Japan, the year is 1274 and the Mongols led by Khotun Khan invaded the island Tsushima. Despite their best efforts, Lord Shimura is taken by the invaders, and Lord Jin Sakai is presumed dead. Tragedy plagues the land; locals live in fear and all hope is lost. However, Lord Sakai still breathes and until his dying breath, he will stop at nothing to reclaim his land, restore order and hope. Lord Sakai must become the Ghost of Tsushima if he is going to save his people from the cruelty of the Mongolian warlord and his legion of warrior’s. But at what cost?

It may feel a little odd that Ghost of Tsushima is getting a re-release in 2021, after all, it was only released for the PlayStation 4 in 2020. However, with this being one of the best games of its generation, and it being the dawn of a new console generation, we also get an opportunity to play an enhanced version of the critically acclaimed game.

ghost of tsushima directors cut

Credit: Sucker Punch Productions

In truth, playing the original PS4 version of Ghost of Tsushima on PS5 via backward compatibility, it still looked stunning. This is a game that already didn’t look out of place if you told someone that it was a native PS5 game, not to mention that it ran at 60FPS on the new-gen console. So, is it worth getting Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut on PS5 if you already own the PS4 version? I’d say, yes, despite the visual difference not being all that definitive.

If you own the original Ghost of Tsushima on PS4 it will cost you around £30 to upgrade to the PS5 Director’s Cut. On PS4, you can also upgrade to the Director’s Cut for around £20. However, for the benefit of this review, I’ll be talking mainly about the PS5 version. I know some will be put off by the fact that upgrading might not seem all that worthwhile, considering that the PS4 Ghost of Tsushima still looks amazing on whichever console you game.

ghost of tsushima directors cut

Credit: Sucker Punch Productions

Speaking from a PS5 perspective, I looked at it this way. For the £30 upgrade cost, I know only got an enhanced version of a game that I already loved, but it also comes with a sizable expansion with Iki Island. I won’t say much about the Iki Island expansion, as I don’t want to spoil anything for you. However, what I will say is that its story is every bit as immersive as the main campaign which sees Jin face the Mongolian Eagle tribe, and its ruthless leader, Ankhsar “The Eagle” Khatun.

The new Iki Island is stunning, complete with new animals to pet. As well as new enemy types, weapons, armour, gear and much more.  The Iki Island expansion on its own is probably worth £20, so for the £30 cost, you not only get the expansion but also all the extra new-gen bells and whistles.

So, what are the extra new-gen bells and whistles that come with Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut on PS5? Firstly, the Haptic Feedback and Adaptive Triggers for the DualSense controller is arguably the best I’ve experienced on PS5. You really can feel the pull and release of Jin’s bow and arrow, and the clash of his samurai sword during an epic duel. Even on the main menu when firing up the campaign, you can feel the DualSense controller doing its thing while you’re scrolling through the options.

ghost of tsushima directors cut

Credit: Sucker Punch Productions

Elsewhere the 3D Audio is extra amazing with Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut on PS5. The soundtrack is simply sublime and one of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing in recent times. Not to mention that the voice-acting from the main cast of characters to the random NPC encounters. Ghost of Tsushima oozes quality from top to bottom, and it all sounds that much sweeter with the PS5s 3D Audio when using just about any decent headset.

On the topic of audio, the Japanese lip-sync has been vastly improved on PS5. Unfortunately, this improvement is not present on the PS4 version of Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut. The reason being is that the PS5 can render its cinematics in real-time, something that is apparently not possible with Ghost of Tsushima on PS4. So, in essence, the PS5 version will offer proper lip-sync with the Japanese voice over. Don’t get me wrong, the PS4 does have a Japanese dub, however, the quality of the lip-sync will not be as good as the PS5 version.

ghost of tsushima directors cut

Credit: Sucker Punch Productions

Naturally, the PS5 version will have improved visuals and performance. However, as I’ve indicated before, the leap in quality isn’t that huge. That said, the native PS5 version Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut’s 4K visuals and 60FPS looks that little bit better than playing the PS4 version via backward compatibility. The PS5 version also takes advantage of the SSD hard drive, which results in much faster loading times over the PS4 version.

If you’re upgrading from the PS4 version to the PS5 version of Ghost of Tsushima, then you’d be pleased to know that carrying over your save progress is super easy. All you must do is select “Transfer PS4 Console Save” from the main menu and follow the on-screen prompts. If you’ve been playing the PS4 version of Ghost of Tsushima on your PS4, the PS5 will automatically detect your data from the hard drive. Once uploaded, you will carry on exactly where you left off.

However, if you’re moving from the PS4 console to the PS5 console, just upload your save data to the cloud and download it to your ps5 system. You can also copy your data from the PS4 onto a USB stick and upload it to your PS5. Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut offers arguably the easiest transition from PS4 over any PS5 game.

Other features that I appreciated are a result of the free update for Ghost of Tsushima, regardless of which version or console you play on. The free update includes quality of life features such as alternative control schemes. I was never a fan of using Square and Triangle for my attacks. However, now I can switch it up to using R1 as my Quick Attack and R2 as my Strong Attack. There are four control scheme options to choose from in total. You can now also lock on to your opponent during combat, which makes a world of difference with Ghost of Tsushima’s seamless combat. However, you could argue that the lock-on should have been here from the start. Though as they say: “better late than never” I suppose.

ghost of tsushima directors cut

Credit: Sucker Punch Productions

As with the initial release of Ghost of Tsushima, the Director’s Cut also comes with the multiplayer Legends mode. Developers Sucker Punch Productions have put a lot of effort into this fun multiplayer mode, and it certainly does not feel tacked on. Legends feel competitive, without the intense competitiveness of a traditional PvP mode. Legends multiplayer has a few multiplayer match types to choose from.

The story is exactly what it says on the tin and the same can be said for Survival. However, what I appreciate from these two modes especially, is that the story is being told from an alternative perspective taken from the single player campaign. Challenge mode “The Tale of Iyo” is essentially a Raid mode. Here, a team of four players must take on stronger enemies for even greater rewards. The tale of the Raid is based upon Japanese folklore.

New with the update for Legends is Rivals. This mode is kinda like PvP, but with a twist. Two teams of human players each battle within their section of the map against waves of enemy AI. The team that kills the most enemies and scores the most points by the end of the game, wins. Players can also complete objects to collect Magatama which essentially curses the opposing team with cruel gameplay modifiers.

All in all, Ghost of Tsushima is one of my favourite games of the PlayStation 4 era and it now becomes one of my favourite games during the early days of the PlayStation 5. This is one of the most visually stunning, artist games that you will ever play. If there was ever a game made for Photo Mode, it’s Ghost of Tsushima. A compelling story, interesting characters, satisfying combat, action and stealth mechanics, and a world that you’ll want to explore every inch. Whether you play on PS4 or PS5, Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut is a masterclass in almost every way. It’s simply a must buy.