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Ghost of Tsushima PC Review: Cinematic Bliss

Presenting Gameffine's Ghost of Tsushima PC review. enture into the complete Ghost of Tsushima DIRECTOR’S CUT on PC; forge your own path through this open-world action adventure and uncover its hidden wonders.

Price: $59.99

Price Currency: USD

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Game

Editor's Rating:
9

Presenting Gameffine’s Ghost of Tsushima PC review

The open-world formula pioneered by Ubisoft in Assassin’s Creed and popularized through Far Cry 3 has far overstayed its welcome — evidenced by the growing distaste towards by-the-book open-world games as early as 2020. But what if a different studio comes forward and completely owns this formula by offering up a more polished experience that respects the player’s time and properly rewards them for exploration? To me, that is what made Ghost of Tsushima such a fun game. 4 years, 10 million copies sold, and an expansion pack later, Ghost of Tsushima is finally available for PC players worldwide to enjoy (well, minus the 200 countries it has been delisted in). Even with all the outrage surrounding the game, Ghost of Tsushima has climbed to the top of the best-selling games on Steamn and become the most concurrently played single-player game from Playstation Studios. For a new IP to achieve this much, it has got to be something special, right? Let Gameffine’s Ghost of Tsushima PC review to answer this question.

Ghost of tsushima pc review

Ghost of Samurai’s Past

In-between the 4 years of Tsushima’s initial launch and its PC debut, much has been talked about its story and characters, so much so that it’s futile to go through it all over again. Ghost of Tsushima features a decently written but predictable story with likable characters. It features a three-act story structure with the setup, confrontation, and resolution conveyed through hard-hitting and emotional moments, backed by stellar voice acting and solid production values for the cinematic cutscenes. Inspired by Japanese Samurai films, the plight of the main protagonist Jin Sakai, the lone Samurai is told with a penchant for slick, cinematic storytelling. Heck, each mission begins with a title card reminiscent of classic Japanese cinema.

Ghost of tsushima pc review

If these aren’t enough, then the monochromatic filter once jokingly referred to as the “Kurosawa Mode” is available to use, transforming the entire game into an old-school Samurai flick, at least as far as the visuals are concerned. Moreover, the Director’s Cut version of the game that’s released on the PC comes bundled with the Iki Island expansion, a far more grim tale exploring more of Jin’s internal and external conflicts. Overall, quality stuff one would expect from a Sony IP. Moreover, there’s also a basic but fun co-op mode titled Legends that is free to play and comes with its own set of progression, separate from the base game.

Ghost of tsushima pc review
Ghost of tsushima pc review

Tried and Perfected

I mentioned above how Ghost of Tsushima took Ubisoft’s open-world formula and perfected it. There isn’t a shred of disrespect when I say that Ghost of Tsushima is the Assassin’s Creed: Japan players have asked for forever. While most open-world games bombard the player with pointless collectibles and repetitive tasks, Tsushima seamlessly blends open-world activities with rewarding exploration. Keeping the HUD minimal, gushes of wind, friendly foxes, and yellow birds organically guide the player to points of interest. While Tsushima is packed with stuff to do, and things do start to become repetitive, the rewards make them worth it. Activities like composing Haiku, resting at hot springs, testing out Jin’s sword skills, liberating outposts, finding friendly encampments, etc., all reward players with new equipment, XP, and crafting materials. Ghost of Tsushima is a joy to explore.

Ghost of tsushima pc review

Considering that Jin is essentially Batman having a terrible day, there are two major play styles to go about your business. One, being that of the noble swordsman, and the other, that of the vengeful ghost. Both of these play styles are a big part of the narrative, tying into Jin’s dilemma of upkeeping a Samurai’s honor. What this means for the game is that the player has the option to play the game using either play style or a mix of both, save for scripted missions. The combat and stealth, while relatively simple, are presented in a very stylish manner and feel great to use thanks to tight controls and slick animations. The game slowly drip-feeds the player with more and more swordsman stances, stealth tools, moves, and passives and the whole thing becomes a Katana-wielding power fantasy.

Cinematic Flair

Ghost of Tsushima is one of the best-looking games I’ve ever played. This doesn’t mean that the game’s visual fidelity is on par with Horizon: Forbidden West or Hellblade 2. Tsushima is 4 years old at this point and that definitely shows, especially when it comes to the texture quality, character models, and reflections. However, the art design of the game is just magic. The game features truly dynamic lighting, a weather system, and a very rich color palette. The interaction of both results in picturesque scenes that bring the islands of Tsushima and Iki to life. I’m not joking when I say that each frame of the game is worthy of a screenshot. I know people who have played the game for hundreds of hours doing virtual photography. This is made all the more cool by a robust photo mode that lets you tweak pretty much everything!

Ghost of tsushima pc review

The best decision Sony has made as of late was acquiring the porting studio Nixxes. Their excellent work on the PC ports of Marvel’s Spider-Man, Horizon: Forbidden West, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart deserves no small praise. They’ve upheld their track record once again with Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut on the PC. For starters, Nixxes added a slew of graphics settings to the game so that players can adjust the quality of Textures, Shadows, Terrain, Ambient Occlusion, anti-aliasing and more. There is also a Field of View slider, as well as support for upscaling techniques such as DLSS, FSR, and XeSS. Plus, the game also lets you use FSR Frame Generation (3.0, not 3.1) alongside DLSS, which is a first for PC games.

Ghost of tsushima pc review

As for performance, the game runs like a dream, even on lower-end PCs. The game was able to achieve 60 fps on an RTX 3070 at 1080p very high at native resolution. While my RTX 4060 wasn’t able to hit 60 fps at native 1080p maxed out, using Nvidia Frame Generation made sure that it ran at 90–100 fps maxed out. To max out the game at native 4K@60 fps, an RTX 4090 with a capable CPU is needed, while a 3080 can push upwards of 70 fps at 1440p. There was this weird VRAM issue I ran into while using the RTX 3070 where the game would drop frames whenever I used alt-tab at any point. This required a restart to fix. Curiously enough, the 4060, which is also limited by 8 gigs of VRAM, didn’t suffer from this issue. Other than this minor annoyance, the PC port is just amazing. Oh! And I wish Nixxes updated the game to support all the full DualSense features wirelessly since that’s possible in the PC ports of The Last of Us and Returnal.

Real Talk

While Sony’s poor regional pricing and its decision to delist the game from countries without a PSN presence warrant criticism, the excellent work done by Nixxes on Ghost of Tsushima’s PC port should not be neglected. Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut is a great port of an entertaining open-world title.

FINAL RATING: 90/100

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