Through 505 Games, Death Stranding, the Kojima Productions‘ decidedly For The Experience game, is delivered to PC players on Steam and the Epic Games Store. The long and short of it is that it’s the same game that has left players connecting many dots – both in-game and out of it – but with a multitude of options and taking advantage of the PC’s vastly more versatile hardware to further enhance the game. This review will primarily focus on the options available in the PC release.
If you’ve missed out on what Death Stranding is about, you play as Sam Porter Bridges, as played by Norman Reedus. He’s the near/distant future hardcore delivery man in America, in a world ravaged by mysterious explosions that have also flipped the idea of life and death on its head. With a missing sister, busted roads and being the protagonist, Sam’s mission is to reconnect the United Cities of America with his deliveries, threading people together one at a time.
The premise is pretty easy enough to understand. For a game like this, it really is about the journey, rather than the destination, for you to enjoy whatever strange twists or elements that Hideo Kojima has written into this work. If you want a comprehensive review of the game up to a point, you can peruse ours here for the original PS4 release.
While I couldn’t put to the full test the high frame rate and ultra-wide monitor support, I did at least go through the almost dizzying array of options available for the PC release. Here’s a visual comparison between the PS4 Pro and the MSI GE75 Raider 8SE:
I must admit I thought the requirements to run Death Stranding on PC was going to be high if I wanted it to have it look good, but as it were, on my home PC with an Intel Core i5-9400F CPU @ 2.90GHz and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660, there were no problems with the default options. Even if you’re running a closer to mid-range machine, you can still admire all of Death Stranding in most, if not all, of its glory.
One of the new features available with the port is the Photo Mode. There’s a lot of options to play around even before you start fiddling with the filters and such:
- Camera menu
- Free moving the camera
- Fast/Slow camera movement
- Show UI
- Show Signs
- Show Odradek Scan
- Show Sam or remove him for just a scenery shot
- All those minute details you might normally have only seen in the Private Room are all here and there are, A LOT of expressions
- This one’s subtle, it changes where Sam’s eyes are looking at
- Turn towards camera
- Tilt Weight
- Detailed Tilt Settings
- Face and body, both vertical and horizontal
- Detailed Tilt Settings
- Naturally not available until you actually get BB
- Depth of field
- Manual focus
- Brightness and filter
- Colour filters
- Filter type
- Effect Strength
- Lens effect
- Vignette Size
- Vignette Strength
- Lens Distortiton
- Chromatic Aberration
- Logo options are also here
The settings menu is likewise extensive. Besides the added difficulty option, you have a variety of quality of life inclusions, such as:
- Hide/show signs with spoilers
- BT Encounter Warnings
- Tips display
- Rebindable hotkeys
- Toggle movement option e.g. sprint
You can still attach a controller if you have one if you prefer that too. I feel like the controls on the PC feel just a bit more natural, with the balancing act utilizing the mouse instead of the trigger buttons of the controller. It could just be personal preference too, of course, especially if you do plug in a controller for this game. The rebindable keys should make it easier for primarily PC players to adjust the keys as they see fit, so keyboard and mouse would be superior in that case.
The fact that the FPS can be uncapped up to 240 FPS would be especially exciting for those with higher end PCs. It does feel smoother and faster compared to when I originally played it on the PS4 Pro, so that’s one point in its favour. Cutscenes are locked to 60 FPS though, and can even dip further, which is a shame.
All in all, the port to PC has been excellent for Death Stranding, with nitpicks here and there depending on how much further you really want to tweak the game. I would see the nitpicks as part of concessions on Kojima Productions’ part to ensure the game looks the way they want it to, which is understandable.
If you missed out on the original release and want to experience all of the hazardous delivery and the story as Kojima wants to tell you, you won’t go wrong with the PC port. You’d even get some extra missions for Valve-themed cosmetics! There’s no official mod support just yet, but now that it’s on PC, I’d say that’s free real estate. Now venture forth into the world and reconnect America!