Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut

Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut PC Version

Sucker Punch's magnificent open world has landed on PC, and Claus has taken a closer look.

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As a history teacher, I love games that take us back in time. Kingdom Come: Deliverance and the Sherlock Holmes games are excellent examples of titles that get the historical tone just right. Although the Sherlock Holmes series draws on the works of H.P. Lovecraft, it captures the spirit of the times in the early 1900s perfectly. However, for some reason, I've never been drawn to Japanese history, let alone the feudal period. Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut for PC changed that completely when I got to dive into it on my computer. Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut is now available on both PlayStation 5 and PC, developed by Sucker Punch and Nixxes.

The year is 1274 and Khotun Khan has invaded the Japanese island of Tsushima. Jin Sakai, a brave samurai, fails to protect the island and is then unleashed as a lone warrior to free Tsushima from the brutal Mongols. He helps the people of the island and gathers a number of allies to support him in the ultimate battle against the mighty Khotun Khan. This classic premise of the lone hero unleashed in an open world is a familiar one in the genre, and Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut doesn't stand out much here. It all feels a bit seen before, especially on PC where nothing new has been added. Unfortunately, the allied characters also seem a little predictable. Lady Masako Adachi, for example, is driven by revenge against her family's killers - a classic trope. Kenji is the greedy scoundrel with a heart of gold who often drags Jin into trouble. Many other characters fall into familiar stereotypes, making the story less engaging. During my playthrough, I saved the story missions for last as the narrative didn't grab me. While the story isn't bad, it's a bit flat. However, the game should be commended for its historical accuracy and authentic atmosphere, which clearly shows that Sucker Punch has done thorough research.

Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut
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When we compare the PlayStation 5 version with the PC version, the main game itself is identical. The differences lie in the technical details. Graphically, Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut is a feast for the eyes on PC. With upscaling, the game can run well on older computers. However, I have an RTX 4090, so I don't think about it, but on my Steam Deck the game runs fine on medium settings. This means that the game will probably work on most older systems. With the latest generation of RTX cards, you can also use Frame Generation for even more frames per second. However, I generally avoid this feature as the AI doesn't always render the graphics correctly. It is an option for those who want it, but a semi-modern graphics card is plenty as the game runs flawlessly. Surprisingly, Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut does not have Ray Tracing, a strange decision. That said, we know what to expect from Nixxes and they deliver it again here.

The visual beauty of the game is impressive. An opening sequence where Jin rides through a field of white flowers, sliding his hand through the plants while the soundtrack supports the moment, is nothing short of magical. With all settings at max and 60fps, it's one of the most beautiful experiences in a game. Even on Steam Deck, the game manages to maintain that magic. I clearly favour style over technology, and Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut delivers. The signpost system where the wind, birds and foxes guide Jin is brilliant and should inspire other game developers.

Another difference between the PC and PlayStation 5 version is the ability to use mouse and keyboard, which works surprisingly well. Quicktime sequences, which are usually a challenge on keyboard and mouse, work fine. Using the mouse for archery is particularly satisfying. Overall, the controls are good, but can feel a little imprecise, like in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, where Geralt is sometimes difficult to control. Fortunately, you can use your PlayStation controller via Steam without any problems.

Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut
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The combat system is Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut's strongest card. Whether you're sneaking or storming into a base, it's always entertaining. The freedom to attack in many different ways is fantastic and even better on PC. The game's ability system adds further depth to character development. There is a skill tree for those who like to sneak, with various bombs and other deadly toys. If you prefer to be more direct in your approach to liberating the poor Japanese peasants, there is a specific branch in the aforementioned skill tree that provides a lot of cool moves that you can use against your enemies. In addition, you can also upgrade weapons and armour to make the birds sing. It's super deep, but also manageable. Well done, Sucker Punch.

Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut is a great conversion of the PlayStation game and should be experienced for its magical atmosphere and combat system. Although the story and missions have been seen before, the game is filled with innovative design choices that I highly recommend.

08 Gamereactor UK
8 / 10
Gorgeous graphics (especially on PC), various guide functions, mechanically well put together, focus on historical accuracy.
Somewhat boring stories, imprecise control here and there, mixed mission design.
overall score
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REVIEW. Written by Ben Lyons

Following launching a year ago, Jin Sakai's adventure is continuing, taking him to a nearby island to deal with a new Mongol threat.

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