I waited seven months to play Death Stranding on PC, and now with 10 hours in the game, I’m happy to report that this could easily be the definitive version of the delivery service.
On July 14, Hideo Kojima’s latest creative venture, Death Stranding, finally releases on PC. Like other PC players, I’ve waited since November to experience Death Stranding on PC, and now that I’ve had my hands on the game for about a week I’m happy to say that, so far, it was well worth the wait.
For those who are going into Death Stranding completely blind, let me give you a brief introduction without spoiling too much. You control Sam Porter Bridges, a legendary delivery man traveling lonesome across a dangerous post-apocalyptic United States, completing delivery orders and digitally connecting America’s remaining establishments. Sam’s job might sound boring, but there is no shortage of tense moments in Death Stranding; any given footstep could be your last as cargo-hungry thieves, the unforgiving environment, and invisible enemies known as BTs are all out for blood. Who knew that being a mailman could be the most difficult job in the entire country?
However, if you’ve already played the game, watched some gameplay online, or read Logan’s wonderful review, then that isn’t news to you. In that case, you’re probably wondering how this PC port performs. Well, I’m happy to report that so far my experience has been amazing; it’s clear that the seven months since the game’s PS4 launch were very well-spent. My PC barely meets Death Stranding’s recommended settings, yet I’ve played around 10 hours so far, all at 60+ FPS without graphical errors, slowdown, or crashes. Meanwhile, the graphics are some of the best I’ve ever seen on my PC; certain environments and character models are hyper-realistic to the point where I feel like I am controlling a character in an HDR video. This isn’t too surprising considering it’s a port to PC, but it is worth mentioning. After all, we have seen some terrible PC ports in the past.
Death Stranding’s controls also map really well onto the mouse and keyboard. Every keybind feels intuitive and those who prefer a controller can still easily plug one in and enjoy the game that way. The mouse and keyboard controls even include some quality of life changes that PS4 players would’ve loved; for example, you can now skip cutscenes and any short animations like Sam’s frequent showers without entering any menus. My only real complaint thus far is a small one; the loading screen when first launching the game up takes about 90 seconds. However, all other loading screens are pretty short, so you only have to sit through that load once per sitting.
Aside from the game’s stellar performance, Kojima Productions actually added new content into Death Stranding’s PC version in the form of new side quests in reference to the classic Valve franchises Half-Life and Portal. These quests become available around Episode 2, which is pretty early in Death Stranding’s campaign. These quests are definitely an exciting addition for PC players as they reward different cosmetics from and based upon the Valve franchises; for an example, look no further than the above screenshot that shows a Half-Life skinned vehicle. I’ve haven’t completed all of the Valve quests yet, but I can tell you that in the first mission I hauled a heavy Portal Companion Cube back to a delivery terminal and was rewarded with an awesome pair of Gordon Freeman glasses to make Sam look a little more scientific.
I’ve obviously never played the PS4 version of Death Stranding, and I’m sure that I’m far from completing its 40-hour campaign, but nothing I’ve experienced so far stops me from claiming that PC is now the definitive place to play Death Stranding. The game is visually stunning, controls well, and runs immaculately; so far I’d say it was well worth the seven month wait. However, I still have a few hundred more orders to complete; one of which is my review of Death Stranding’s PC version which I’ll be carefully delivering to DualShockers readers later this month.