Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut Review
Jin Sakai returns in Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut with a new region to explore and a host of other improvements, does the game warrant a return to Tsushima?
Aspects of this review have been adapted from my original review on Best Buy Blog, to see more of my tech and gaming portfolio, please visit here.
How do you improve on classic game that has won multiple awards and is hailed as a cultural icon? It’s a question that developer Sucker Punch Productions has answered with Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut. The PS4 blockbuster has returned bigger and better adding to Jin Sakai’s original adventure with added story and technical enhancements. The Directors Cut includes the original full game, digital bonus content, a co-op Legends mode and a brand-new region to explore.
Whether this your first time adventuring through the game, or your fifth, let’s explore if enough has been added to warrant a return to Tsushima Island.
Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut Details
Platforms: PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 Reviewed on: PlayStation 5 Developer: Sucker Punch Productions Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment Genre: Action Role-Playing Game Game mode available: Single Player and Multiplayer ESRB ranking: M (Mature, 17 years and over)
Author the legend of a samurai
You’ll don the samurai armour of Jin Sakai, a warrior defending his homeland of Tsushima Island. The game takes place during the Mongol invasion of 1274 and the events following the incursion. The first wave of the attack leaves your forces broken and scattered. It’s up to you to rally support around the island and take back your home. Once you gather your team of warriors you can finally take on Mongolian General Khotu in a final showdown.
"It’s up to you to rally support around the island and take back your home."
A new region to explore in Iki Island
In the Director’s Cut, there is an entirely new island to explore with more challenges and unique enemies. After reaching the second act of the game, Iki Island becomes available to adventure through. The island features quite a bit of new content, adding anywhere from 3 hours of story to nearly 15 hours when trying to see, explore and collect everything on Iki.
The island is controlled by a new Mongol tribe leader, Ankhsar Khatun, aka, “The Eagle.” Khatun poses all new threats to the Sakai and his people with hallucinogenic poison. Jin recognizes this new threat, and heads to the island to stop the tribe from reaching Tsushima. Here, he will be faced with physical and psychological challenges as he meets this new danger head-on.
"Jin recognizes this new threat, and heads to the island to stop the tribe from reaching Tsushima."
What’s included in the PS4 and PS5 versions
The Director’s Cut is available for both the PlayStation 4 and 5, but the PS5 version has the biggest changes. Each version includes the original full game, a “Hero of Tsushima” skin set, Hachiman's Favor charm, a Technique Point, digital mini art book, and director's commentary. They also both have the “Legends mode,” a co-operative multiplayer experience that lets you take on new missions inspired by Japanese mythology.
The PlayStation 5 version is a cut above
The PS5 Director’s Cut enjoys many benefits that only the power of the new hardware can provide. It boasts faster load times, the DualSense’s signature haptic feedback, 3D Audio Support and a Japanese lip-sync option. The latter audio option is only possible on the PS5 because it has the horsepower to render voice data in real-time. The fully lip-synced Japanese audio tracks really add a new level of authenticity to the experience. This sound option was one of the most requested features by fans, it was great to see it make the cut on PS5.
"The fully lip-synced Japanese audio tracks really add a new level of authenticity to the experience."
Kurosawa mode is a must play on PS5
If you are a Japanese cinema buff, the new lip-synced audio adds a wonderful new layer to “Kurosawa Mode.” This mode uses the Japanese audio track and adds a film grain effect with a black and white filter add the classic style of Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa. This mode stands out on the PS5 and transforms the game into a classic cinema experience, I highly recommend checking it out.
Ghost of Tsushima’s visual performance on PS5
The visuals on the PS5 are also worth noting, taking an already beautiful game and making it even more stunning. The next-gen hardware employs dynamic 4K resolution while targeting 60 fps. You also are given an option for the visuals, by selecting either Resolution or Performance. Resolution dials up the visual detail while lowering the framerate. Performance on the other hand dials up framerate and lowers resolution, it’s great to have the option. I picked the Resolution mode to squeeze more detail out of the stellar photo mode. I often found the biggest hurdle to completing the game was constantly stopping to capture the epic scenery. You will not be disappointed with the visuals in Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut.
" I often found the biggest hurdle to completing the game was constantly stopping to capture the epic scenery."
Overall thoughts on Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut
Whether you are returning to Tsushima Island, or visiting for the first time, the Director’s Cutis worthwhile. Sucker Punch Productions listened to fan feedback and included many performance and quality of life upgrades to further improve an already terrific experience.
"From graphical upgrades, gameplay improvements and the inclusion of new bonus content this is the best, most comprehensive edition of a PlayStation classic."
This is especially true on the PS5 with the real-time lip-synced Japanese audio tracks. It’s a real testament to the commitment Sucker Punch made to respecting the era and samurai experience. On top of these additions, a brand-new region to explore in Iki Island was also included. From graphical upgrades, gameplay improvements and the inclusion of new bonus content this is the best, most comprehensive edition of a PlayStation classic. I highly recommend joining Jin Sakai again for another breathtaking adventure, you won’t regret it.
Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut PROS
+ Epic storytelling narrative
+ Deep supporting characters
+ Beautiful, open world environments
+ Gameplay is very precise from combat to traversal Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut CONS
– Enemy AI still needs improvement – Japanese lip syncing isn’t perfect on PS5
Overall Report Card for Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut
Gameplay: 9.0/10 Graphics: 9.0/10 Sound: 9.5/10 Replayability: 9.0/10
Overall Rating: 37/40 (92%)
A copy of the game was provided by PlayStation for the purpose of this review.