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Should you play ‘Ghostwire: Tokyo’ in Japanese or English?

Ghostwire: Tokyo is the exciting new action-adventure from Tango Gameworks (The Evil Within). But should you play Ghostwire: Tokyo in English or Japanese?

Ghostwire: Tokyo is an exciting new title that blends RPG adventure mechanics with a world of supernatural mystery and intrigue. It will undoubtedly leave you disorientated and uneasy, but it stops just short of being an all-out horror game.

However, one of the first and most important decisions you’ll have to make in Ghostwire: Tokyo is what language you want to play the game in. And despite your tastes and past preferences, the answer to this question is a little complicated.

First of all, Ghostwire: Tokyo was developed by a Japanese game studio and is set in Tokyo. All the major characters you’ll meet during your adventure are Japanese and accordingly speak Japanese. It would be weird if that weren’t the case.

This game is by no means the first game (or piece of media) to pose this issue either; FromSoftware’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice launched in 2019, with Japanese being the default language in foreign markets. Despite this, there will always be people who dislike reading subtitles.

ghostwire: tokyo in japanese

Should you play Ghostwire: Tokyo in English?

As suggested before, it’s a bit odd playing as a Japanese character, roaming around Tokyo speaking in an American accent. It creates dissonance with the narrative and will break some players’ sense of immersion (it did with me).

The English language cast of Ghostwire: Tokyo, for the most part, sound committed, although I feel some performances don’t land convincingly. And if I’m honest, the last thing a game this surreal and fantastical needs are performances that break the spell.

should you play ghostwire: tokyo in english
Image: Ghostwire: Tokyo / Tango Gameworks

The main saving grace of the English dub is its relationship with the title’s actual gameplay. Without giving away any spoilers, you will constantly have a character speaking to you during the game; think of it as having a voice trapped in your head.

This is important, as said voice rarely shuts up even in the heat of action. You might be in the middle of a stressful battle, and someone is trying to speak to you about important lore or plot details. If you understand the language being said, it’s okay; if you don’t, it can be a distracting and frustrating experience.

Therefore, if you find multitasking difficult, you might prefer to play Ghostwire: Tokyo in English (or your native tongue). That said, I’d still recommend trying the Japanese language version (with subtitles) first; the vibe is just better.

scary japanese girl
Image: Ghostwire: Tokyo / Tango Gameworks

Should you play Ghostwire: Tokyo in Japanese?

The simple truth is yes. The Japanese language performances are superior across the board, and it’s unequivocally the way the game is meant to be played.

Even when Ghostwire: Tokyo‘s main storyline threatens absurdity, the central performances do an admirable job grounding it in human emotions. This is the best way to experience the game.

Conclusion

Everyone should first try Ghostwire: Tokyo in the Japanese language version. It has superior performances, fits the narrative and environment of the game better, and contributes to a better overall experience.

That said, players struggling to take in all the dialogue may want to switch to the English version of the game. It’s not without its faults, but none of them outweighs the positives Ghostwire: Tokyo has going for it.

Ghostwire: Tokyo launches on PS5 and PC on Match 25 2022.