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REVIEW: Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut — Unfinished Business


Published by: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developed by: Sucker Punch Productions
Platform(s): PS4, PS5
Genre(s): Open-world, action-adventure, stealth
Mode(s): Single-player, multiplayer
Game Type: , ,
85/ 100

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Great story and character development, new side characters are likable, a few new activities and moves.


Mostly more of the same. Changes and updates are not too significant.

Posted September 9, 2021 by

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Ghost of Tsushima impressed many PlayStation gamers when it came out in 2020; praised for its excellent take on Samurai history, a breathtaking open-world setting, and gameplay that makes you feel cool as hell. Over a year and a few free updates later, we finally see Tsushima’s first paid DLC and upgrade. Now, the question is: will Iki Island justify the paid Upgrade, or is the island not worth charting?

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The Butcher of Iki

The Expansion explores the Island of Iki, an entirely new region you can travel to after completing the first act of the main campaign. Like Tsushima, Iki is also crawling with Mongol invaders, only on here, they’re lead by the Eagle, a new antagonist who uses hallucinogenic poison to strike fear and seize control of the island people. Jin Sakai would now need to save the people of Iki whilst reflecting on his past as well as his clan’s shameful history with the island itself.

The DLC provides over 12 hours of gameplay and the campaign itself takes a little over a third of that time. It further fleshes out Jin as a character and feels almost integral to the main campaign itself. The new antagonist and side characters may not show much screentime, their roles are all quite memorable. Those who want to fully immerse themselves in the story of Ghost of Tsushima will experience a hearty serving of it here. Though not integral to the main campaign, it certainly covers a good chunk of Jin Sakai’s character development.

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Ghost of Iki

The island itself, like Tsushima, is rife with activities. Though the majority of them are virtually the same, there are a few additions like archery challenges and motion control minigames that keep things a little fresh. Though Jin learns a few new moves himself, among the most significant upgrade actually lies with Jin’s horse. Your horse can now ram through enemies. Doesn’t really do much for Jin’s horseback combat, but it definitely feels satisfying to use, especially with the haptic feedback from the Dual Sense Controller.

My personal favorite, however, comes in one of the unlockable armor on the island. Which, when unlocked, makes it so that you can only do perfect dodges and parries, but doing so changes your counterattack to something more devastating. Rewarding careful and methodical fighting with sick new moves certainly makes combat several times more satisfying. Beyond the new gimmicks though, the game still suffers from the not-so-stellar camera controls.

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Meditate in 4K

Ghost of Tsushima has arguably been one of the prettiest open-world environments in recent years. And though Iki Island doesn’t really look too different from Tsushima, it certainly still has more than a few breathtaking locations to explore. Ghost of Tsushima looks great even on a base PS4, and it certainly looks great on the PS5 with better resolution and frames, but those hoping on to PS5 shouldn’t expect that big of a leap from the PS4 counterpart, so the benefits of the PS5 Upgrade would weigh more on the exclusive features such as support for Tempest 3D audio, and the Dual Sense features. Both are great, but neither really takes away from the core experience.

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Iki Island is not only a fun detour away from Tsushima Island, but also a good serving of story that better fleshes out Jin’s character.  However, on both fronts, the DLC feels more like an extension of the base game rather than a full-fledged expansion, with the majority of the activities being much of the same coupled with a story that should’ve been part of the main campaign from the get-go. Iki Island is a great excuse to revisit (or experience for the first time) Ghost of Tsushima, especially for those who want to experience the PS5 Upgrades. It’s kinda hard to justify though, upgrading to Director’s Cut if you’ve already played the original and don’t yet own the latest console.

Dian Raval

Dian is a writer for Flipgeeks who, in his spare time, stares at a wall in his basement. If you'd like to discuss music, video games, or the infinite wisdom of concrete, follow him on twitter @iburnandfume or subscribe to his YouTube channel @iburnandfume. He's pretty much iburnandfume in everything. Apparently he... burns and fumes.


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