Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut Review: Worth the upgrade?

Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut Review: Worth the upgrade?

When Ghost of Tsushima was first teased at Paris Games Week 2017, it garnered much attention and anticipation till its launch in Aug 2020. The game scored high points in presentation, graphics and gameplay as one of the remaining titles on PS4 end-cycle run.

Think there is something burning there… (Photo: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Many welcomed the additional content offered in Oct 2020 introduced at no additional cost. In the months that followed, Ghost of Tsushima received multiple nominations and won many awards, including the acclaimed Player’s Voice at the Game Awards 2020.

SPECS
PRICE: S$79.90 (PS4); S$97.90 (PS5)
GENRE: Action adventure

The PS5 console became available in limited quantities from last Nov. But Ghost of Tsushima continues to be a pull-factor among other PlayStation-exclusive titles as gamers consider transiting to latest-generation consoles.

The attraction of getting the Director’s Cut is the Iki Islands expansion which offers new story, adversaries, mini-games and new ways to play. The protagonist Jin Sakai discovers a potential invasion in Tsushima leading him to Iki Island that has a strong connection to his past.

The visuals continue to be superb. (Photo: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

I was pleasantly jolted by the eerie chants blasting from the in-built speaker of the PS4 controller at the introduction of the expansion.

FOR
+ Expanded game mechanics and content
+ Enhanced features on PS5
+ PlayStation-themed collectibles

AGAINST
– Expansion area requires substantial play-through in base game
– Costly for early supporters of base game
– Minor bugs

Along with other breathtaking visuals and sound effects, Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut continues to thrill your senses with its excellent art and sound design.

It is possible to run off to the Iki island upon reaching Act II. However, doing so would mean that you may not have achieved a full spectrum of character upgrades and obtained the exclusive items available in the far regions of the main campaign. These items will aid in your journey and allow for a smoother experience.

Why is something burning again? (Photo: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

The game also warns you that the expansion is catered to hardened warriors. Once you cross over, you can only go back to Tsushima upon completing the main story in Iki.

Those looking for new ground to conquer and hone their skills should not hesitate to get on the boat. While much of the gameplay remains the same, Iki Island offers interesting enhancements.

If you like petting the fox in the main game, there are various animal sanctuaries that allow you to encounter other creatures. You can also unlock a special attack option with your trusty steed, thereby offering a new gameplay strategy.

The new threats also demand quick thinking at switching between stances and handling multiple arsenals.

With the launch of Director’s Cut, previous digital editions are removed. Here is a quick breakdown on how you can update to the Director’s Cut based on the edition you own.

If you own…Director’s Cut PS4 versionDirector’s Cut PS5 versionWhat you get…
No earlier editionS$79.90– Iki Island expansion
– Legends online co-op mode
– Digital mini art book
– Director’s commentary 
– One Technique Point
– Charm of Hachiman’s Favour
– Hero of Tsushima Skin Set
No earlier editionS$97.90Same as above, but with additional features on PS5 
– Dynamic 4K resolution targeting 60fps
– DualSense wireless controller haptic feedback and adaptive trigger resistance
– 3D Audio with stereo headphones
– Lip sync for Japanese voiceover
– Ability to transfer PS4 saved progress to PS5 game
Any PS4 editionS$26.90
As per above
Any PS4 editionS$40.90As per above
Director’s Cut PS4 versionS$18.00As per above

The above pricing matrix appears detrimental to early supporters of the game. Having bought a PS4 version at S$79.90 (or the Digital Deluxe Edition at S$97.90) in August last year, getting the Director’s Cut on PS4 costs S$26.90. Upgrading to a PS5 version from there requires another S$18.00.

While it is only S$4 more than going for the PS5 Director’s Cut upgrade directly, the total amount forked out since day one is quite substantial.

Fans of Ghost of Tsushima would easily forgive this. But if such pricing matrix is adopted for future releases, it looks like buying a PS4 game may result in paying more to upgrade to its PS5 version in the future.

Looks like some family matters to settle… (Photo: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Another incentive of accessing the Director’s Cut expansion is collecting unique armour and accessories with references to popular PlayStation-exclusive titles such as God of War, Bloodborne and Shadow of the Colossus.

New owners of the Director’s Cut will undoubtedly get the best value from the bundle. Those with the original edition can still derive much enjoyment from the main game and upgrade later.

No matter which version you have, PS4 and PS5 samurais can convene and play seamlessly online through the cooperative Ghost of Tsushima: Legends as well as check out a new Rivals mode available from 3rd Sep.

VERDICT
Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut enhances its award-winning experience with added content and mechanics. But they are best enjoyed on PS5 and PS4 Pro.

RATING: 8/10