If you’re a history buff, you may know that in addition to Tsushima, the neighboring island of Iki was also invaded during this time period. This island serves as the setting for a whole new chapter in Jin’s journey. In this new story, Jin travels to the island to investigate rumors of a Mongol presence. But soon, he finds himself caught up in events with deeply personal stakes that will force him to relive some traumatic moments from his past.
Publisher: Sony Computer Interactive
Reviewed on: PS5
Also available for: PS4
Cast: Daisuke Tsuji
Developer: Sucker Punch
Directors: Nate Fox, Jason Connell
Writers: Ian Ryan, Liz Albl, Patrick Downs, Jordan Lemos
Lead Artist: Jason Connell
Paired with Ghost of Tsushima: Directors Cut, developer Sucker Punch has released a DLC expansion for Ghost of Tsushima’s base, single-player experience. It’s a meaty enough addition of content, with a story that delves into Jin Sakai’s past and relationship with his father in new and interesting ways. For the most part, however, this is more of the same Ghost of Tsushima experience, not to say that’s necessarily a bad thing.
After discovering a different type of Mongolian fighter on the shores of Tsushima, Jin boards a boat and heads to Iki Island, where he believes the Mongolian army may have their hold. After being whipped through the harsh waves and landing on the beach, Jin’s soon found by The Eagle, a Mongolian leader who uses poison to control and torture her foes. She inflicts Jin with the poison, but he manages to escape and must now gather friends and work his way through The Eagles small army to reclaim Iki Island.
The most interesting part of the Iki Island isn’t Jin’s fight against the Eagle, but instead, the tripped he does through his past. As it turns out, it’s on Iki Island, where his father died in battle as he waged war against the people of Iki Island when Jin was just a kid. The people of Iki Island now hate samurai and especially the Sakai name. Through flashbacks and memories brought on by locations, people, and items on Iki Island, you get to relieve Jin’s final days with his father in a way that feels like Jin is only just now processing his father’s death and the type of person he was for the first time. Playing the DLC after beating the main game adds a little more weight as you’ll be aware of the type of Jin you’ve played, a ghost or a proud samurai.
Much like the base game, exploration is the most exciting aspect of Iki Island. From the windy beaches with battling ships in the distances to the florescent forests and the almost Arthurian battle sites, I was again stopping to use the games photo mode a lot more than I have in any other game. Ghost of Tsushima was a beautiful game on PS4, and with the PS5 version, you have some slight improvements that still make it one of the best looking games you can play right now. Suppose there was a version of this game without any combat where I could play a travelling scholar and was tasked with simply enjoying and capturing moments of Iki Island of Tsushima’s landscape and animals. In that case, I’d almost prefer that game.
I say almost because, of course, there are lots to enjoy about the combat in Ghost of Tsushima. Nothing drastically changes with the Iki Island DLC. Still, a new enemy typed introduced called ‘The Shaman’ plays a tune that’ll excite all other enemies and cause them to dodge well or throw never-ending uncounterable strikes. This makes you have to seek them out at the back of a battle or pull out your bow to disperse them quickly.