PLATFORM: PS4, PS5 | RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
If you've paid even the slightest bit of attention to the world of gaming over the last year or so, Ghost of Tsushima probably doesn't need much of an introduction - released in mid-2020 to huge critical acclaim, it tells the story of Jin Kasai, a samurai in 13th century feudal Japan, and his violence and vengeance-filled quest to rescue his uncle, Lord Shimura, reclaim his castle and bring an end to the invading Khotun Khan's reign of terror. Playing a bit like a medieval Japanese version of Assassin's Creed, it's a gritty and cinematic open world adventure across the stunning coasts, hills, forests and wetlands of the island of Tsushima, where Jin fights against both the mighty forces of the opposing Mongol army as well as his own internal struggles around his desire to act like an honourable samurai by taking his enemies head-on while also recognising the need to betray his teachings by becoming a sneaky and dishonourable unseen assassin...
The Director's Cut takes the original PS4 game and adds a whole new island with around 10-15 hours' worth of new content, including a fully-fledged story campaign, new legends / side missions, combat enhancements, new skills and abilities to learn and plenty of other diversions and distractions. Those who have managed to upgrade their hardware are in for even more of a treat, as this edition also includes the all-new native PS5 version, bringing full 4K visuals, 60fps gameplay, unbelievably fast loading times (to the point where there pretty much are no loading times at all, which is quite the achievement for an open world game of this size), haptic feedback that allows you to feel almost all of your movements and actions through the controller in your hands and a raft of other technical improvements that really make this the definitive version of the game.
The word "epic" might get used far too often when describing things these days, but it's really the only one that sums up the scale and story Ghost of Tsushima. If you're looking to expand on the adventures you already had when the game was released last year (the upgrade is available separately at a lower price for those who already own the base game), Jin's adventures on Iki Island are well worth the price of admission and, if you're picking it up for the very first time, this is by far the most superior edition of the game. There's a new multiplayer mode due for release within the next couple of weeks too, for those more sociable players out there.
When a game is this beautiful to look at, backed up by a gripping narrative and impeccably exquisite action-packed gameplay, it's difficult to see where you can really go wrong. It might possibly be a little bit pondering at times, and it certainly doesn't allow much time for levity which may be to its detriment on occasion, so perhaps “taking itself a bit too seriously” could be seen by some as a a reason to knock off half a star. But Starburst doesn't allow for halves, so let's whack the full five on it. Tremendous!