Review: Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut
The Ghost is back in the Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut for Playstation 4 and Playstation 5. With upgrade options available if you already own the game, the new island adds some exciting hours to an already awesome story.
Jin Sakai's adventure continues on Iki Island, not far from the coast of Tsushima. New threats await our Ghost. If Jin doesn't intervene, it's only a matter of time before the dangers on Iki blow over to Tsushima, where we made the coast clear not so long ago.
The Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut adds a brand new playing area to Sucker Punch 's already expansive open-world title. It is more than enough reasons for new and returning players to start the game (again) on the Playstation 4 or Playstation 5. Since we already covered the base game in detail last year, in this review we only focus on the extension, Iki Island. The base game has hardly changed, but of course it competes in all Playstation 5-Enhancements, which we also take a look at in this review. Want to know what we thought of the base game? Read our extensive review here!
The Ghost of Ikic
We start with Jin a clean slate on Iki Island. Our Ghost's many heroic deeds have not yet reached the shores of Iki. In addition, they are not a big fan of Clan Sakai on the Iki island. Mainly because of the deeds of Jin's lovely father. Because we don't want to be in a conflict with the indigenous inhabitants of Iki, Jin decides to hide his Sakai origin at all costs for his adventure on Iki. Jin from Yarikawa, builds his legend on Iki to rescue the island from the Mongol Eagle's grasp.
The Eagle is the main culprit on Iki Island and poisons the residents with a potion that slowly drives them insane. Powerful warriors who embrace the potion can transform into Shaman for the Mongolian army. The Eagle also wants to make Jin such a Shaman, but of course we don't like this. The Shaman is therefore a new kind of enemy on Iki Island that uses a spear and a special song that makes Mongolian soldiers fight with unpredictable strength.
Due to the powerful forces of the Mongols and the fact that Jin started his adventure alone on Iki, he is forced to cooperate with the indigenous rebels on Iki Island. The same group that originally fought against Clan Sakai. After all, Jin's father died in a battle on Iki Island. Can Jin keep his identity a secret, and is the cooperation between Jin and the rebels only fruitful under the lie that Jin is just a samurai from Yarikawa? Let's find out for yourself!
Like a ghost haunting you
The Iki Island expansion in the Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut draws a lot of attention to Jin's past. For example, the focus is mainly on the bond between Jin and his father, whom he failed to save in a battle on Iki Island. Several locations on the island offer a glimpse into Jin's past in which you re-enact a short scene where Jin is with his father on Iki Island, usually in quiet moments after or before a battle.
You soon realize what kind of bond Jin had with his father. Jin continues to feel especially guilty towards him for not being able to save his father. Blinded by that event, he is oblivious to the whole picture, which he slowly begins to see through retrospect and current events.
Mostly unknown to date, we also see another side of Jin on Iki. We also get to see the bond between Jin and his mother. Not through retrospectives and stories of indigenous inhabitants, but through a new activity on the island. Jin tries to restore calm at designated locations by whistling soothing melodies his mother taught him. By playing in these resting places, Jin lures the animals back to this place, after which he can pet them, like the foxes in the base game. Before and after playing, Jin briefly talks about how his mother taught him how to whistle and how she sometimes snacked on Jin during combat training to seek peace and appreciate the beauty of life.
More Ghost of Tsushima
The Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut adds roughly 15 hours to the base game with Iki Island with a fairly concise main story, side missions, new activities such as flute playing, archer challenges, and altars. There are also a number of activities from the base game that return, such as enemy fortresses, bamboo challenges, light towers, and hot springs for a familiar look at Jin's beautiful caddies. The side missions enrich the image of Iki and tell you more about the past events on the island and the current struggle with the Mongol invasion, among other things. There are also a number of recurring characters, some of which make you chuckle.
Jin, or actually his trusty steed, whatever you called him (although Nobu is the only best option), quickly learns a new trick on Iki. For example, by pressing 'L1′ you can now smash through a group of Mongols with your horse. This will cost Resolve during the beech's output, but if you expand the technique you can randomly earn 3 Resolve balls back by taking out an enemy with such a beech.
Throughout the story, you also unlock a side bag for your horse, allowing you to store extra arrows and projectiles. As soon as you climb on your horse, you automatically replenish your own stock, if you have it stored with your horse. When you pick it up, you automatically send the abundance of stuff to your horse. A new Mythical story also gives you a nice armor for your horse.
The second Mythical story gives you access to a brand new armor that makes your perfect bounces and dodges extra effective. Plus, the armor also looks really cool once you upgrade it.
Ghost of Tsushima On Playstation 5
Ghost of Tshishima on the Playstation 5 not only looks breathtaking, but it's also nice and fast. Fast-travel happens in a split second and booting the game is also beep within seconds. Not a moment without action and let yourself be sucked deeper into that action by the DualSense functionalities.
Riding gets an extra dimension by adding the hoof beats in the DualSense vibration depending on the terrain you are galloping on. You can also feel the tension in the Adaptive Triggers of the DualSense during various actions that you perform
Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut on the Playstation 5 is a delight. It quickly felt familiar and also very nice to return to Ghost of Tsushima. The expansion on the Iki island greatly enriches the existing story with more image of the past and the internal struggle that Jin has not been able to make peace with until now.
The island itself with the activities and sights is good for about 15 hours of play time depending on how often you use the photo mode. Only add about 5 hours if you use this feature exuberantly like me, because whether you play on the Playstation 4 or Playstation 5, Ghost of Tsushima is truly one of the most beautiful games you can play at the moment.
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