Ghost of Tsushima is a samurai sandbox that lets gamers choose how protagonist Jin Sakai carries himself while traveling across the island of Tsushima to liberate his home from the invading Mongol forces.
Developer Sucker Punch Productions gave players a vast amount of choices when it comes to how to approach combat and what kind of armor to don during your travels, but many of those options come after the game’s first major decision: selecting Jin’s horse.
After the opening scenes of the game that transform the island of Tsushima from Jin’s peaceful domicile into a warzone, the hero is escorted to a nearby village by an ally.
In town, you’ll find a stable with three samurai warhorses that are brown, white, and black, respectively.
Once you’ve chosen a color, you’re forced to name it Nobu, Sora, or Kage.
Players will have three horse choices at the beginning of ‘Ghost of Tsushima.
‘Sucker Punch Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment
Ghost of Tsushima will translate their Japanese names into their English equivalent, which are Trust, Sky, and Shadow.
This might make it seem like each horse comes with their own special perk or unique stat but that isn’t the case.
No matter what steed you pick for Jin, they’ll function the same way.
Jin will call out the name of the horse you choose in this moment for the rest of the game, and you won’t be able to ever change it after the fact.
This will make specific cinematic cutscenes slightly different since Jin will say one of the three names depending on your selection, but your choice won’t have much of an overt impact on gameplay.
You’ll just have to see that horse color and hear that horse name a lot.
The choice ultimately comes down to what name a color combination you like the best — even if that’s a white horse named Shadow.
Once you’ve selected one of the three horses, you’ll be able to hit right on the D-Pad to whistle and call out for your horse.
This mechanic is pretty forgiving in that you don’t have to keep close tabs on your horse much at all.
If you decide to dismount and explore a mountain top on foot, your horse will appear directly behind you whenever you whistle even if it wasn’t there a moment later.
Regardless of your choice, all three horses will function the same way.Sucker Punch Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment
Just because you have your own horse, doesn’t mean you can’t ride any of the other horses that you’ll find during your adventures through Tsushima.
You just won’t be able to tame a different horse other than the one you selected from the start.
During combat, whistling for your horse won’t work, so if you need to make a quick escape, stealing a Mongol horse will be your best bet.
However, you can ride your horse into combat and slash a few enemies down before you dismount to finish off the rest.
Your horse will never be in danger of suffering lethal damage from enemies or even falls.
If a Mongol does land a blow on your horse it will buck and throw you off, which can leave you in a really bad spot if you’re surrounded by enemies.
And if you fall off a cliff your horse will fall to the ground but Jin will be the only one who takes impact damage.
For the most part, your horse will be your unfaltering travel companion but you can also ride it into battle and catch a group of Mongols off guard.
The choice is yours.
Ghost of Tsushima for PlayStation 4 will be released on July 17.