Death Stranding PC hands-on preview: Rebuilding America

Death Stranding launches on PC in two weeks, and Shacknews has a preview for your reading pleasure.

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Death Stranding was released on PlayStation 4 to critical acclaim last year, but many of our readers held off buying the game in anticipation of the PC release. Kojima Productions had been working from home during the pandemic, leading to a slight delay in Death Stranding's release, but good things sometimes come to those who wait. Find out how the game holds up in our preview.

Death Stranding hits differently in 2020

A lot has changed in the real world since the launch of Death Stranding on PS4. In 2019, some video game critics may have scoffed at the idea of the hero of a game being a delivery man schlepping around briefcases all day. Now, in 2020, we know all too well that delivery people are essential workers during this global coronavirus pandemic. It is very clear that Hideo Kojima just appreciates logistics companies more than the rest of us, once again proving to be ahead of his time and a visionary.

Many characters in Death Stranding are quarantined below ground, depending on the Sam Porter Bridges to deliver food, medicine, and supplies to them. While UPS and FedEx aren't literally rebuilding America, they are doing an amazing job of keeping the country running in these trying times. Even if sometimes Amazon sends me the wrong tea.

For a more detailed account of the game, please check out our review of Death Stranding on PS4. For the purpose of this preview, we will focus on what is different and new in the PC version of the game.

RTX On

Death Stranding features some stunning visuals on PC.
Death Stranding features some stunning visuals on PC.

Death Stranding features DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) 2.0. This is an NVIDIA RTX AI techonology that boosts frame rates while producing very crisp and gorgeous images. Death Stranding was already a visually stunning experience on PlayStation 4, but the PC version takes things to a whole new level.

There are a vast array of video settings. The game supports ultrawide monitor resolutions and allows for frame rates up to 240 fps. I tested the game out on a 1080Ti rig at home, and did notice some texture pop-ins when playing on the Very High setting. Our office PC has an RTX 2080 Ti, and the benefits of the DLSS 2.0 technology were very noticeable. There were several times during my playthrough of the PC preview build where I just had to stop and gawk at the goregous scenery.

This is the first time that a Decima Engine game has been ported to PC, and it is encouraging to see the stunning results while playing Death Stranding.

Half-Life and Portal Confirmed

Unlock a Headcrab in Death Stranding. Only on Steam!
Unlock a Headcrab in Death Stranding. Only on Steam!

Kojima Productions has partnered with Valve to bring players six side-missions exclusive to the PC version of the game that will show how the worlds of Death Stranding, Portal, and Half-Life are all connected. Players will receive in-game equipment and accessories for completing these brand new side quests.

Half-Life cosmetics in Death Stranding.
Half-Life cosmetics in Death Stranding.

A Strand-based Game

At a time when many of us Americans are socially distancing, unemployed, and stuck at home, Death Stranding's setting and world provide players with a great story of redemption and rebuilding. The gameplay loop focuses on delivering packages and regaining the trust of the public in an attempt ot reconnect America's fallen cities.

Not everyone is going to like playing parts of Death Stranding, but many players will be drawn in by the amazing environments created by Kojima Productions. The things that I loved about the PS4 version of the game shine even brighter on PC, with an amazing soundtrack and emotional cutscenes that make you care about the story of Sam Porter Bridges.

Players who may have passed on the PS4 release in anticipation of Death Stranding coming to PC will not be dissappointed. The game ran great during my preview experience, and features keyboard and mouse support. In a world that seems increasingly chaotic and apocalyptic, Death Stranding can provide players with a world that is actually trying to repair itself. I look forward to continuing my playthrough on PC leading up to the Steam launch on July 14.


This Death Stranding PC preview was based on a pre-release Steam demo of the game provided by Kojima Productions.

CEO

Asif Khan is the CEO and majority shareholder of Shacknews. He began his career in video game journalism as a freelancer in 2001 for Tendobox.com. Asif is a CPA and was formerly an investment adviser representative. After much success in his own personal investments, he retired from his day job in financial services and is currently focused on new private investments. His favorite PC game of all time is Duke Nukem 3D, and he is an unapologetic fan of most things Nintendo. Asif first frequented the Shack when it was sCary's Shugashack to find all things Quake. When he is not immersed in investments or gaming he is a purveyor of fine electronic music. Asif also has an irrational love of Cleveland sports.

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