When Ghost of Tsushima launched last year it received a whole lot of love, including from Hannah here at 8-Bit Island. Instead of a next-gen release of the game PlayStation has gone down the upgrade route with the Director’s Cut. This comes with some PS5 enhancements, and a new island to explore.
The Original Tsushima
If you haven’t played Ghost of Tsushima yet then the vast majority of your time will be spent exploring the initial Island of Tsushima. If you haven’t read Hannah’s review yet then go read that. Seriously, go read her review. I will try to do a quick synopsis here but instead of reading this, go read her review, then move on to the next heading in this review.
Ghost of Tsushima has you take on the role of Jin Sakai who joins his samurai friends as they go to a beach to meet an inbound Mongol invasion. Instead of facing them like warriors, the Mongols fight dirty and slaughter the Samurai on the beach. Jin doesn’t and is healed by a woman who needs his help. Before we know it, Jin is saving the whole island from the Mongols.
The game is an interesting tale with smoothly built gameplay that makes it a treat to look at and play. It gets a touch repetitive as you venture around the big island doing some samey missions, but as far as open world games go, Sucker Punch did an excellent job.
See, I told you Hannah’s review is a better read. She is an outstanding writer.
New and Improved Tsushima
The initial Ghost of Tsushima was a game that ran well and looked good. It had relatively short load times and some people commented that with a SSD they hardly had a chance to view the load screen hints. Well having only played Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut I can say… What load screen hints? Seriously I would click on the map somewhere to fast travel and it loaded in a split second. Not even a flash of a load screen.
On top of that they have used the haptic feedback well. There is the excellent use of variable vibrations in the world, but the best use is finding collectables. The controller vibrates depending on where you are in relation to a collectible. So if it is vibrating stronger on the left side, you know to turn left, and depending on how much it vibrates you know how close you actually are to it. It’s a small thing, but I liked it.
Buy one Island, get another free
On top of the base increase to this excellent game, you get another journey for Jin to take. This one has Jin venturing to Iki Island which is a haven for raiders. Apparently they have an issue with the mysterious Eagle and followers. Oh and of course Mongolian invaders are invading. After encountering an issue caused by the Eagle on Tsushima, Jin decides to go check it out and finds himself drugged by the Eagles poison.
This poison, which usually screws someone’s mind up, converting them to her cause, resulting in Jin having moments where his world goes purple and dark and she speaks to him. This happens out in the open world and in missions which gives a creepy feel to the expansion. Due to this, and Jin having to deal with some aspects of his past, Iki island wound up being my favourite part of the game. The story is short and concise, giving a surprising amount to his character.
Iki island also has a new exploration element with the ability to pull down objects using his metal claw. This uses the Dual Senses Adaptive Triggers, and is a great gimmick. The expansion also includes a few side missions to do like an arrow shooting timed challenge, and instead of fox shrines you have cat shrines. This isn’t a simple reskin, I discovered after chasing a cat for 10 minutes before getting bored, fast travelling back to the shrine and finding it was a different challenge.
The Director finally got their island
The naming convention is bizarre. Nothing about the additional content felt like it was cut by the studio against the directors wishes. It is quite clearly new content planned independently. It’s great, but a stupid naming convention.
Pulling away from how much that bugged me, this is a fantastic addition to the game. If you haven’t played Ghost of Tsushima yet then you will find a solid open world game that is polished and fun with an amazing expansion at the end. If you have already then for a small upgrade you can play this excellent expansion on your PS5