A world in horrors, devastated by the events of death stranding caused by its unnatural, paranormal entities known as Beached Things, or by everyone as BTs. It’s up to you as Sam Porter Bridges (Norman Reedus) to reconnect the entire United Cities of America, the UCA, by doing an important task: being the continent’s delivery guy. Really, you deliver things. This is your ultimate DHL/FedEx simulator with quirks.
First launched on the PS4 in November of last year, Hideo Kojima’s latest set-piece divided his critics and fans by giving them Death Stranding – a game revealed in 2016 as Kojima’s first project away from Konami’s grasps.
Not everyone loved its lengthy gameplay that mostly involved walking from point A to point B just to deliver items to communities. It’s considered to be literally a drag by some, however, I do feel with its gameplay mechanics the game did a phenomenal job.
Diving into its deep and intricate gameplay would mean another full, head-on review of Death Stranding. Considering this is a port report, you may want to read our in-depth review of the game by Jarren Navarette on PS4 right here.
Made from Guerrilla Games’ own game engine, Death Stranding is the first title to have launched on PC that was developed using Decima. It’s one of Sony’s great first-party studio engines that provides fluidity in gameplay and the technical prowess shown in its games, especially in open-world titles like Guerrilla’s own Horizon: Zero Dawn – also coming to PC next month.
Death Stranding on PC further stretches how visually spectacular the game is, even pushing the boundaries of its overall technical performance. Running on a standard PS4 without performance dips or glitches at 30 frames-per-second (FPS) on 1080p is already impressive at a technical level.
On PC, the game is now able to push its limitations to even above 60 FPS. This further expands on huge improvements on the level of detail like its ambient occlusion, you can see how the light almost realistically bounces on objects and simulates its darker parts. The texture details are sharper, smoother on surfaces as if it’s almost catching up on the level of a Pixar animated movie, even slightly better than the 2007 CGI Beowulf film.
Death Stranding offers minimal graphical settings from Shadow Resolution, Anti-Aliasing, Graphics Quality, to Ambient Occlusion.
The game also features a nice option from Nvidia if you’re using an RTX card, the Deep Learning Super-Sampling (DLSS). This option is only available for selected games like Control and Metro Exodus. It enhances the game’s overall visual, smoothening jagged edges better than AA, while it tries to increase the FPS. It’s a great added feature to take advantage of.
However, unlike Rockstar Games’ Red Dead Redemption II’s deep graphic settings, you can’t further tweak any other configuration to further optimize the performance, especially on low-end GPUs. It’s just basically “basic” for a visually gorgeous game to only have a few options to tinker. Furthermore, the game only supports DirectX12 capable video-cards, and if you have an Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti, then you are out of luck.
It’s rather disheartening that a highly-optimized game like Death Stranding, which doesn’t require much in terms of system requirements to run it, isn’t able to offer a broader range of old generation GPUs, while Red Dead Redemption II does. You’re able to play the massive open-world wild west action on a GTX 750 Ti and still reach an average of 35FPS to 46FPS on low settings at 720p.
So if you’re reading this part and start to wonder why I’m discussing running a gorgeous game on an ancient entry-level video-card, there are players who can’t afford an upgrade, much more a PS4. So having a game to at least run on a GTX 750 Ti would mean the game can reach more players who don’t mind having eye-candy visuals.
One important aspect that Death Stranding failed to adapt during its launch last week is the cross-play feature. Most publishers and developers have opted to connect players regardless of platforms, and the sole message of the game itself is to connect and unite the world. Ironically, it doesn’t seem to do that with PC and PS4. Cross-play might be added in a future patch, so there’s that.
Death Stranding is still one impressive PC port. There are a handful of amazing ports, but Death Stranding just tops off of everything else especially that the game is running on a game engine that hasn’t been on PC despite having limited graphic options. PS4 owners who loved the game on launch and have a PC capable of running it on Very High settings, then you’ll be amazed by this definitive edition of Kojima’s latest piece.
Disclaimer: A Steam code was provided by the publisher for the sole purpose of coverage.