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DF Weekly: Ghost of Tsushima on PC is another excellent Nixxes port

Tested on Steam Deck, mid-range and high-end systems.

Ghost of Tsushima key artwork.
Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment

When a game arrives for review on the same day it's released to the general public, this does tend to raise a red flag. I mean, if the quality of the game is good, why not tell people ahead of time? And yet that's the situation that faced us on the release of Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut - the latest PC port from the masters at Nixxes. The pedigree of the developer has been established, so perhaps we shouldn't have worried, but even Nixxes releases have been rushed in the past. Thankfully, initial impressions of this latest port are positive.

This is the first time Nixxes has produced a PC port based on the Sucker Punch engine, but it's clear that the studio has an established framework of features and all of them slot straight into this Tsushima port. That starts with an enviable range of display technology features, including the must-have features of arbitrary frame-rate and ultra-wide support. And it extends to other Nixxes standards, including the ability to choose any and all upscalers available to your particular GPU - DLSS, XeSS, FSR 3 - along with both AMD and Nvidia frame generation. There's an added twist, however. While DLSS frame-gen shipped from day one with the ability to use any spatial upscaler the user wanted (included none at all!), FSR 3 would only work with AMD's own solution. That's not the case with Tsushima though, meaning that owners of RTX 20 and 30 series GPUs can use DLSS upscaling in combination with FSR 3 frame generation.

Beyond that, Nixxes typical flair for scalability with their ports continues. Target 30 frames per second with dynamic resolution at 1280x800 at medium settings and the Steam Deck will work just fine. At the other extreme, I used an RTX 4090-equipped PC running fully maxed at 4K with Nvidia DLAA (think DLSS used for anti-aliasing only at native resolution), finding a minimum of 76fps across the first hour of play. And that's without frame generation, which takes us north of 100 frames per second.

Ghost of Tsushima's PC port leads this week's edition of DF Direct Weekly, hosted by Rich Leadbetter, John Linneman and Oliver Mackenzie.Watch on YouTube
  • 0:00:00 Introduction
  • 0:00:56 News 01: Ghost of Tsushima PC impressions!
  • 0:16:05 News 02: Assassin's Creed Shadows announced
  • 0:25:33 News 03: PlayStation news roundup!
  • 0:49:10 News 04: GTA 6 to arrive in Autumn 2025
  • 0:55:22 News 05: Red Dead Redemption possibly coming to PC
  • 1:02:30 News 06: PO'ed remaster released
  • 1:12:13 News 07: John and Oliver's new TVs!
  • 1:28:42 Supporter Q1: Will the changes to Xbox strategy reduce console competition?
  • 1:36:49 Supporter Q2: Does an Xbox-PC hybrid really make sense?
  • 1:43:49 Supporter Q3: Could Nvidia's rumoured ARM handheld SoC wipe the floor with Nintendo and Valve?
  • 1:48:50 Supporter Q4: Are there gaming applications for OpenAI's recently revealed AI tech?
  • 1:52:40 Supporter Q5: What are your most highly anticipated games for the rest of the year in terms of tech?
  • 1:56:21 Supporter Q6: How do you prefer to set up your PC displays when gaming?
  • 1:58:54 Supporter Q7: What are your thoughts on producing update videos on games that are delivered in a subpar state?
  • 2:04:25 Supporter Q8: What's the latest gaming and tech news you've enjoyed?

As a mid-way point, I also tested Ghost of Tsushima on what has lovingly been referred to as the DF Frankenstein's Console - a PC using the AMD 4800S desktop kit (an obscure Chinese OEM-only board based on the Xbox Series X CPU) with the Radeon RX 6700, the closest you'll get to a PC equivalent to the PS5's GPU. The result? I could use Intel XeSS upscaling running at a dynamic 1800p at a close-to-locked 60 frames per second on high settings. I chose this as PS5 targets 1800p with its 'frame-rate mode', albeit using checkerboard rendering which is not an option on PC. The 4800S reveals just how little CPU performance the consoles have up against today's mainstream processors, but even so, Ghost of Tsushima isn't CPU-limited here - it's only the taxing cutscenes (locked to 30fps on PS5) and a slightly under-reactive dynamic resolution system that stop us from running locked to 60fps.

We'll have more on the PC port of Tsushima soon, but right now, we can share some important information: first of all, there's no indication whatsoever that #StutterStruggle manifests in this game - it's very, very smooth. Secondly, similar to other Nixxes ports, there are scalability advantages over the PlayStation 5 version of the game, but overall, you're looking at a very familiar experience. Beyond the frame-rate and display options PC users enjoy, one of the biggest advantages comes from a notable boost to image quality. With no checkerboarding in sight, more modern upscalers can deliver a cleaner image - with quality moving off the charts when using DLAA in particular.

We've not completed visual head-to-heads up against PS5 yet, but right now, we'd contend that similar to other Nixxes efforts, the high visual setting gives ballpark equivalence in terms of graphical features - though there is no single level-of-detail preset that mirrors PS5 - which seems to be similar to high but with foliage draw that's like a mixture of low and medium. Shadow and volumetric quality is where PC can push significantly beyond PS5 standards. Alex will be taking a closer look at this port later in the week, offering up our recommendations for optimised settings, so look out for that.

There's plenty more to get your teeth into during this week's show - John and Oliver compare notes on their respective TV purchases, with the former sticking with OLED while the latter doubles down on LCD for his display of choice. John shares his enthusiasm for Nightdive's latest remaster - PO'ed - a remarkable release if only because we can't make a particularly compelling commercial argument for its existence... but the fact it does exist is entirely down to the passion and the mission of the studio itself, which is somewhat refreshing in light of recent events.

Meanwhile, between discussions on Grand Theft Auto 6's release date and the tantalising prospect of an actual PC port for the first Red Dead Redemption, there's some frank discussion about Sony, Microsoft and the state of this console generation - along with the remarkable statistic that around half of PlayStation's monthly users are still using PS4.

Supporter Q+A? It's a part of DF Direct Weekly that I love - we cover eight questions this week with topics as diverse as Nvidia's laptop plans, the viability of a hybrid Xbox/PC console, our most anticipated games of 2024 and whether there's actually any good news when everything is looking so grim right now. We get about 50 to 70 questions submitted each week. Some make it into the show, others will make it into our Supporter-only offering, DF InDirect, but I do read them all - it's great to stay in touch with what our audience are happy about, worried about or interested in. Along with our Discord, it's a crucial input into deciding what we should be covering. So, if you do like our work, consider joining us. See you next week!

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