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Parents' Guide to

Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut

By Jeff Haynes, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Gorgeous but bloody tale of revenge, redemption, sacrifice.

Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 26 parent reviews

age 12+

Mature but sensible, violent but reasonable, surprisingly educational

On its own, the game isn't necessarily violent. There are some scenes that can be distressing to younger players --- for example, there are a few scenes where main characters die --- but it's nothing seriously graphic. Even the more violent scenes, such as beheading foes in combat or poisoning the Mongol invaders, are relatively tame. Blood and gore can be turned off and the game has no sexual elements, although it has a bit of (solo) censored nudity in optional scenes. There are minor references to alcohol and a scene where the player character and a comrade of his get drunk, but aside from this there is little mention of drugs, alcohol, or similar concepts. There are some minor swears --- the most common is "damn" but the S-bomb is dropped once or twice. The game handles mature themes, most notably whether tradition is so important that it should be abandoned even if you would certainly die via sticking to it. It encourages critical thinking on the subject of dogma and offers unique insights into a culture and period of history not commonly talked about even if bits of it are anachronistic.
age 13+

Great game, would buy for my 12 year old son.

The game has beautiful scenery, and I don't think it should be an 18. It has violence, but most games nowadays have violence worse than Ghost of Tsushima - it doesn't have any gore. There's no nudity, and for blood, while it can be seen on swords, can be turned off. Overall, it's a great game, and has great motivational speeches. Parents shouldn't be afraid to buy this for their children - I would buy this for my 13 year old son.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (26 ):
Kids say (46 ):

This adventure game set in feudal Japan grips you from start to finish with its visuals and story, which make you feel like a samurai facing off against overwhelming odds. As Jin Sakai in Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut, players discover his honor-bound warrior code simply doesn't match up when it comes to fighting the invaders. As a result, he reluctantly adopts unconventional methods and techniques to eliminate his enemies, such as using smoke bombs to vanish from sight or stealthily infiltrate enemy camps. Eventually, he'll merge and evolve these skills into a flexible fighting form, one that befits his new persona as the Ghost. It's incredible to watch Jin terrify enemies when he calls out opponents for a dueling stand-off, and then vanish before reinforcements can arrive. (Also: Duels highlight Jin's mastery of swordplay and feel pulled directly from a samurai movie.) It's interesting to watch Jin's evolving sense of what it means to be a samurai in these troubled times -- an evolution that isn't isolated to him. His allies, who have varying degrees of morality and honor, have their codes tested as well. Without spoiling any details, there are some dark quests for revenge and redemption, which serve as a warning to Jin about the hazards of giving in to emotion, and about fully embracing the persona of the Ghost, as it could potentially doom him to a darker path. It's torturous for Jin, and it tugs on the player's heart to watch his complex struggles. The Director's Cut also adds the new territory of Iki Island. Specifically tied to Jin's past, it allows him to explore his failings and eventually find redemption for himself and his family. (While you can access the eight to 10 hours of content in this part of the story about halfway through the main quest, do yourself a favor and finish the game before departing to Iki. The events of the island carry so much more weight once you've completed the tale.)

Countering the darker themes is simply how beautiful and atmospheric the game looks. Camera angles and shots look like they're plucked straight from a movie or a painting (and that's even without including the customized Kurosawa black-and-white grain filter). Whether you're galloping across fields of pampas grass, standing in a dueling ring as leaves tumble around you, or wandering through forests, the environment is breathtaking. Plus, the world directs players in a subtle and natural way, such as foxes that lead players to shrines that strengthen their personal resolve, or birds that lead players to points of interest. The Director's Cut builds on this with the inclusion of animal sanctuaries, where Jin will play a flute (directed by tilting the controller up and down) to gain the trust of a wild animal. It's a beautiful moment included as a time of reflection in the story. The game even encourages players to compose their own haiku at vistas that inspire reflections of hope or despair. Not only does this help to make the world feel more alive, but it makes Jin and his progress seem more alive and closely tied to the land. Overall, Ghost of Tsushima is an amazing story -- loosely based on the real invasion of Tsushima -- that makes players feel like a true samurai on an epic quest. If Akira Kurosawa had the opportunity to make a video game, Ghost of Tsushima would be the story he would tell.

Game Details

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