Even without the Director’s Cut, Ghost of Tsushima was a good game. The dramatic story of Jin Sakai fighting off the mongol invasion of Tsushima was a lot of fun, letting you play a game with Samurai that weren’t doing Judgement Cuts. But due to releasing closer to the end of the PS4’s life cycle, there’s always the question of “but what could it have done if it was next-gen?”
It would have been better, that’s the long and short of it. With Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut, we get a look at Ghost of Tsushima with a few extra months in the oven- a golden-brown thrill alongside a new adventure with the Ikishima DLC.
The New Adventure
With the Iki Island DLC, there was always the question of its appropriateness. For what its worth Ghost of Tsushima is a pretty solid story centering around Jin, so suddenly throwing in a new segment in Act 2 seems a little weird if you followed most games’ DLC structure. While Iki has its own ongoing story- another group of Mongols, led by The Eagle, show up, the side adventure acts as a period of reflection for Jin, dealing with the loss of his father earlier in the game.
These aren’t just introspective monologues either, as you do play through some of Jin’s younger memories when he and his father visited Iki. I really like how they’ve done this DLC, since I wouldn’t call it necessary for the Tsushima experience, but it certainly adds more depth and flavor to the main story. Despite not having been part of the game’s story at launch, it doesn’t change the overall tone and reflection, and is great if you’re at all attached to the story of Jin.
More Things To Do
Of course, the other way they’ve leveraged the new hardware is by giving Ghost of Tsushima an injection of fresh things to do. From new enemies to flute playing to befriend animals, there’s lots to do in the Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut. More importantly though, I like how they’ve also gone back and added more depth to what was already there- the grappling hook can now be used to open up new paths, while your horse has woken up and chosen violence, letting you start your fights on horseback.
Admittedly, I’m not too big a fan of the Shaman enemies, whose mystic chanting buffs other enemies, though that comes down to more of personal taste. I feel like buff-type enemies are poorly received at the worst of times, and adding them as part of a re-release tends to leave the taste of “you just added this to have a new enemy even though the old roster was nice already” in the mouth.
That being said, I am a fan of the new archery challenge, which grants Jin a focus charm. This charm slows down time while you aim with your bow, and makes a lot of fights (particularly against shamans) more manageable since you can create breathing room by slowing down the fight.
Better On PS5
Of course, you can’t talk about a PS5 re-release and not talk about, well, how great it is on PS5. Despite all the new content Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut loads like a dream on PS5, which lets you get to the much prettier visuals even faster than before.
Naturally, Ghost of Tsushima also makes great use of the DualSense controller, dialing back the Haptic Feedback so that it never feels too gimmicky, but is always there to compliment Jin’s every action. Things like jumping from ledge to ledge and riding your horse all feel different, with a good amount of weight to it thanks to the vibrations coming off the Dualsense and the adaptive triggers. .
One other really nice implementation in the Director’s Cut for Ghost of Tsushima is the new Japanese lip-syncing. In our interview with the developers, they confirmed that one of the reasons this was left out of the base game was hardware limitations of the PS4, so it’s great to see it fully realized here thanks to the PS5’s SSD.
Aside from the usual Dualsense stuff there’s also a neat feature with the animal taming from earlier, where you use the motion controls to tune your flute by moving it up and down. Since the animal stuff isn’t actually story-required it’s really fun to just mess around with it, befriending all sorts of animals as Jin Sakai, Friend of Nature and Killer of Invaders.
There’s also a bunch of other minor quality of life features, such as the ability to hide your quiver, as well as a left-handed mode for those of you who’d prefer your controls horizontally flipped.
Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut is one of my favorite types of re-releases, where it really just opens up everything you love about the original. Consdiering the first game had few real gripes, it’s unsurprising that the Director’s Cut would carry that forward with its content that feels like it opens up more of the existing game rather than trying to add more to it.
Admittedly, if you’ve already beaten the whole of Ghost of Tsushima, paying extra for what’s essentially side content might be a bit of a steep asking price. Sure, it’s available as an upgrade but I can imagine there are players who won’t come back to a game after they hit credits on it, so what’s essentially just a new level and a pettable cat might not seem entirely worth it.
That being said, if you’ve any interest in seeing Ghost of Tsushima at its peak, definitely pick up the Director’s Cut. Ghost of Tsushima definitely felt like it was just short of being a next gen release, and Director’s Cut proves that although the base game was great on its own, the extra features really crank it up to an amazing experience.
Buying The Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut
Of course with any kind of re-release, there’s bound to be some confusion. Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut is available on PS5 and PS4, but some of the features are limited to the PS5 version such as the Japanese lip sync.
If you already own Ghost of Tsushima, you’ll be able to upgrade to the Director’s Cut, so you won’t have to buy the full game again. That being said if for whatever reason you missed out on getting Ghost of Tsushima, you can still get the Director’s Cut as a standalone release when it launches on 20th October.
Game reviewed on PS5. Review copy provided by Playstation Asia