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Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective PS4 Preview

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What They Say:

Solve your own murder in this quirky, puzzle-packed mystery classic, now in HD!

BANG! A single bullet rings out in the dark city. But as one life ends, the story is just getting started… Sissel wakes up as a ghost and realizes he has lost his memory along with his life. “Who am I? Who killed me? And why?” With only a few hours until sunrise — and oblivion — to uncover these answers, Sissel must solve the mystery of his own murder, starting with the detective who may have witnessed the crime… Using the powers of the dead, you can possess and manipulate objects and even rewind time as you work to solve brainteasing puzzles in a story chock-full of quirky humor and charming characters.

This long-awaited HD remaster of Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, the classic mystery puzzle game directed by Shu Takumi, creator of the Ace Attorney series, features upgraded visuals and sound. Enjoy new music arrangements by celebrated Great Ace Attorney composer Yasumasa Kitagawa which are fully synchronized with the original music so you can switch between them at any time during gameplay. There’s also a new gallery of artwork and music. This is no trick: it’s the ultimate version of this puzzle-solving mystery adventure classic!


Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is Capcom’s upcoming point-and-click adventure game and is a remaster of the original game with the same name released all the way back in 2011 for the Nintendo DS. While I never had the opportunity to check out the game when it was initially released, I was lucky enough to play a preview demo of the new remaster to check out the game’s new remastered models, its fantastic rearranged soundtrack, and other neat features the remaster has to offer. So far, I’m happy to say that while not perfect, my experience with the demo pleasantly surprised me in many ways.

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective follows a ghost who wakes up to find out that he’s been killed, his corpse lying beside him, and a hitman standing over it. He also doesn’t recall anything about his life or identity. Luckily, he encounters another friendly ghost possessing a desk lamp who briefs him on his current situation, teaches him about his powers to possess and manipulate items, and also informs him that at the end of the night, he will pass on forever. However, before then, the ghost decides to take this opportunity to figure out why he was killed, who exactly killed him, and the true nature to the mysterious circumstances surrounding his murder. The first step in doing so will be to use his powers to save a woman about to be killed by the same hitman who seemingly killed him.

So far, while simple, Ghost Trick’s narrative is incredibly amusing, and the characters seen in the demo have been endearing in their own way. The story hooks the player by presenting its main characters and an intriguing concept but keeps them playing with a promise of an excellent mystery to solve.

The demo starts things up from the beginning of the game and teaches players the ins and outs of the game and its environmental puzzles. Every stage basically presents a problem to be solved. The first two chapters are dedicated to the ghost saving people from imminent danger. Each stage will first present the scenario before the moment of danger occurs and then plunges the player 4 minutes before said moment in order to find out how to change a character’s fate. This means players are given a specific time limit to clear the level, which usually involves possessing and manipulating environmental objects to change the scenario’s outcome. The difficulty in this is finding out what is to possess, when to possess it, and how to control items in the required order.

For example, the first chapter will task players to save a character in a landfill filled with several interactable objects, so players will have to possess, manipulate, and move from object to object to stop the pursuer and prevent a character’s death. So far, the puzzles I have solved have been highly creative, with the second level offering many more interactable objects and a more creative way of solving the entire scenario. However, as a result, the level was a lot more challenging than the first. While that wasn’t much of a surprise, it was surprisingly significantly more satisfying to solve than the first, especially as clearing a level can be incredibly quick once you figure out how to solve it, which always felt satisfying.

What is disappointing, however, is that the game, or at least the demo, doesn’t have a checkpoint system in the menu, as players can only save and load one manual save. If you aren’t satisfied with where you saved, you’ll either have to wait till you fail and are then presented with the option to load a checkpoint or start the level from the very start, which is painful. Hopefully, the full game will offer more saves or a proper checkpoint option, but I won’t hold my breath.

Besides that, the Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective’s remaster is an improvement on the original game in almost every way. Character and object models are no longer pixelated and are now incredibly crisp and attractive with a lot of depth, making them look almost 3D. Character motions and animations are also extremely smooth and precise, and the game sports a stellar art direction with incredibly detailed backgrounds and superb designs. Moreover, the game’s rearranged soundtrack sounds terrific while still being similar to the original soundtrack. Players can also switch between the new and old soundtracks if they prefer to keep the nostalgia vibes pure.

In Summary:

Overall, while the game still has some archaic elements, playing the Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective demo was a pleasant experience in almost every way. And though I’m yet to be completely hooked on the story as I’ve not fully experienced it, I still have high hopes for the full game and can at least attest to its stellar quality.

This preview was done with a review copy provided by the publisher. We are grateful for their continued support.