In many ways, Ghost of Tsushima has been the love letter to the PlayStation 4 that we know and love today. However, five years ago, it almost wasn’t even made. Instead, Sucker Punch was working on an entirely-different title altogether.
Previously-unreleased footage of the unreleased game, working title “Prophecy”, was leaked online (via Eurogamer). The 11-minute gameplay featuring the protagonist, Abel Torvah, slinking through the streets of a medieval European-style city, avoiding the local militia by using a combination of stealth-based and parkour traversal, real-time melee combat, as well as some form of alchemical trickery to get the drop (literally) on his pursuers.
The original file for the footage was first found on the forums of ResetEra, the exact filename of which indicated that this game was actually reportedly in development back in 2015, specifically, shortly after the release of Infamous: Second Son. 3D renders of character models by Max Chapman, lead character artist at Sucker Punch who eventually worked on Ghost of Tsushima, were also uploaded there
Sucker Punch would eventually abandon the project in favour of Ghost of Tsushima, though it still managed to transplant much of its core gameplay mechanics into their high-flying feudal samurai game. If one were to examine the above footage closely, one could see just how closely some of Prophecy‘s melee gameplay elements, movement mechanics, and even minimalist UI, all closely resembled what we see in Ghost of Tsushima.
The cancelled development of Prophecy certainly shows us what could’ve been, but also is a good reminder of the creative sacrifices AAA developers have to make in order to make a game that would truly speak to gamers. And so they did with Ghost of Tsushima.
But who knows, Sucker Punch could still revisit this game and see what could be done with it using technology from the PlayStation 5.
Marion has a serious RPG addiction. Sometimes it bleeds into real life; he forgets to sleep because he thinks he has a Witcher’s body clock. Forgive him in advance if he suddenly blurts out terms such as “Mind Flayer” and “Magic Missile”, because never once does he stop thinking about his next Dungeons & Dragons game.