Once you strip away the pomp and circumstance (and the “Kurosawa Mode“), and treat it like an open-world game, Ghost of Tsushima isn’t half bad. It’s quite good even — offering a unique take on the relaxing “checklist” game, but with better combat. There’s never been a better time to jump into the single-player campaign, either. Even as Ghost of Tsushima: Legends adds a free cooperative mode that takes centerstage in patch 1.1.
Ghost of Tsushima was already a very visually striking game. One of the reasons its black and white mode didn’t click was because it did a disservice to the already beautiful backgrounds of the game world. In the new Legends DLC, you get access to all-new areas, with blood red foliage and deep blue skies. You can hop into teams of two or four players for story and survival missions, respectively, battling spirits and other creepy monsters. There’s also a raid (yes, a raid, in what launched as a single-player open-world game) to come. Legends is definitely the star of the show!
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The Ghost of Tsushima 1.1 patch also includes some single-player enhancements, however. The addition of New Game+ in particular seems impressive. It’s not just the ability to replay with all your upgrades (though that is an option). It also bumps up the difficulty, which you can adjust back down if you like, and unlocks new cosmetics. You get a New Game+ exclusive horse and superpowered Charms to boost your skills even further, too.
Finally — and this is something I wish basically any game with loot would do at launch — patch 1.1 adds loadouts. That way you can easily switch gear and “vanity items” to suit a particular playstyle you want. This plays into another feature I really liked about Ghost of Tsushima: cosmetics. The game is chock full of different looks to deck out Jin with, and doesn’t charge you real money for almost any of them. There are a couple tied to the game’s Deluxe Edition upgrade, but the full-priced game isn’t shot through with microtransactions.
I’d say Sony is still dipping its toes into “live games.” And I’m curious to see how launching Legends so long after Ghost of Tsushima proper affects the co-op player base. But it’s cool to see the publisher’s signature “prestige” style influence a multiplayer experience. I don’t think Ghost of Tsushima feels particularly prestigious, but it is fun. Legends is also free, devoid of microtransactions as far as I can tell, and purely cooperative. Coming off Monster Hunter and my favorite bits of Destiny, it’s cool to see more games experiment with that style of online game, instead of just defaulting to tacked-on PVP. Then you layer on more excuses to engage with Ghost of Tsushima combat — another plus in my book.
Ghost of Tsushima: Legends is available now as an add-on in the PlayStation Store.