If you’ve been waiting for Death Stranding to hit the PC, you’re definitely getting the best version of the game. Not only does it absolutely fly on most PCs, but it also looks way, way better.
We’ve written about how well Death Stranding runs before, but what we couldn’t reveal at the time was how it looked. That was part of the slightly bizarre embargo terms, which never made a lot of sense to me. It stopped reviewers from showing just how goddamn pretty the game is, both in and out of photo mode. Some examples:
All of those were taken at 1440p on the highest settings possible, by the way. Now that the game is out today, I’m keen to push it a bit further to 4K. My main monitor at the moment only does 1440p, and Nvidia’s super-resolution options weren’t supported in the pre-release build of Death Stranding on PC, so I couldn’t force it into 4K like you can with most games.
But if I had, the game would have run absolutely smoothly nonetheless. A technical breakdown by Digital Foundry has found not only does the game absolutely fly at 4K, but if you have an Nvidia card, their AI-powered DLSS 2.0 technique actually results in better image quality than when the game is running at native 4K resolution.
In quality mode, Nvidia’s AI-powered DLSS 2.0 retains sharper detail than Death Stranding‘s TAA anti-aliasing solution. On top of that, Nvidia’s AI reconstruction also results in a crisper image when the game is in motion, which is a huge win.
And that’s not even counting on DLSS 2.0’s main benefit: performance. Digital Foundry found that, running at 4K with DLSS set to Quality, DLSS ran almost 40 percent better than running the game at native 4K resolution. Performance mode almost doubled the frame rate in some scenes, although given how well the game runs as is, you’re better off just sticking with Quality.
It’s genuinely astonishing what the engine, which powers Death Stranding and Horizon: Zero Dawn, is capable of doing under these circumstances.
A lot of the tests, it’s worth calling out, weren’t done in boss fights or some of the more brutal scenes later in the game. But all you need to know is this. Death Stranding runs like a dream on PC — and it looks way better than the original PS4 or PS4 Pro version. On top of that, the frame rate and remapping means the game is genuinely easier, or at least more comfortable, to play on PC too. So if you’ve been holding out, now is definitely the time to jump in.