The original Ghost of Tsuhima was one of the best games on the Playstation 4 that I’ve ever played. I loved it so much that I went out of my way to get every single trophy for it. When the Legends multiplayer expansion came out, I thought that was the most we could expect out of the game short of a sequel. Well…Sony proved me wrong with Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut.
So, is the extra fluff and optimizations good enough for you to double dip and buy the PS5 upgrade?
Read on to find out!
What is Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut?
Ghost of Tsuhima Director’s Cut is an enhanced version of Ghost of Tsuhima that comes with a few gameplay upgrades such as a whole new island to explore, with new content and plot. If you’re on the PS4, you can upgrade your game to the PS4 Director’s Cut for a small fee. For the PS5, it’s a bit higher at SG$40. The PS5 version enhances the base game as well, dynamically rendering the game at 4K60.
It also makes use of the DualSense controller’s adaptive triggers (to provide resistance when you’re nocking and drawing an arrow), haptic vibration, 3D audio support for headphones, better lip-sync for Japanese voices and faster load times.
The biggest piece of new content is of course, the new Ikki Island. It’s situated off the coast of Tsushima and is about half the size of the main game’s first area. It’s not that big to be honest though it does have a ton of side missions to do on it.
While it’s supposed to be played after you beat the main game, I started the expansion quests as soon as I could. On a New Game, that means you’ll have to play until get access to the 2nd part of Tsushima. The enemies don’t scale with your character so I encounter a ton of strong baddies that are relatively on par with those from the game’s 3rd act.
You can also tranfer your completed PS4 save to it but since my PS4 Pro’s HDD died a few months back, I was out of luck.
One thing I really recommend those who are playing this from a New Game; get yourself the longbow first before you go to Ikki Island. You won’t be able to leave until you’re a few missions in. The Longbow is essential for sniping the Mongols as pretty much everybody in The Eagle’s army are wearing helmets. Yup, that means the short bow won’t be doing any headshots.
Set after the events of Ghost of Tsushima, the events on Ikki Island pits Jin against a new Mongol adversary called The Eagle. She plans to use Ikki Island as a stepping stone for her conquest of Tsushima and it’s up to Jin to stop her.
Throughout Jin’s adventures on Ikki Island, he’ll also come to terms with one of the biggest mysteries from his path; what happened during that fateful day his father was killed.
To be honest, I found the story to be pretty decent if largely uninspired.
Ikki Island doesn’t look that much different from Tsushima so there’s a strong feeling of deja vu, despite this being a completely new location.
You can pretty much guess the plot from the first few missions, though the ending was pretty epic. You’ll meet other new NPCs, but they aren’t as fleshed out as I’d like and almost nobody from the main game appears in the expansion. The ending is also a bit of a letdown, especially considering Jin’s guilt over his father’s death is a huge part of his character.
I wished the plot would’ve played up the hallucinatory aspects more as you progress but it never did.
In fact, the whole Ikki Island expansion feels a bit too lacking in content for the asking price considering that it doesn’t really affect Jin’s gameplay much.
There are a couple of new enemy types but for the most part, they’re just reskinned enemies from the main game. The only enemy that can be called ‘new’ are the Shamans, which buff up other Mongols when they sing. They’re an annoyance, but not hard to kill so it’s not big of an issue.
The framerate was already buttery smooth in backwards compatibility mode so the jump to 60 fps isn’t really noticeable, unlike in games like Control or Horizon.
Jin doesn’t get any new skills or weapons, though his horse does get the ability to ram into fools. It’s actually very fun and satisfying. Every time you hit somebody while charging, the game pauses for a bit and plays this beefy ‘thok’ sound effect to emphasize the hit. It’s just too bad that you can’t abuse it as it drains your Resolve every time it’s used.
There’s even a battle arena you can take part in, which is pretty cool as you fight only using wooden swords. On top of that, it takes skill and patience as the combat rules are based on first touch. You need to hit your opponent 5 times to win, though if you take 5 hit instead, you lose. Sadly, there are only 4 opponents and you can’t repeat the quest once you’ve finished it.
The other content added to the Director’s Cut on the PS5 fare are good to have, but again, not really essential.
Faster loading is awesome, but the game already had some of the quickest loads when played on a PS4 Pro or a PS5 via backwards compatibility. It’s still much appreciated nonetheless, especially when you quick travel.
As for the haptic vibration…I didn’t really notice it. I do like the resistant triggers when readying arrows though but that’s a pretty minor addition in the scheme of things.
Finally, the lip-sync. It was one of my issues in my original review so I was pretty stoked to test it out to see the improvements. First the good news. Yes, it’s better. The bad news? Not by much. The lips still look weird when using Japanese audio and I got fed up and changed back to English audio not long after I reached Ikki Island.
I do think the cool new intro screen is worth a mention though…It makes everything purply!
It doesn’t do much other than that though…
The Bottom Line.
For a $40 upgrade, you’d expect more tangible improvements. I’m actually disappointed that the PS5 upgrade costs that much some games do it for free. In fact, $40 is waaaaaaaaaay too much, considering that Death Stranding’s Director’s Cut update (which adds a ton of gameplay content) is much cheaper.
If you’ve never played Ghost of Tsushima on the other hand, the PS5 Director’s Cut is the definitive way to play the game. It packs the awesome main game, the Legends multiplayer mode and the new Ikki Island into one package…which is a massive amount of content! The other PS5 exclusive stuff is great too, though nothing to write home about.
A bit too pricey for those upgrading but a great deal for first timers.
- Tons of content to playthrough for first timers.
- New additions are pretty cool.
- Same great gameplay.
- Bigger battles.
- The price for the PS5 upgrade.
- Ikki Island doesn’t bring much new.
- No major gameplay additions.
- Japanese lip synching still sucks.