SUCKER Punch’s magnum opus Ghost of Tsushima was already one of the most gorgeous games I’d seen when it launched on PlayStation 4 last year, and it’s now even better with the release of a Director’s Cut edition.
As amazing as the game looked and played on a PlayStation 5, it was still essentially an upscaled PS4 game and wasn’t taking full advantage of what the PS5 can do graphically.
The Director’s Cut, which is now out for both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, has a couple of nice enhancements for the next-gen console to rectify some of that – and it does look very nice indeed.
The major additions for PlayStation 5 owners are haptic feedback on the DualSense controllers and properly dubbed lip-synching for the Japanese language audio, as well as the use of the controller’s speaker. The Director’s Cut also includes an online multiplayer Legends mode, for people with more digital friends than me.
The major attraction, however, is an entirely new island – Iki Island. This expansion area involves Jin travelling to the island after encountering a group of scouts from the Eagle Tribe of the Mongols, who are led by a mysterious shaman known as The Eagle, who uses a hallucinogenic, madness inducing brew to inspire fantacism or at least keep the populace in line, and has set up shop on Iki Island.
Iki Island, coincidentally is where Jin’s father was killed and Jin still has a lot of guilt over the incident to work through – something The Eagle is prepared to take full advantage of when he arrives on the island, determined to stop the Mongols getting a foothold and bringing their ill-tidings to Tsushima.
The Eagle Shaman captures Jin and feeds him a strange brew that induces hallucinations relating to his inability to save his father, before he escapes and enlists the aid of scattered local resistance groups – all the while dealing with his guilt-inspired hallucinations.
It’s interesting to see Sucker Punch taking this approach, since it’s rather similar to some of the themes in Ubisoft’s Far Cry games – and Ghost of Tsushima already borrows heavily from the Assassin’s Creed series; essentially being the “Assassin’s Creed but in Feudal Japan” game everyone’s been requesting for years but Ubisoft keep not making.
The island of Iki has some stunning scenery, and your horse plays more of a role this time around too, including a new “charge” skill that lets you barrel through groups of enemies, sending them flying like fur helmet-wearing skittles.
The haptic feedback from the DualSense controller really adds to the experience, regardless of whether you’re clashing steel with a warrior, loosing fire-arrows to set something on fire, parrying a bandit thrust with a wakizashi or leaping off a roof to slice up a Mongol commander with a katana.
I reviewed Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut on a Samsung QN900A Neo QLED TV and it was gorgeous – it’s one of the best-looking open-world games I’ve played (rivalled mainly by Red Dead Redemption II) and the addition of Kurosawa Mode so you can feel like you’re in a Samurai Epic was just the sushi chef’s kiss.
All that is still there, so graphically, the PS5 tweaks are a “nice to have” but the game looked amazing anyway before so the real benefit is the extra missions on Iki Island – which are absolutely worth experiencing.
If for whatever reason you didn’t previously have Ghost of Tsushima, then this is the time to rectify that shameful oversight. If you’re already a legendary ghost, then the chance to visit Iki Island is a worthwhile one – and even moreso if you’ve got a PS5 and a decent TV that can show off the enhanced visuals and features too.