The PS5 upgrade to Ghost of Tsushima is worth it, but not for a game changer

Two first-party Sony developers, Bend Studio and Sucker punch, were able to tap into an early cross-generation SDK when PlayStation 5 was launched last November. This allowed Days Gone, Ghost of Tsushima, and Days Gone to run at 60 frames per seconds, greatly improving the gaming experience. Tsushima was updated today, along with the Director’s Cut edition, which includes bonus content. Tsushima is now fully operational and armed, ready to use the maximum power of the PS5’s capabilities. What has been changed? And how effective are these upgrades?

It is important that you separate the Ghost of Tsushima improvements into two categories. The original game gets a patch that introduces key enhancements. One of these is the ability to lock down targets. We consider this a significant upgrade. This feature was missing in the original game, which caused disappointment in combat. It’s good to know that the developers took this feedback into consideration and have added it. Additional controller layout options have been added. This is all there are to it – if your PS5 game has the PS4 code running under back-compat, the 60fps support will still work.

You will need to invest in the full upgrade and the rest of Director’s Cut content. This cost varies depending on where you live and whether or not you pre-order. Pre-ordering allows for a discount of PS16/$20 and gives access to new content including Iki Island expansion. That’s the focus of our commentary.

The Digital Foundry Video Overview of Ghost of Tsushima’s PlayStation 5 Upgrades is available here.

There are two graphics options available. One favors frame rate and one that targets higher resolution. Ghost of Tsushima appears to be using the same checkerboarding mode as the PS4 Pro edition of Ghost of Tsushima, which is 60 frames per second. For clarity, the frame rate option retains the same 1800p checkerboard display as the PS4 version. The resolution option bumps the pixel count to full 2160p. Although dynamic resolution scaling cannot be excluded, everything that we have tested indicates a fixed resolution. Both modes perform almost identically. The 60 frame rate mode locks at 60 frames per second, so dropping back to the framerate mode is pointless.

Although there are other changes, the increase from 1800p up to 2160p really is the most important. While you get more clarity it doesn’t make the game any easier. PS4’s main improvement is 60 frames per second. This can still be used to run the PS4 Pro original game, which has backwards compatibility. It’s not that Sucker Punch didn’t make improvements elsewhere, but their effect is limited. These are welcome, however. The developer makes use of the PS5’s storage resources more efficiently. This means that loading time is almost instant. 3D audio is also available, as well as DualSense haptics.

This is our original view of the Ghost of Tsushima back-compat and upgrades on PlayStation 5.

Additionally, the pre-rendered PS4 video cinematics are now created in real time on PS5, opening up the possibility of lip-syncing animations using the Japanese soundtrack. The cutscenes are now properly paced at 30 frames per second. This is a significant change from the PS4’s backwards compatible version which ran at 60fps engine-driven cinematics and only 30fps video sequences. Although I understand Sucker Punch made this change for the sake of consistency, I prefer to have the entire game run at the higher frame rate.

The final product is quite reasonable in terms of the number of revisions. However, it feels like Sony is asking for more than what other publishers and developers are offering. In fact, the largest upgrade – 60fps , was given with the original release. The game itself is great and there are many improvements that enhance the gameplay. However, this is not the same level of improvement as Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition or Marvel’s Spider-Man. The native PlayStation 5 version is identical to its back-compat Plus counterpart, with the exception of the loading and resolution improvements. Also, the effects quality and draw distances remain the same as on the PS4 Pro. Geometry is the same. Art improvements? Although we saw some texture improvements, there was not much of any real significance.

The whole Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut package is available for purchase on a PlayStation disc. This makes it easier to look at Ghost of Tsushima from a different perspective. For those on PlayStation 5 who do not own the PS4 or have never owned one, this is a fantastic option. And for me as a collector of physical games, it’s great to see that the entire package can be purchased in an archive format.

Publiated at Thu, 19 August 2021 13:42.46 +0000

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