Game Reviews

Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut PC review

PC lovin’

₹ 3,999

Tested on the PS5 and PC

Note: This is not the full review of the full game, this review covers the updates in the Director’s Cut and the DLC along with the performance on PC and PS5.

Ghost of Tsushima was one heck of a game that cemented the legacy of the PS4, and showcased how PlayStation wants to chart its future with the PS5. Now, the folks at Sucker Punch and Nixxes have waved the new generation wand on this PS4/PS5 banger and given it the spit shine needed to feel alive on the PC. Armed with PS5’s Haptic feedback, Tempest Audio and graphical oomph, the Director’s Cut brings all the necessary updates to the title along with the Iki Island expansion DLC.

If you haven’t played Ghost of Tsushima yet then you’re missing out on one of the best games. Ghost of Tsushima is probably the most visually stunning game I have seen in a while and it looks downright mindblowing on the PS5 and much smoother on a PC. Originally, it looked great on the PS4 but now there are some graphical details that you simply shouldn’t miss.

Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut PC review: Hardware upgrades

If you’re on a PS5, much of that temptation is also thanks to the PS5’s Tempest Audio. Grab good headphones (read: expensive), and you’ll be able to hear the horse’s neigh and huff in ways that were absent on the previous console. The Tempest Audio also makes artefact detection quite clinical and precise. Of course, you’ll need really good headphones to make this work, probably a UAC1 DAC as well which will throw the cost in places where few dare to wander. There aren’t many compatible headphones that bring out the Tempest Audio. So your best option is the PlayStation Inzone headphones which are genuinely some of the best gaming headphones for PC and PS5. If you’re rocking some other headset, Sony hasn’t allowed third-party folks to capitalize on Tempest Audio. So for what it’s worth, the PC upgrade will only be noticeable in the graphical sense and the PS5 controller’s haptics.

After Ratchet and Clank, the controller’s fantastic haptics were set in stone. The game is a great example of how precise controller vibration can make the virtual world feel more immersive and informative. Tsushima feels the same. Samurai swords clash and hit with a meaty heft and that’s also thanks to the fantastic audio design. Bowstrings from the Half Bow and Longbow require a wee bit more squeeze on the R2 button as if you’re physically pulling the strings yourself. 

As if the game had not crammed enough mechanics from tried and tested games, you can now pull down wooden debris (with the grappling hook) that has conveniently sealed off entrances and the haptics will let you know that there’s effort involved in the act. This is still very much restricted to places on Iki Island, a place where another Mongol tribe has set foot and this time they’re using memory-fiddling drugs to torture people, including our very own Ghost. For the haptic feedback to work on the PC, you will have to connect your PS5 DualSense controller to the PC via the cable.

Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut PC review: PlayStation overlay for PC

Much has been debated over the need to connect your game to the PlayStation Network via PlayStation ID for multiplayer and trophies. While you don’t need to do it if you’re only going to play in single-player, it’s compulsory to do so if you want to unlock PlayStation Trophies, optional rewards and cross-play for multiplayer on Legends Mode (which is still in Beta). We were hoping the ID linking would bring our PS5 save to the PC so we could start a New Game+ with all our progress from PS5, but that’s not the case here. The entire game is also not available in regions where the PlayStation Network (PSN) is not supported which is terrible for gamers because the PS ID is not necessary for the single-player experience. 

For Legends Mode the cross-play between PS4, PS5 and PC is supported and works when you invite friends through the PlayStation overlay. You can also use in-game voice chat to communicate.

Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut PC review: PC performance

We tested the game on an Nvidia RTX 4090 with AMD Ryzen 5 8600G and 32GB of DDR5 RAM. Expect Ghost of Tsushima to be both, CPU and GPU resource-heavy. Albeit, the optimisation is top notch so you won’t need a beefy gaming rig to get a better frame rate. We got around solid 110+ FPS on 2K resolution with all the settings set to max without frame generation and DLSS upscaling. With Nvidia DLSS we got around 130+ FPS and with frame generation the FPS counter crossed a whopping 220FPS. It’s extremely stable with Nvidia’s Frame Generation and even AMD FSR. 

That said, we can’t shake the feeling that this game is a big-screen video game. The performance gains on a PC are there thanks to a smoother frame rate but considering that most of us will not have flagship specs, the best place remains a PS5 for this game. It’s visually breathtaking and amongst the best in terms of the vibrant colour palette. It’s even better looking than the Witcher 3 so if you have the option, a big telly would be the ideal place to crank this game.

That said, it’s very well-optimised for PC hardware with support for ultrawide monitor support. Ghost of Tsushima is inspired by Samurai movies and an ultrawide monitor will fully showcase the cinematic appeal of its presentation. We played it on an Alienware 27in QD-OLED monitor with a 16:9 aspect ratio and that too perfectly adds drama through colour and shadows in this game on HDR.

It even runs well on Steam Deck and handheld PCs. We played it on a handheld PC with an AMD Z1 Extreme processor with a 2K display. The game was optimised to push 30 to 32FPS constantly at high settings with AMD FSR settings on. We got around 45FPS with medium settings at FullHD resolution. 

However, the game is not free from bugs. In rare instances, the facial animations become stiff. And this one time the katana would not come out because the attack button wouldn’t register during Stand Off which resulted in a quick death. There’s also a bug where the speaker volume and soundstage become muddy and compressed when playing with a PlayStation 5 DualSense controller.

Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut PC review: Director’s Cut DLC content

You’ll need to complete the first act of the main campaign and only then the Island of Iki is accessible. This makes sense because Ghost of Tsushima is a linear game and heavily story-driven. The game thrives on its fantastic side mission characters, genuine depiction of samurai age Japan, and the flavourful 1v1 samurai duels. For comparison, the island of Iki feels like a fart in a windstorm. The DLC is a good nine to ten hours if you complete every side mission and collectable. The main story of Iki Island is as short as an Act in the main campaign, and the main campaign acts were short enough as it is. For the massive map and the scenic places on mainland Japan, Sucker Punch didn’t pump enough adventurous carrots in the main plot to chase every nook and cranny. That’s left to the side missions.

The main antagonist on Iki Island, The Eagle, is a shaman of sorts and to make matters worse, she commands a legion of shamans that buff enemies. So effectively adds a new tactical layer in combat where you have to cut down the mesmerising shamans first or else struggle with the onslaught of aggressive enemies. The combat was exciting before and feels better now. Enemies now switch weapons mid-battle, forcing you to switch stances to properly counter the attacking foes. It’s like rock-paper-scissors, where each of the four stances correctly counters the four types of enemies. Having enemies that switch their weapons makes things a lot more interesting now.

The story also sheds some light on Jin’s father’s death and the subsequent emotional trauma from the past that surfaces due to the Eagle’s mischief. The game never really felt like an exceptional piece for Jin’s tale to thrive. Although, Sucker Punch’s incredible attention to Japanese culture and the fantastic side characters that populate it kept us wandering around Iki island with incredible awe and admiration.

Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut PC review: Verdict

One of the most incredible games from the PlayStation has made its way to Steam and is running at a higher frame than ever. Even the astonishing controller haptics are supported along with full-fledged PC optimisation for Nvidia, AMD and Intel GPUs. The Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut is a must-play for PC gamers.

Stuff Says

The Director’s Cut brings all the best features of the PlayStation and mixes it with extensive PC support, this is one of the best PC ports by PlayStation
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. Iki Island is different

  1. Better and tougher enemies

  1. PS5 haptics and audio are great

  1. PC port done right

  1. Attractive and useful horse armour

  1. Near absent load times

  1. Minor bugs

  1. DLC plot is very short