Ghost of Tsushima was one of the final games to launch on PlayStation 4 in July 2020 ahead of the PlayStation 5 entering the market. The new IP blew us away. We called it a gorgeous tale of transformation, easily taking out our 2020 Game of the Year award. Questions quickly surrounded the title and its developer Sucher Punch as to how long it would be until we saw a PS5 upgrade, but that was put to rest when they announced the Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut earlier this year. While we accurately predicted the pricing model for the upgrade, what we weren’t prepared for was just how much better the game would run on the new generation of PlayStation.
Loading up Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut, the menu options allow you to start a fresh new game or transfer your save from the PS4 version. Naturally, we imported our Platinum save file and immediately began the Iki Island story. The other main new Director’s Cut edition features include dynamic 4K resolution which targets (and almost always hits) 60 frames per second, new DualSense haptic feedback and trigger resistance, 3D Audio, the highly requested lip syncing for Japanese voiceover. These new features bring last year’s AAA title into the next generation and confidently cements it as a must-own title for PS5.
For those new to Ghost of Tsushima, the game follows Jin Sakai’s journey to becoming a master Samurai while struggling against personal issues and battling for power on the island of Tsushima. Think of an open-world Assassin’s Creed system combined with a Souls style combat. Progressing through the main game allows Jin to unlock different combat stances that make fighting against different types of enemies much easier, though Ghost of Tsushima is the type of game where you’ll also be wanting to use the right armour when approaching different situations. The combat is exactly as you’d expect, with many of the classic Samurai maneuvers and combinations thrown in to create some of the most bloody and deadly gameplay of any game.
The new Iki island expansion is approximately half the size of Tsushima but the events on it are closer together which both means there’s plenty of content and that you’ll get through it faster. Combine this with the near-instant fast travel times and load times, and Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut really doesn’t offer much of a chance to put the controller down to check your phone. We were genuinely amazed by how quickly the game loads into the menu screen and then into the action. When we think back to some of the load times from past generations, we are now truly blessed with being able to jump in.
Expect some of the smoothest combat you’ve ever experienced in Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut. From duels to epic battlefields, once you study and master the blade you’ll become the ultimate Samurai threat. If you’re carrying a save file over, then you’ll keep all your upgrades which makes playing the new expansion a whole lot easier, as well as the online Legends mode which requires an active PS+ account. The new expansion brings a few new skills with the main one being that your horse can now charge at and kill groups of enemies, which becomes particularly useful when you’re mounted in battle.
The story on Iki island continues on from the base game, but also ties up loose ends from Jin Sakai’s past and the death of his father. Not only does the main story fill in these details, but there are also flashbacks scattered around the map where you become young Jin and follow in the footsteps of what he did the last time he visited Iki. There are other places to explore around the new island including monkey, cat and deer shrines and archery challenges, while some of the base game side content has also come across such as haikus and bamboo strike challenges.
Ghost of Tsushima’s graphics were hard to fault on PlayStation 4 last year, but since entering the next generation of gaming our standards have definitely increased. While Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut held at a steady 60 frames per second (except for one part right at the end of the Iki Island story), some of the textures on things like rock walls are starting to look a little aged in comparison to the best looking games launching this year. It’s almost not worth complaining about, but we do have to remember that this is a PS4 title, and a beautiful one at that. The photo mode is just as gorgeous as we remember, and there are plenty of scenic spots to snap your shots on the new Iki island.
As mentioned, the Director’s Cut edition got a 3D Audio upgrade on PlayStation 5. This adds to the overall immersion if your sound setup can enable it, and will give a greater sense of hearing things like raindrops falling to the ground or wind passing by Jin. Given the Guiding Wind ability is so often used in Ghost of Tsushima, it’s a great idea to pick up the PULSE 3D Wireless Headset if you can afford to. While we’re on new features, the adaptive triggers on the DualSense are a great new feature in the Director’s Cut edition, mostly noticeable when using the bow and arrow, and when removing objects that are blocking your way. The haptic feedback on the DualSense is also used to play the flute at the animal shrines, but we would have liked to have seen it used in other ways.
Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut is a great package for anyone that has an inkling for becoming a Samurai. With the online Legends mode, the Iki Island expansion, and the various improvements that the PlayStation 5 brings, if you’re a fan of action adventure games then you’d be silly to not include it in your library. With Sucker Punch stating that they’re not done with the game yet, there’s very little reason to not upgrade/purchase the Director’s Cut version of this AAA Game of the Year.
Rocket Chainsaw reviewed Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut with code provided by the publisher. For more information, head to the official website.
- An amazing upgrade on our 2020 Game of the Year
- The Iki Island expansion adds just enough new content to satisfy
- Immaculate frame-rate, instant load times.
- The new animal shrines are all the same, really
- Graphics can be a bit hit and miss when hallucinating
- DualSense features aren’t used as much as we would have liked.