Effectively being the swan song of Sony’s PS4 era, a sendoff to the eighth generation of home consoles, Ghost of Tsushima is back once again to steal the show, hearts, and samurai honor in the updated Director’s Cut. The widely acclaimed and beloved game will be receiving upgrades across the board for both of its current systems (PS4 and PS5.) Cut game content will now be fleshed out and realized with quality-of-life changes inspired by fan feedback to make this the definitive way to play the game.
Ghost of Tsushima truly is the game that keeps on giving, and here’s why.
The Goodies (For Lore/History Buffs)
The Director’s Cut promises to deliver an expansion on the already extensive, three-act game campaign, a difficult task given how well-rounded and complete Ghost of Tsushima feels in its current state. As stated in the PlayStation blog post, the Director’s Cut will offer a brand new chapter to the game in the form of Iki Island, Tsushima’s southeastward neighbor.
Accessible starting from the second act of the game, Iki Island has Jin explore the region after hearing rumors of a retinue of Mongol forces occupying the area. He is caught up in events with deep personal stakes and will have to relive traumatic events from the past in some form.
Though the blog post doesn’t expand any further than that, it promises to divulge more information in the coming future. The option and opportunity to explore Iki is fantastic, both from a gameplay and historical buff perspective.
As detailed in our Things Ghost of Tsushima got Right/Wrong article, Iki Island was another island conquered by Mongol invasion back in the 13th century. Ghost of Tsushima makes it seem like Tsushima was the only region under Mongol control. Realistically, that wasn’t the case. Not to mention, Tsushima was conquered with relative ease and expedience as opposed to the constant opposition the Mongols faced in-game.
What makes Iki special historically is that the island was where Japan’s fortune and continued survival as a nation would turn for the better. Having Jin and the player potentially explore and experience that part of history, perhaps even actualize it, would be amazing. It would also silence the critics (like yours truly) who constantly like to point out the inaccuracy of having Tsushima be the only conquered Japanese region.
The only question that remains is how the actual history and Jin’s story along with his past trauma all tie together. Without question, creative liberties will be taken, but given how respectful and relatively attentive Sucker Punch has been with presenting the history behind Ghost of Tsushima, on top of some impressive and compelling written in-game story beats, the end result will be nothing short of spectacular.
The Goodies (For Gameplay/Technical Enthusiasts)
Sucker Punch’s promises with the Director’s Cut didn’t end with additions to story content. It promised to deliver “tons of new content” for players to sink their teeth into. These include the entire new island itself, armor sets for both Jin and his beloved horse, mini-games, techniques, enemy types, and much more Sucker Punch promises to reveal at a later date. New animals that players can pet were also promised and was possibly the most important thing revealed.
Joking aside, the upgrades Sucker Punch plans on delivering on top of the game content is nothing short of welcome. Universal patches will be launched alongside the Director’s Cut, affecting all versions of the game. The patch changes range from quality-of-life changes like button re-mapping and lock-on enemy targeting to aesthetic changes like being able to hide Jin’s bow quiver which REALLY clashes with some armor sets and in cut scenes, and improving the overall experiences across all versions of the game for no extra charge.
Speaking of no extra charge, on the multiplayer side of things Ghost of Tsushima: Legends will be receiving a substantial update for players to experience in an all-new mode that hasn’t been detailed yet. Sucker Punch promises two things, however: details will be revealed later and the updates will be free.
These updates are universal across the PS4 and PS5. However, that isn’t to say that PS5 owners won’t have some extra goodies exclusive to their much stronger hardware.
The PS5 version of the Director’s Cut promises to make good use of the console’s strengths to deliver an experience fitting such a machine. These include using haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, no doubt to be incorporated into both the visceral, bloody experience of combat and the more serene, quieter moments amidst the long grass and fields, bringing on another layer of immersion.
Visual enhancement options for the PS5 will be added, improving the already swift load times, and allowing 4K resolution and framerate targeting modes. Also worth mentioning, thanks to the PS5’s ability to render cutscenes in real-time, the PS5 version of the Director’s Cut will feature lipsync for Japanese voice acting, a point of critique for the original.
The Not-So-Good for Ghost of Tsushima
All these changes were made possible because Sucker Punch clearly places a great deal of importance on their fans. The development team continually listens to fan feedback and critique, as illustrated by the updates promised in the PlayStation blog post as well as the patch history for Ghost of Tsushima. The free multiplayer update was another shining example of Sucker Punch’s care and generosity for the player base.
However, this leads us to our last point, which has turned some people off from the Director’s Cut – the price.
The price for the Director’s Cut is $59.99 on PS4 and ten dollars more on the PS5. Owners of the original PS4 game will be able to upgrade to the Director’s Cut version for $19.99 starting August of this year.
While that is fine and dandy and maybe even generous, many fans have been rubbed the wrong way by the upgrade price of the Director’s Cut for the PS5 upgrade. Owners of the original must pay $19.99 to upgrade to the Director’s Cut and must pay an additional $9.99 for the PS5 upgrade, totaling the cost to nearly $30 to play the upgraded PS5 version.
Though some may say that $20 to $30 for a swath of new content may be a fair trade, as most expansions and DLCs range around that price, the additional $9.99 to access PS5 options when using the PS5 console is what is turning people off. Other games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Final Fantasy VII Remake offer the next-gen upgrade for no extra charge. Sony making players pay another $9.99 just to be able to access PS5 options when so many other titles offer the exact upgrades for free screams greedy to many people, and rightfully so.
As unlikely as it may seem, given that Sucker Punch is extremely attentive to fan feedback, it may be able to do something about that upgrade price. August is still a while away and Sucker Punch has promised to reveal more details about the Director’s Cut as the days get closer to launch.
Here’s to hoping Sucker Punch pulls through.
Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut launches on August 20, 2021 for both PS4 and PS5 consoles.