Ghost of Tsushima’s purring cats is likely to be my favourite PS5 characteristic

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Because the PlayStation 5 debuted, we’ve seen a lot of novel makes use of of its DualSense controller. Sport builders have utilized the haptic vibrations to simulate climate like falling rain or blowing wind, whereas the added resistance within the triggers makes firing a weapon or making an exhausted NBA star dash all of the extra immersive. Usually these options assist make seemingly small interactions really feel extra notable — and my favourite new instance is the cats in Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Reduce on the PS5.

The brand new model isn’t actually a director’s minimize, not less than within the typical sense, however relatively an enhanced model of the open-world samurai sport that initially launched because the final massive PS4 unique in 2020. That sport married a reasonably commonplace open-world construction with distinctive samurai parts, like concerned sword preventing and the flexibility to soak in a scorching spring or discover a quiet spot to write down a haiku. The director’s minimize, in the meantime, is each a next-gen replace and an enlargement of that authentic sport.

When it comes to the enlargement, there’s a complete new area, known as Iki island, that options its personal storyline that’s fairly distinct from the principle marketing campaign. Protagonist Jin Sakai learns of a form of hallucinogenic poison getting used on Tsushima and tracks its supply all the way down to a cult-like group, led by a girl identified merely as Eagle, on Iki. With a purpose to shield his homeland he units out to the island to cease Eagle altogether.

Iki is far smaller than Tsushima, and the enlargement additionally has a a lot darker tone than the bottom sport. Issues begin out tough: Jin’s boat encounters some unhealthy climate, and he washes up on shore fully alone. Ultimately he joins forces with a gaggle of raiders who’ve been ravaged by Eagle’s forces. There’s a lot of dying and drama, and the problem has additionally been ramped up a bit — I maintain discovering myself dying much more than standard (although which will should do with the lengthy layoff between now and having performed the unique model final 12 months).

Exterior of the brand new location and quest line, in addition to the usual next-gen upgrades like improved visuals and efficiency (you may, as with most PS5 video games, select between “increased decision” and “higher body price”), there are additionally a handful of recent gameplay options. Shaman enemies are in a position to strengthen different fighters, including a pleasant layer of technique to fight, and you may as well unlock extra exploration abilities for locating particular areas. It’s right here that an important addition comes into play: animal sanctuaries.

Iki island feels way more alive than Tsushima, with a higher number of wildlife. Once I first arrived, there have been monkeys hanging out on the seaside, and as I moved deeper into the island, I found new areas the place cats simply type of grasp round, lazing within the grass. The primary time you discover a sanctuary you need to earn these cats’ belief by taking part in the flute, which you do by transferring the controller up and down, using the DualSense’s motion-sensing characteristic to maintain in tune. As soon as that’s sorted, you may stroll as much as any cat and press the fitting set off to pet them.

What follows is an lovable animation the place a cat slowly walks as much as Jin, sniffs, nuzzles his hand, after which provides him a playful chew on the wrist. The entire whereas, the DualSense does a outstanding job of replicating the unmistakable really feel of a purr by the controller’s vibrations. (It’s additionally a terrific place to mess around with the sport’s picture mode, the place you may actually zoom in to see the main points; when it’s windy, you may even see the cat’s fur blowing round.)

A part of what makes Ghost so distinct is the best way it balances brutal, bloody fight with quieter, extra reflective moments. These new sanctuaries lean into this concept much more. They’re not precisely important, and you might most likely expertise the brand new storyline with out even interacting with them. However, just a few hours in, they’ve been probably the most memorable a part of the enlargement for me up to now — there are few higher methods to unwind after a violent battle than with a cat purring in your fingers.

Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Reduce launches August twentieth on the PS5.