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

When a game arrives for review on the same day it’s released to the general public, it often raises a red flag. I mean, if the quality of the game is good, why not tell people in advance? And yet that’s the situation we faced with the release of Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut – the latest PC port from the masters at Nixxes. The developer’s pedigree has been established, so perhaps we shouldn’t have worried, but even Nixxes releases have been rushed in the past. Fortunately, first 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 a set framework of features and they all fit straight into this Tsushima port. That starts with an enviable array of display technology features, including the must-have features of random frame rate and ultra-wide support. And it extends to other Nixxes standards, including the ability to choose all the upscalers available for your specific GPU – DLSS, XeSS, FSR 3 – along with both AMD and Nvidia frame generation. However, there is an additional twist. While DLSS frame-gen shipped from day one with the ability to use any spatial upscaler the user wanted (including none at all!), FSR 3 would only work with AMD’s own solution. However, that’s not the case with Tsushima, meaning owners of RTX 20 and 30 series GPUs can use DLSS upscaling in conjunction with FSR 3 frame generation.

Additionally, Nixxe’s signature flair for scalability with their ports remains. Aim for 30 frames per second with a dynamic resolution of 1280 x 800 at medium settings and the Steam Deck will work just fine. At the other extreme, I used an RTX 4090-equipped PC running at full 4K with Nvidia DLAA (think DLSS is only used for anti-aliasing at native resolution), finding a minimum of 76fps for the first hour of play. And that’s without frame generation, which takes us above 100 frames per second.

The PC port of Ghost of Tsushima 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 will be released in the fall of 2025
  • 0:55:22 News 05: Red Dead Redemption may be 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 Question 1: Will the changes in Xbox strategy reduce console competition?
  • 1:36:49 Supporter Question 2: Does a hybrid Xbox-PC really make sense?
  • 1:43:49 Supporter Q3: Could Nvidia’s rumored ARM handheld SoC wipe the floor with Nintendo and Valve?
  • 1:48:50 Supporter Question 4: Are there any gaming applications for OpenAI’s newly unveiled AI technology?
  • 1:52:40 Supporter Question 5: What are the most anticipated games for the rest of the year in terms of technology?
  • 1:56:21 Supporter Question 6: How do you prefer to set up your PC screens while gaming?
  • 1:58:54 Supporter Question 7: What are your thoughts on making update videos for games that arrive in poor condition?
  • 2:04:25 Supporter Q8: What’s the latest gaming and technology news you liked?

Halfway through, I also tested Ghost of Tsushima on what’s affectionately called 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). the Radeon RX 6700 is the closest you can get to a PC equivalent to the PS5’s GPU. The result? I could use Intel XeSS upscaling at a dynamic 1800p at an almost locked 60 frames per second on high settings. I chose this because the PS5 targets 1800p with its ‘framerate mode’, albeit using checkerboard rendering, which isn’t an option on PC. The 4800S shows just how little CPU performance the consoles have compared to today’s mainstream processors, yet Ghost of Tsushima isn’t CPU limited here – it’s just the taxing cutscenes (locked to 30fps on PS5) and a slightly under-responsive dynamic resolution system that ensures that we do not run at 60 fps.

We’ll have more to say about the PC port of Tsushima soon, but for now we can share some important information: First of all, there’s no indication whatsoever that #StutterStruggle is manifesting itself in this game – it’s very, very smooth. Secondly, as with other Nixxes ports, there are economies of scale over the PlayStation 5 version of the game, but overall you’re looking at a very familiar experience. Besides the frame rate and display options that PC users enjoy, one of the biggest benefits comes from a notable improvement in image quality. With no checkerboard in sight, more modern upscalers can deliver a cleaner image, with quality off the charts especially when using DLAA.

We haven’t completed the visual showdown with PS5 yet, but at this point we’d argue that, as with other Nixxes efforts, the high visual setting offers parity in terms of graphical features – although there’s no single level of detail preset that mirrors PS5 – which seems to be similar to high, but with leaf drawing that’s a mix of low and medium. Shadow and volumetric quality is where PC can go significantly beyond PS5 standards. Alex will take a closer look at this port later this week and make our recommendations for optimized settings, so keep an eye out for that.

There’s plenty more to sink your teeth into on 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 notable release, if only because we can’t make a particularly compelling commercial case for its existence… but the fact that it exists is entirely thanks to the passion and mission of the studio itself, which is somewhat refreshing in light of recent events.

Meanwhile, between the discussions about Grand Theft Auto 6’s release date and the tantalizing 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 notable statistic that around half of monthly PlayStation users still use PS4.

Q&A for supporters? It’s a part of DF Direct Weekly that I love – we tackle eight questions this week covering 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 is actually any good news when everything looks so bleak right now. We receive approximately 50 to 70 questions every week. Some make it to the show, others make it to our Supporter-only offering, DF InDirect, but I read them all – it’s great to keep in touch with what our audience is happy about, concerned about or interested in. our Discord, it is a crucial input to decide what to cover. So if you like our work, please consider joining us. See you next week!

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