Death Stranding – PC Review

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Before we jump in to this, I want to direct you to our previous PS4 Pro review of Death Stranding done by our editor in chief Ben Ward HERE. I cannot match his words on the gameplay and story so I won’t try. This is going to be reviewing the technical aspects of the PC version so if you’re after a full review I highly recommend you check out our initial review. But if you want a quick overview of our thoughts here at NGB read below:

Death Stranding is a weird game. It won’t be for everyone, but if you can find something to like in the relatively slow start, you’ll love it by the end. Typically Kojima for better and for worse, it’s a story about reconnecting people through the eyes of a bystander that becomes much more than that. Technically and visually outstanding, it’s going to be up there on my Game of the Year list for sure. A weird, but wonderful game.”

With that out of the way, let’s get into what makes Death Stranding a joy to play on PC. We already knew how incredible the Decima engine is, the game already looked gorgeous on PS4 Pro playing at a checkerboarded 2160p but it was capped to 30fps. From personal experience 30fps was never an issue until my eyes witnessed the same thing at 60 or above. So when I started Death Stranding and looked at the options available to me I was like a kid in a candy store. I decided to run the game at 1080p 240fps and wow, when I say this is smooth I mean smoooooth. The game still looks beautiful at 1080p with the most if not all of my graphical settings set to Very High. The difference in frame rate though really does make the game feel different and it’s hard to go back and play the PS4 Pro version. I also haven’t noticed any dips while running at fast pace through environments so the game has held up really well despite the incredible details. Cutscenes however appear locked to 60fps, although, to myself at least, I barely noticed.

Here are the minimum and recommended specs for the game:

  • MINIMUM:
    • OS: Windows® 10
    • Processor: Intel® Core™ i5-3470 or AMD Ryzen™ 3 1200
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce GTX 1050 3 GB or AMD Radeon™ RX 560 4 GB
    • DirectX: Version 12
    • Storage: 80 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX compatible
  • RECOMMENDED:
    • OS: Windows® 10
    • Processor: Intel™ Core i7-3770 or AMD Ryzen™ 5 1600
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB or AMD Radeon™ RX 590
    • DirectX: Version 12
    • Storage: 80 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX compatible

I luckily have a PC above the recommended spec so I really tried to push the game to it’s limits. The only thing I couldn’t get was 4K as my monitors are only capable of 2K output. But I felt frame rate was the priority for the best performance. The difference in visuals between resolutions isn’t enough to warrant choosing over frame rate which is something notoriously limited on consoles. If you’re looking for a reason to choose PC over PS4 for Death Stranding, frame rate is the singular reason in my opinion.

There are a host of settings you can use to get the most out of Death Stranding on PC. Ranging from depth of field, model details to ambient occlusion. I’ll post screenshots below of all of the different settings available to players:

Death Stranding also takes advantage of NVIDIA DLSS 2.0. I had to some research on this as I hadn’t heard of it before hand but here is the dumbed down version, it let’s you take full advantage of the game’s visual capabilities running on PC. A direct quote from NVIDIA says it “enables gamers to achieve 100+ FPS with maximum settings at 2560×1440 on all GeForce RTX GPUs. And for those who want the ultimate cinematic experience, DLSS 2.0 enables players to enjoy the critically acclaimed game at 4K, at over 60 FPS, with all settings maxed out.”. So if you can hit 4K on your PC, you don’t have to settle for 30FPS anymore using DLSS 2.0.

Overall the differences between PC and PS Pro are all about performance. The game performs better on PC, obviously, so if you have the choice between PS4 Pro and PC, it’s a relatively easy decision if you want the best performance. If you prefer the convenience of a console experience then your choice is easy. The game has been moved over brilliantly to PC but the PS4 Pro version is still a great choice.

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Death Stranding is a shinier, smoother experience on PC and cements itself as the best experience for Kojima Productions first title. With a host of customisation options to find the best mix of resolution and frames you can enjoy Death Stranding on PC at it's very best.

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