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Ghost of Tsushima tech review: Sony first-party magic delivers a beautiful open world

Six years on from InFamous Second Son and its standalone add-on, First Light, Sucker Punch returns with Ghost of Tsushima – an open world adventure game centered around the journey to become a Samurai. Perhaps the last in an accomplished line of triple-A Sony first-party releases, this title represents a significant visual departure from any project Sucker Punch has previously worked on. The emphasis on InFamous’ urban locations gives way to a much larger, more organic, natural environment, necessitating a radical shift in the underlying technology. Ghost of Tsushima is the best-looking game Sucker Punch has crafted and stands tall in the genre – but it’s not perfect.

The world of Tsushima is vast and unique – the move to ancient Japan has a profound impact on the overall look and atmosphere compared to the average open world experience but before we go deeper, let’s start with the basics. Ghost of Tsushima offers two visual modes when played on PS4 Pro – a quality mode and a mode that favours a ‘better frame-rate’. Put simply, you’re getting an impressive 3200×1800 image likely using checkerboard reconstruction for 4K screens, while the frame-rate mode locks everything (including the HUD and text elements) to native 1080p. The latter mode is essentially a match for users of the base PlayStation 4.

Both of the Pro’s modes target 30 frames per second, with the performance option essentially acting as a guarantee for a locked 30fps – and if you are a Pro owner with a 4K screen, I’d recommend the quality mode as its performance level is pretty even overall. All versions support HDR and this mode comes highly recommended but it’s not quite perfect as the HDR is extremely intense – high luminance areas are eye-searingly bright when contrasted against deep shadows. It’s very effective for this title’s aesthetic and lends the game a dreamy atmosphere that isn’t as effective when played in SDR – but I do recommend visiting the config screen and adjusting the game to your tastes. With display modes selected and HDR tweaked, it’s time to jump into the game itself, where Ghost of Tsushima certainly makes a very strong first impression.

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