“#Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut Review – Take Two!”
Reviewed on PS5. Review copy provided by Sony.
Ghost of Tsushima. The game that was the final hurrah for the PlayStation 4 before the PlayStation 5 was released. It managed to bring a breath of fresh air to open-world action-adventure games with a setting that many people craved. More than a year later, they’ve re-released the game for the PlayStation 5 to take full advantage of the new hardware alongside a new story DLC.
NOTE: PS4 players can also access the Iki Island expansion if they’ve purchased it but will lack the PS5 enhancements and features.
You can also read our original review of the game by clicking here.
Let’s talk about one of the main focuses of the Director’s Cut. Iki Island is a story expansion that can be accessed once you’ve reached Act 2 of the main story. If you’ve already beaten the game then the game will straight up ask you whether you want to start the Iki Island DLC when loading a post-game save.
Iki Island takes Jin Sakai to the Island of Iki, off the coast of Tsushima where a Mongol shaman Ankhsar Khatun who also goes by “The Eagle” has taken control. He decides to head on over to take on The Eagle and free Iki island after he encounters a scouting party sent out by her to Tsushima. Things don’t go as well as Jin hoped and he witnesses first-hand the madness wrought by The Eagle.
The story here is interesting and dives into the legacy of Jin’s family. We get glimpses of Clan Sakai throughout the main game but one of the focal points of the DLC is Jin’s Father’s legacy. As with the main story of Ghost of Tsushima, the Iki Island story also ends up being slightly underwhelming and suffers from bland and inconsistent character writing. Jin feels like a completely different character at times as compared to the base game, especially with how he reacts to things. If you’re playing this just after reaching Act 2, you will feel this quite strongly.
Iki island also introduces a new enemy type, the shaman. With their song and dance, they can buff up the other enemies that are in their group. The game also changes things up as enemies now switch weapons on the fly, making combat more challenging. This helps break the monotony of the base game where you would switch stance and easily wreck foes. I enjoyed this change as it added more variety and unpredictability to the fights.
The game has received a free update to add in some much-requested features and is available to everyone who owns the original game or the new Director’s Cut. First and foremost, Lock-On is now in the game. The game didn’t launch with a Lock-On system but thankfully it’s now added in. The lack of lock-on was mildly annoying so I’m glad it’s finally here. You have three options to choose from- “Off”, “On” and “Swap on Defeat”. As the names suggest, one turns it off, one turns it on and the final one automatically locks on to the next enemy after you’ve defeated the current one. You can also manually swap between targets by flicking the right stick as in most games with a lock-on system.
The other neat addition is the inclusion of a new control scheme. This one switches your attacks to R1 and R2 instead of the face buttons. Great for folks who are used to the Soulsbourne games or just got done playing through God of War NG+.
Another very useful feature added in is Armor Loadouts. This is the one feature I desperately wanted in the original game. I can finally quickly switch between my stealth, combat, and 1v1 loadouts without needing to manually change every piece.
Now that the game has an official PS5 version, it’s got quite a few enhancements. First and foremost, the game now runs at 60fps on both the Resolution and Framerate mode. The Framerate mode runs the game at a checkerboarded 1800p resolution whereas the Resolution mode runs it at a checkerboarded 2160p resolution. If you get this game on the PS5, set it to Resolution mode and don’t even look back. It looks absolutely stunning thanks to the improved clarity and has no negative impact on the framerate. With HDR on, this was an absolute treat to my eyes on the LG CX OLED TV.
Besides that, the game also leverages the SSD quite well. The original release already had incredibly quick load times but that’s almost instantaneous now thanks to the SSD on the PS5. Another very fascinating addition thanks to the SSD is that of Japanese Lip Sync. The original release only had English lip sync as the cutscenes were pre-rendered. On the PlayStation 5, the cutscenes are now rendered in real-time. This means that you can finally get the immersive Japanese dub experience from the game without getting pulled out because of improper lip sync.
The Dualsense controller hasn’t been left out either. It makes use of the adaptive triggers and haptic feedback in the ways you’d expect. Nothing game-changing here and thankfully, it isn’t over the top.
Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut on the PS5 is THE best way to experience this game. Iki Island offers roughly 8-10 hours of content for you to explore and is perfect for those who wanted more Tsushima. However, if you were lukewarm on the base game, then I feel you might not find what you’re looking for here because it’s more of the same. That isn’t a bad thing because that is exactly what I wanted after I originally beat the game. There’s more to explore, more Mythic Tales to uncover, more gorgeous vistas to gaze upon, and most importantly, more foxes to pet AND give belly rubs to.
The post Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut Review – Take Two! appeared first on Spiel Times.
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