“We didn’t go for like hyper-realism”: One Reason Ghost of Tsushima Visuals are Objectively Better Than Hellblade 2

Ghost of Tsushima and Hellblade 2 offer contrasting visual experiences. But which one is better?

ghost of tsushima, hellblade 2


  • Ghost of Tsushima's visuals have been widely praised, setting a new standard in game design.
  • In contrast, Hellblade 2 focuses on achieving hyper-realistic graphics, pushing the boundaries of what is possible with CGI.
  • Both approaches have their merits, but ultimately, it is up to the player to decide which style they prefer.
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The gaming world is no stranger to stunning visuals, with titles like Hellblade 2 and Ghost of Tsushima pushing boundaries in graphic fidelity. While Hellblade 2 focuses on ultra-photorealistic graphics, Ghost of Tsushima takes a different approach, prioritizing better visuals over realistic CGI. 


This choice is evident in the game’s scenic backgrounds, which remain unmatched. They used real species and landscapes as inspiration but took creative liberties to make them more vibrant and visually striking.

Ghost of Tsushima’s Artistic Choices Make it Visually Superior Even to Newer Titles

A still from Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut
A still from Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut | Sucker Punch

In an interview with RedBull, Ghost of Tsushima‘s Art Director, Jason Connell, revealed the inspiration behind the game’s stunning graphics. He mentioned that the team aimed to create an absolutely stunning and mesmerizing world, drawing inspiration from classic samurai movies by legendary director Akira Kurosawa. 


This dedication to artistic vision is evident in every aspect of the game, from its lush environments to its interactive world design. One of the key reasons behind Ghost of Tsushima’s visual success, according to Connell, is its departure from hyper-realism. In the interview, he says:

I think that what makes Ghost of Tsushima visually unique is probably a couple things. But the thing that I always go back to that I’m really proud that we did is is—we didn’t we didn’t go for like hyper realism.

A key aspect of Ghost of Tsushima’s visuals is its attention to detail in everyday life. The game features small, interactive elements like farms, villages, and fishing huts that add depth to the world. While these elements may not always impact the story directly, they serve to enhance the player’s immersion and make the world feel more alive.

Hellblade 2 Has a Different Style of Graphic Design

A still from Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut
Ghost of Tsushima’s graphic style makes it one of the best-looking games in the world. | Sucker Punch

On the other hand, Hellblade 2 has better realistic CGI, but as critics point out, realistic CGI does not always equate to better visuals. While Hellblade 2‘s visuals are impressive, they are not as awe-inspiring as Ghost of Tsushima‘s. The game has received acclaim for its graphics, but it’s clear that the focus was on achieving hyper-realism rather than creating a visually unique and artistically appealing world like Tsushima‘s.


One of the key differences between the two games is their approach to visual design. Ghost of Tsushima prioritizes creating a visually stunning and artistically unique world that feels beautifully alien yet grounded in reality. The game’s environments are filled with riotous color, making every moment feel like a painting come to life. Connell also mentioned that they didn’t want to have “mega cities.”.

In contrast, Hellblade 2 focuses on achieving hyper-realistic graphics, pushing the boundaries of what is possible with CGI. While this approach has its merits, it does not always result in visuals that are as striking or memorable as those found in Ghost of Tsushima.

Overall, Ghost of Tsushima‘s graphics stand out for their artistic direction, use of color, and attention to detail. The game’s visuals, guided by the vision of Jason Connell, create a world that is both visually stunning and immersive. Ghost of Tsushima‘s approach to visuals, while different from newer titles such as Hellblade 2, has been praised for its beauty and artistry, setting a new standard for visual storytelling in video games.


Written by Daniel Royte

Articles Published: 176

Daniel is a gamer through and through with a passion for gaming in his veins. His current adventures have taken him into the world of Elden Ring, Wuthering Waves, and Genshin Impact, amongst others.