemy damage output across the board or greatly increase the damage you deal, this new mode will feature a series of subtle changes to how Ghost of Tsushima‘s combat works.
For instance, lower intensity mode makes many unblockable enemy attacks blockable. It also forces enemies to pause their combo attacks after damaging you in order to give you time to escape. Furthermore, this mode pauses all enemy attacks while you’re healing via Resolve and decreases the rate at which enemies become aware of your presence.
Be sure check out Sucker Punch’s rundown of the full patch notes (which also include new in-game text options) right here.
These patch notes are certainly fascinating. Difficulty in video games remains a somewhat controversial subject as developers everywhere look for new ways to create experiences that account for the wishes of players of various skill levels and in-game challenge desires. While the standard difficulty options are sometimes enough, modifications such as these show that subtle changes to the difficulty of a game can often lead to more rewarding and desirable experiences.