Death Stranding released in 2019 for the PS4 to somewhat mixed reviews, but it has finally made its way to the PC. This version doesn’t add any extra modes or gameplay, so the only difference you’ll notice from the PS4 version is its performance. So is the performance on PC worth the wait?
To preface this article, my computer is running an Nvidia 2070 Super, AMD Ryzen 3600x (overclocked to 4.25mhz), 16gb 3200mhz RAM, M.2 Nvme SSD, with a 75hz monitor. This means the absolute best I can hope for is 1080p at 75 frames-per-second, so your results may differ depending on the hardware you are using. I will only be covering how the title performs on the PC, you can read our full review here for a more in-depth explanation.
My first experience was not perfect. The game looks absolutely gorgeous on PC cranked up to ultra settings, which was really noticeable as I previously played the game on the standard PS4. Out of the gate though, I suffered some performance issues: the framerate was a little over the shop both during cutscenes and gameplay, which is never a good thing.
The positive here is not only can you tinker with your settings to balance graphics with performance, but this title does include the use of Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling, or DLSS 2.0 technology.
DLSS 2.0, in theory, should stabilise the performance of the title and allow you to get those precious few frames without sacrificing a steady experience. You will need to download the latest driver from Nvidia using the Geforce app to enable DLSS 2.0, but once enabled you should find that it’s a pretty smooth experience at a near-constant 75 FPS.
I am by no means an expert on technical settings, but from an experienced gamer perspective, I found that having DLSS on really helped smooth everything out and provide far better performance.
Cutscenes are locked to 60fps, which seems like a weird constraint to put on the game, especially as an in-game FPS counter will still show the title running at above 60 frames. Playing the title at above 60fps really helps to bring alive all the intricate animations that were put into this title, and it provides a much smoother experience as a result.
As with any PC game, the ability to tinker with graphics settings is always sought after, and Death Stranding provides a pretty good amount of customisation. One thing that is lacking is any kind of FOV (Field of View) slider, which I feel was a decision of Kojima to ensure the game was experienced the way he intended.
“…but I found once I got the hang of it that it was a lot easier to use the mouse and keyboard over a controller.“
Even with an SSD, the load times were not super great. When booting up the game it probably took around 10-15 seconds to fully load, which isn’t too bad as it took a lot longer on the original PS4. After this, there isn’t really too many other load screens you need to wait through.
The controls take some getting used to after having played this with a controller before, but I found once I got the hang of it that it was a lot easier to use the mouse and keyboard over a controller. In saying that, you could always opt to connect a controller if you so desired, or just remap the keyboard inputs.
There was a 1.01 patch released for the title on the 18th of July which sought to fix a few of the performance issues with the game, and it certainly seems to have helped as I haven’t encountered too many bugs or issues with my recent gameplay.
Another important aspect of this coming to the PC will be what the modding community adds to the title, with the possibilities being almost limitless. I am pretty excited to see what this could add to the game, from the downright silly, to the incredibly helpful. The title already has impressive visuals, so I can only imagine what it would look like with hardware that would enable 4K gaming at 60fps+.
All in all, Death Stranding on the PC is still essentially the same as you would have played on PS4 story and gameplay-wise, so I can recommend taking the dive if you have not experienced it before, keeping in mind it can be an acquired taste.
Death Stranding is out now on the PC through Epic Games and Steam.