Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Lower is out now, and it’s, unsurprisingly, a wonderful replace of an awesome recreation. All of its visible, efficiency, and quality-of-life upgrades are, after all, appreciated, however the greatest method it provides to Sucker Punch’s open world epic is by including much more content material to it, within the type of the meaty new Iki Island enlargement. And that chunk of content material is a really wonderful addition, not solely as a result of it builds on Ghost of Tsushima’s strengths, but in addition as a result of it has a number of attention-grabbing new parts of its personal. Right here, we’re going to go over a number of of the enlargement’s greatest highlights, and the way it expands upon Ghost of Tsushima in significant methods.
Let’s begin off with the obvious speaking point- Iki Island itself, which is the place the enlargement is about. This latest chapter in Jin’s story takes us away from Tsushima and over to Iki itself, and simply as Tsushima was within the base recreation, the enlargement’s new map is a brilliantly designed one. Natural and diegetic exploration was the place Ghost of Tsushima actually excelled, and the Iki Island enlargement continues to construct on that. With in-world parts reminiscent of plumes of smokes or golden songbirds, or with distinctly designed pure landmarks that immediately seize consideration, the enlargement always retains nudging gamers to maintain exploring and discovering new and thrilling issues. What’s extra, it even pulls again to an awesome extent on how annoyingly frequent these songbird distractions might be within the base recreation. They’re not utterly gone right here, after all, however they don’t pop up as soon as each couple of minutes both.
Past that, Iki Island can be a visually distinct place. By way of its aesthetic and artwork design, it’s clearly following within the footsteps of Ghost of Tsushima itself, with equally vibrant sights, attractive scenes of pure magnificence, liberal use of oversaturated hues, and extra, however on the similar time, the island’s backstory helps it carve out its personal id. Iki is a lawless, untamed place that isn’t almost as civilized as Tsushima is, and in addition nonetheless bears many haunting scars of the conflicts it noticed a number of years again. As such, whereas nonetheless sustaining the visible id of the bottom recreation, the enlargement’s map is ready to take gamers to some places that really feel very distinctive from something that may be discovered on Tsushima island.
NEW AND RETURNING ACTIVITIES
After all, there’s loads to do round Iki Island. This can be a giant enlargement with round fifteen hours of content material (if no more) in case you resolve to do extra than simply the principle story quests, and as you’d anticipate, there’s a pleasant number of non-compulsory actions on provide. There are, after all, a number of new aspect quests (which, by the best way, boast significantly better design and high quality than the aspect quests within the base recreation usually did), in addition to a pair new Mythic Tales to tackle, and clearing out Mongol forts, after all, remains to be an vital (and addictive) aspect exercise. Different returning actions are additionally right here, together with bamboo strike challenges, Shinto shrines, haiku spots, lighting mild homes, and sizzling springs- although most of those aren’t almost as quite a few as they have been within the base recreation.
As a substitute, the Iki Island enlargement places extra of an emphasis on a completely new set of open world actions. You’ll be able to monitor down spots the place animals have gathered and play your flute there to make it a sanctuary for them. You’ll be able to take part in archery challenges scattered all through the map and attempt to get bronze, silver, or gold rankings to enhance a Focus appeal. The principle Raider city additionally has a dueling enviornment, with loads of challengers to tackle in 1v1 fights for rewards. Higher but, many of the actions scattered all through the map don’t simply slavishly persist with their formulation. As a substitute, every now and then, they put attention-grabbing little twists on them- like a light-weight home that isn’t guarded by enemies, however as an alternative serves as extra of a platforming problem; or a sizzling spring that has monkeys chilling round Jin whereas he soaks himself; or an animal sanctuary the place Mongols have arrange an ambush to take you abruptly. It definitely retains issues attention-grabbing, and retains exploration from changing into too monotonous.
The Iki Island enlargement isn’t a semi-sequel to Ghost of Tsushima like Miles Morales was to Spider-Man. As a substitute, it features extra as a aspect story going down someplace in the course of the bottom recreation’s occasions, kind of like The Frozen Wilds and Horizon Zero Daybreak. Even so, regardless of the truth that it doesn’t actually maintain many clues for what the story of the inevitable Ghost of Tsushima sequel may need in retailer, it nonetheless finally ends up feeling like a surprisingly important a part of Jin’s story.
The Eagle Tribe’s reign of terror over Iki Island is offered successfully (regardless that The Eagle herself isn’t actually fleshed out correctly as a villain), whereas new characters like Tenzo the Raider are nice additions to the sport’s forged. The most important draw of the story, nevertheless, is that it ties in intricately with Jin’s personal previous. Iki Island was, in any case, the place the place his father died, and the place samurais as soon as led a bloody conquest in an effort to tame the island and finish its lawless methods, earlier than ultimately failing. Watching Jin come to phrases with the brutal actions of these samurai and his father years in the past, and together with his personal incapacity to avoid wasting his father whereas he was lower down in entrance of his eyes, makes for some fascinating narrative moments that add an awesome deal to Jin’s private arc.
Fight was in all probability considered one of Ghost of Tsushima’s greatest strengths, which was shocking, as a result of within the lead-up to the sport’s launch final 12 months, that was the one facet that was trying the least convincing. Fortunately sufficient, fight continues to be a spotlight within the Iki Island enlargement as properly. As you’d anticipate, it’s largely the identical as the bottom recreation, so it retains all its mechanical strengths, however there are nonetheless sufficient new parts right here to additional enhance the expertise.
The most important new addition is the shaman, a brand new enemy kind. In 1v1 conditions, the shaman features like an everyday spearman, but it surely’s his different talents that make him such an attention-grabbing enemy to battle. The shaman, you see, likes to hold again whilst you’re getting swarmed by different enemies and chant, and his chants make all the opposite enemies far more vicious and brutal of their assaults. That lends some neat tactical depth to fight encounters, as you’re pressured to select between coping with aggressive enemies round you or taking a big gamble and killing the shaman first. Issues get much more attention-grabbing the place there are a number of shamans within the combine, which, after all, stands true for stealth conditions as well- do you head into extra closely guarded areas of a camp to take out the shaman first, or slowly make your method inside type the fringes and threat being seen by him whilst you do it? Add to all of this a brand new cost potential in your horse, which makes horseback fight much more fulfilling, and fight within the enlargement finally ends up feeling acquainted sufficient whereas nonetheless introducing a few its personal new concepts.
As a meaty new enlargement bolted on high of the bottom recreation, you’d anticipate Iki Island to additionally add extra new development alternatives, and fortunately, it doesn’t disappoint on this space both. There are a number of new charms to gather, a few of which could be upgraded even additional by doing particular open world actions, like discovering animal sanctuaries or finishing archery challenges. The brand new Mythic Tales additionally deliver new items of armour (which, after all, could be upgraded), whereas the aforementioned horseback cost can be upgradable with ability factors.
After all, there are additionally a number of new cosmetics to be discovered, reminiscent of headbands and sheaths in your katana and tanto. Crucially, the Iki Island enlargement additionally has its personal Legend development with a number of tiers, so every exercise you full helps you develop your legend on the island from a clear slate, separate out of your actions on Tsushima. All mentioned, there’s greater than sufficient right here to maintain you occupied for fairly a very long time.