Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut on PC review — Freshly sharpened katana

3 weeks ago 48

Ghost of Tsushima is a very special game to me. Not only do I remember the hype and being excited to see the furthering of Sucker Punch Productions as a stellar studio, it was the first video I ever did for GameStop TV. I have the collector’s edition, and simply love the incredible journey Sucker Punch and Jin took us on. Everyone expected this game would come to PC, and it made a lot of sense. Now, we’re getting fresh eyes on it and, after playing it again, it’s easy to see the edge this blade has.

Starting off, Ghost of Tsushima as a game is perfection. Following Jin Sakai, a samurai who barely survives the invasion of his home, we’re taken on an adventure across Japan’s island of Tsushima that sees a tale of intrigue, betrayal, and the code Jin has to break in order to save his country. Coupling that with sensational audio and visuals, an open world ripe with outstanding quests to engage with, and striking combat, and you have a Game of the Year contender. It was nominated for quite a few awards, and even if it lost out to another Sony game in The Last of Us: Part II in many, it did win the Player’s Voice award at the 2020 TGAs, which tells you how players felt in that debate. We felt pretty strongly about Ghost of Tsushima at GamingTrend, and our thoughts are right here.

Experience Ghost Of Tsushima: Director's Cut On PC Using GeForce RTX 4090 At Max Settings

Jump to 2021 and the Tales of Iki Island expansion added an entire new region to the game, along with the Director’s Cut making its way to PS5. There are new enemies, new mechanics, and monkeys. Yes, I said monkeys. You can pet them, and they are adorable. Ghost of Tsushima didn’t need any additional fleshing out, but this meticulously crafted narrative spans twenty tremendous hours. If you were curious how our Editor-In-Chief Ron Burke felt about Iki Island, you can find his review here.

Even better, Ghost of Tsushima also received a free-to-play co-op adventure (although between the original and Iki Island). Sucker Punch coming up with a cool supernatural tale is amazing, but the fact it’s also a four player co-op mode with different samurai classes makes Ghost of Tsushima Legends a treat. Add in no micro-transactions, being a full experience in and of itself, and it’s just impressive. Now, for a third time, I’ll direct you to our full impressions, via this link here.

Best of all, in its arrival on PC, nothing is piecemeal. All of this package comes together, and at a manageable 52gb of space. For that much of a game, it’s worth it. On the Steam Deck, the only sad story is the inability to play Legends. You still have to install it (maybe PlayStation can come up with a way to delete only Legends?), but without being able to connect to PlayStation’s online services via the device it’s inaccessible.

Speaking of PlayStation’s online services, I really like the new overlay that’s been designed and added to Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut. One would assume this is our first test of the system for incoming PC releases, and it doesn’t disappoint. It’s simple in design, a pop-up window featuring your profile, friends, trophies, and a search bar to find friends, but that’s not all. Trophy support is worked into this release, so all of you hunters can be satiated with an extra platform to get them on. While in the end this is probably most useful for finding friends to play Legends with, the additional benefits rock. The genius of this overlay is in its straightforward nature – a great way to bring more people into the PlayStation fold without a PlayStation console.

Of course, we’ve spent a long time talking about why Ghost of Tsushima is awesome, and not how it plays on PC. The short answer is simple: this game runs perfectly. The Horizon Forbidden West port was already good, but dropping back to back banger ports might make Nixxes one of the best PlayStation studio purchases out there.

For the long answer, let’s dive into some numbers. I’m running an NVIDIA RTX 4080 GPU, an Intel i9-12900KF CPU, and 32GB of Kingston Fury DDR5 RAM. You can watch this build video if you’d like to see my full computer, but rest assured, this thing is a beast. That means I get a little bit of brute force bonuses from sheer power, but it still has to be optimized well for things to go correctly – looking at you Arkham Knight and Witcher 3. I initially began Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut on Ultra Performance mode, with my settings at Very High and Frame Gen running. Starting the game, the opening scene is instantly above 170fps. It’s wonderful.

Moving into the gameplay on the beach where you’re fighting a bunch of Kahn’s men, I started testing different variations of settings to find what combinations worked together and what might not. With the above settings running, I was getting 240+ frames per second, which is quite impressive. Going down to high settings led to around a twenty frame boost, with medium not jumping much at all. Low brought another twenty frame jump, and very low… well, I’m not sure the graphical downgrade is worth the ten to fifteen extra frames. You lose shadows, your textures drop; it’s playable, but not something you change the settings to unless you just can’t run it on your rig.

Quality mode doesn’t lead to a lot of frame loss either, and might be the best way to play Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut. This game already is stunning, and any bonus features in lighting, shadows, and more is just sprinkles on a tasty cake. In fact, you’re not only getting sprinkles, but you can have your cake and eat it too with this PC version.

Using the Very High and Frame Gen settings, I still managed to get 210+ frames per second. Moving down to high was similar to the previous test, with a twenty frame boost. Medium doesn’t do much, but low upgrades you with framerates upwards of 260+. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even bother with very low, but you can guess that with what you give up it’s probably a nice 10-20 frames.

I also did some testing to see just how important DLSS and Frame Gen is. Turning it off and running Very High settings resulted in exactly what you’d think: my framerate plummeted to 110. That’s an insane drop. High will get you a maximum of 140fps, but it’s usually around the floor of 120fps. Medium is incremental at best, and low gets you to a consistent 140fps. DLSS can give you about twenty frames, so the magic is really happening in the Frame Gen tech. If you have an NVIDIA graphics card capable of it, you have no reason not to flip that toggle. It’s free frames.

Something you might find surprising is that the open world doesn’t change much in framerate. There’s maybe a ten or so drop, and this game looks phenomenal when you’re out riding your horse over the rolling hills, through grassy fields, and climbing rocky cliff sides. It’s a sight to behold, and while a lot of that work was done on PS4, Ghost of Tsushima obviously takes advantage of the scalability of PCs. Speaking of, jump into the settings and tweak things to your liking. There are plenty of graphical adjustments you can make.

You can’t talk about a PC port without bringing up the Steam Deck, and even though you’ll see an unsupported icon, you should install it anyway. The only reason it’s designated as unsupported is that lack of being able to sign into PSN, which renders Legends unplayable. It runs really well on the Steam Deck too, with a generally consistent 30fps on medium settings. If you try and jump to very high you’re going to be very disappointed, as it craters, but going to very low can get you up to 50fps. It’s just well optimized, and it’s epic that you can bring Ghost of Tsushima on the go.

David Burdette is a gamer/writer/content creator from TN and Lead Editor for Gaming Trend. He loves Playstation, Star Wars, Marvel, and many other fandoms. He also plays way too much Call Of Duty. You can chat with him on Twitter @SplitEnd89.

One of the best PlayStation games gets a port worthy of its reputation. Nixxes has provided an excellent port, one properly optimized with all the bells and whistles. Not to mention, there is so much you can engage with between Ghost of Tsushima, Tales of Iki Island, and Legends. Don’t delay, grab your katana and play this game.

David Burdette

PROS

  • Incredible package for an amazing game
  • Outstanding performance
  • PlayStation overlay

CONS

  • Legends won’t work without PSN or on Steam Deck

Unless otherwise stated, the product in this article was provided for review purposes.

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