Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut PC Review – Peace Doesn’t Always Come Quietly

Ghost of Tsushima has made its debut on PC, and here's how well it holds up.

Posted By | On 20th, May. 2024

Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut PC Review – Peace Doesn’t Always Come Quietly

It’s easy to sound like a broken record when discussing PC ports of PlayStation games in recent times, especially since all of them have been stellar, starting all the way back with Horizon Zero Dawn, and even the most recent title—Horizon Forbidden West. Now we have what is considered by many to be one of the best PS4 titles finally making its PC debut—Ghost of Tsushima. And to nobody’s surprise, it’s an excellent port thanks to the efforts of developers Sucker Punch and Nixxes.

The PC release of Ghost of Tsushima is that of the Director’s Cut version—essentially an update that brought with it a host of features, including higher frame rates on the PS5 and the Iki Island DLC. All of these features make it to the PC version unscathed, along with the new addition of a miniature version of PlayStation Network running through the game. This means that Legends mode also has crossplay with the PS4 and PS5 versions of Ghost of Tsushima.

When it comes to performance, Ghost of Tsushima is definitely up there with Sony’s best. The game supports a wide range of hardware, across different graphics settings. My modest PC running was able to play the game on the high preset—with a few small tweaks like zero motion blur and maxed out field of view—while maintaining a consistent frame rate of over 100.

"To nobody’s surprise, it’s an excellent port"

While the first few minutes with the game did have a few dips in the frame rate, especially when seeing, for example, a village for the first time, these dips essentially disappeared over time, leading me to believe this might have simply been a shader caching-related dip. Having spent more hours with the game since then revealed no real issues with random dips in frame rate. The Legends mode certainly had its moments, especially early on where several particle effects going off could cause drips in the frame rate, but it never got worse than going down from 110 to 70, so gameplay was essentially unaffected for the most part.

Coming to PC has also meant that Ghost of Tsushima has a bunch of options for players to tinker with, allowing players plenty of choices to make use of their hardware in the best possible ways. Interestingly, Ghost of Tsushima is also one of the first RTX-enabled titles that also allows players to make use of AMD’s FSR3 technology for frame generation. This means that the feature isn’t simply limited to Nvidia RTX 4000-series graphics cards.

On the lower end side, I was also able to spend some time with the game on the Steam Deck. On the handheld PC, Ghost of Tsushima put up an admirable effort. On first launch, the game defaulted to medium settings, and roaming around in the open world had the frame rate jumping between 40 and 30. Some tinkering, especially in turning some settings lower, led to a noticeable jump in frame rate stability, which stayed at around the 40 mark, while still not losing out on too much in terms of visual fidelity.

ghost of tsushima 2

"Coming to PC has also meant that Ghost of Tsushima has a bunch of options for players to tinker with"

Generally speaking, it feels like getting verified for Steam Deck right out of the box might take a bit more optimisation through updates, but as it currently stands, it still feels like it would be perfectly playable on the handheld gaming PC. I would simply advise players against going into Legends mode, since the inconsistent frame rates and large amounts of particle effects might have adverse effects on you and your team.

The minute-to-minute gameplay feels snappy and fun, and while the controls might feel a bit confusing to begin with—the default bindings on mouse and keyboard have the CTRL key as your “aim with bow” button—it’s easy enough to get used to. A controller would still be the ideal way to play Ghost of Tsushima, even on PC, but mouse and keyboard controls work just fine as well. The game also allows you to change all of the key bindings, so any issues that might stem from strange buttons being used for crucial things—looking at you, ALT to dodge—can be fixed quickly.

When it comes to the game itself, Ghost of Tsushima has aged like fine wine. Despite being just under four years old, Ghost of Tsushima still feels excellent to play. Tsushima is a fantastic open world to explore, and its various biomes and zones feel distinct enough where no two places feel the same. It’s also worth noting that Ghost of Tsushima continues to be downright gorgeous, blending in some fantastical elements like the objective-guiding wind that blends incredibly well with the game’s art style that emphasizes long blades of grass and tree branches full of leaves that sway in the wind.

ghost of tsushima 3

"Tsushima is a fantastic open world to explore, and its various biomes and zones feel distinct enough where no two places feel the same."

Aside from simply looking good, Ghost of Tsushima also has some great level design going for it, especially when it comes to the several villages you have to liberate, and even the castles you tend to take on in some of the bigger missions in the game. Collection side-quests might start feeling a bit monotonous over time, however, but chasing a fox or finding a quiet spot to write a haiku still offers up a certain meditative charm that few other games even attempt, let alone pull off well.

All of this is capped off with a fun story that, while not historically accurate by any means, still does an excellent job of offering compelling heroes in characters like Jin Sakai and Yuna, a hateable villain in Khotun Khan, and everything in between. There’s also a fantastical side of the story that you can further explore through the Legends mode, which comes with its own set of characters and a fight against a mythical being that’s seemingly crawling out of hell.

Almost four years since its release, Ghost of Tsushima continues to be a downright fantastic game. Along with offering one of the most beautiful and stylistically distinct open worlds out there, the game also features great characters, excellent gameplay, a fun balance between combat, boss fights and stealth, and an entertaining main story that demands the protagonist to question his own beliefs about the concept of honor, and what it means to save his homeland.

ghost of tsushima 4

"Almost four years since its release, Ghost of Tsushima continues to be a downright fantastic game."

The multiplayer side of things also remains excellent, and Ghost of Tsushima Legends’ loot-based progression system—while taking a bit to get going—is still fun to play around with. Loot offers up different abilities for different characters after all, and taking on the final challenges of the mode with a team of four will demand players to be at their best, having mastered just about every gameplay aspect that Ghost of Tsushima offers.

Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut is quite easily one of the best PlayStation games to have made the jump to PC, both in terms of quality of port, and just how much fun it can be to hop into the world of Tsushima, either solo as Jin Sakai, or as part of a group as one of the Legends, and kick some invaders off the island.

As a final note on the recent controversies surrounding PlayStation Network coming to PC through Ghost of Tsushima, it is worth noting that an account is only really required to access the multiplayer Legends mode. Players that don’t want to create or link a PSN account can avoid doing so by playing the fantastic and expansive single-player mode.

This game was reviewed on PC.


THE GOOD

Excellent port; Plenty of graphics options to tinker with; Core gameplay is excellent; Controls translate to keyboard and mouse quite well.

THE BAD

Same issues as the original PS4 and PS5 release of the game; PSN linking means many countries can’t buy the game.

Final Verdict:
AMAZING
Controversies surrounding PSN account linking on PC games aside, Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut continues Sony’s tremendous record of fantastic PC ports. There are plenty of options for PC players to tinker with to get the most out of their hardware, and even the Steam Deck is able to run the game with a few tweaks. Just about everything else that’s good about Ghost of Tsushima Director’s continues to be good.
A copy of this game was provided by Developer/Publisher/Distributor/PR Agency for review purposes. Click here to know more about our Reviews Policy.

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