When I reviewed Ghost of Tsushima roughly a year ago, I was super impressed with developer Sucker Punch’s take on the Mongol invasion of Japan. Borrowing from different games in the open-world genre, GoT never aspired to reinvent the wheel, but it provided a thoroughly immersive third-person melee-heavy action-adventure romp through feudal Japan. With the Director’s Cut, the game offers even more content in the form of a chunky single-player expansion, added replayability options and the entire multiplayer experience bundled together. It is without a doubt the best way to experience this game.
So what exactly does the Director’s Cut feature? If you’re on the PS5, you get the entire campaign upgraded to run at 60 FPS at a 4k resolution. This resolution and frame rate upgrade was offered as a free upgrade for the PS4 version, but the Director’s Cut definitely does textures a bit sharper, hitting closer to the 4k resolution. Another massive addition to the Director’s Cut is the way the PS5 controller is now integrated into gameplay. From knocking the arrow on your bow to pulling down an obstacle, to fighting the Mongols, the controller actually feels like a weapon that pulses and vibrates in your hands.
The biggest addition to the Director’s Cut is a new island called Iki Island that comes packed with a brand new campaign. In it, Jin goes up against a formidable foe called The Eagle, who’s been using her mind-bending toxic concoctions to mess with the local population. You then form new alliances with the local raiders to rid Iki Island of this pest once and for all. Gameplay on Iki Island feels just like the base game – and that’s a great thing – so you can continue to slash people like an honourable samurai or sneak around for a bit of backstabbing action. This expansion also includes some new (annoying) enemies who buff other enemies, and if you don’t take them out fast enough, combat can go south real fast. In-between all the samurai action, you can take in the sites and sounds of the beautiful new location, collecting flowers, supplies, collectibles and even reflecting on Jin’s past. It’s all very well paced – and should last you around 10-15 hours, depending on your play style.
I had forgotten how ridiculously good Ghost of Tsushima looked, and Iki Island looks even better somehow. You’ll move from lush open areas to dangerous mountains to the scenic coast. Every time I entered a new location, I’d just stand there for a few minutes soaking up every ounce of detail possible. Playing this game at a solid 60 FPS also makes combat feel snappier and more satisfying.
If you enjoy the game’s combat, you’ll thoroughly vibe with the multiplayer mode (that was also released free a few months after GoT’s launch). Legends builds upon the foundation of the base game, but breaks encounters into replayable missions that can be played solo or cooperatively. Like the campaign, you and your friends can choose to play through Legends aggressively or go all Sam Fisher on your enemies. You even have four classes to choose from based on your preferred playstyle. Finishing each mission grants you XP that can be used to make your character even stronger. Grow strong enough, and you can attempt the in-game Raid which is a true test of your skill.
For those who’ve thoroughly played through Ghost of Tsushima the first time around, the Director’s Cut may be a tough sell. Having nearly platinumed the game on the PS4, I was very happy with the free resolution and frame rate upgrade on the PS5, and didn’t think the Japanese dubs and controller support were worth it. But that was before I played through the expansion and got hooked onto Legends once again. Trust me; the expansion itself is worth the upgrade cost alone. On the other hand, if you missed out on the game before and are thinking of picking it up, do it blindly. Ghost of Tsushima is still one of the best first-party exclusives out there and will make your eyes melt with its visuals on your new PS5 console.