It’s crazy to think that even a decade ago the PC was largely overlooked as a gaming platform by Japanese developers. You don’t have to look hard to see how things have changed, with everything from PlatinumGames’ smash-em-ups to JRPGs and of course Kojima Productions’ Metal Gear Solid V making their way over.
But even though traditionally console-oriented Japanese games are standard PC fare in 2020, no one could have expected Hideo Kojima’s Sony-published PS4 exclusive Death Stranding to appear on PC.
Well believe it because Death Stranding is here on PC, and it’s the perfect way to play Kojima’s melancholy masterpiece. Here’s why.
Let’s start with the kind of technicalities that put console gamers to sleep but have PC gamers rubbing their thighs in anticipation.
First up, there are the higher (120fps) framerate and up to native 4k resolution. Owners of ultra-widescreen monitors rejoice, because Death Stranding properly supports 21:9 resolutions too. The vast vistas and great American landscapes look /particularly/ good in this aspect ratio, so those historically overlooked ultrawide gamers are in for a treat.
Owners of Nvidia’s RTX GPU series are the big winners here, as Death Stranding takes advantage of Nvidia DLSS 2.0, a technology that pushes better performance out of any given resolution. It does this by rendering fewer pixels, then using ‘neural networks’ and AI learning to fill in for those missing pixels. It’s the kind of smart and jargony stuff befitting of Death Stranding.
PC players will also get to mess around with a new Photo Mode, which lets you pause the game and freely move the camera around, positioning it for those perfect snaps.
You’ll be able to use filters, different lenses, and of course get sulky hero Sam to throw the kinds of goofy poses he /definitely/ wouldn’t feel comfortable doing in-character. Photo Mode is a logical addition to a game renowned for its spectacular scenery, and lets you enjoy it without having to worry about getting swallowed up by BTs or getting your cargo rain-soaked.
And to top it all off, PC players get a bunch of free and exclusive in-game items. Pre-order bonuses include a digital soundtrack, digital art book, and various cosmetics and in-game goodies - the best of which are without doubt the Gravity Gloves and Headcrab hat from Half-Life: Alyx. Kojima himself has said that both of these items will offer some kind of in-game benefits, which could be related to the new Half-Life-themed side-missions that appear in the world.