Death Stranding – how does it perform on a budget gaming PC?

Death Stranding is huge – no doubt about it – there’s no way we can fully review the whole game within a couple of days of launch so we’re taking a quick look at how it performs on PC and comparing to the PlayStation 4 release.

The gaming PC in question is relatively modest – it’s was a mid-range machine built a couple of years ago around an AMD Ryzen 5 1600 processor, NVIDIA GeFore GTX 1050 Ti GPU and 8GB RAM – so it’s never going to win any performance awards. That said it probably is reflective of a huge number of gaming rigs out there so rather than review on an all-singing all-dancing ultra powerful PC this probably is closer to the performance most people can expect from the game.

The download ran to just over 63GB – so it’s going to take a while to download and install but once up and running it seems to work pretty well. Starting on default settings the game was able to hover at around 45-50 fps for the duration of my time playing. That was running at a resolution of 1080p on medium detail on all settings with v-sync enabled.

I did whack the resolution up to the level that my monitor can handle – 3440 x 1440 at a 21:9 aspect ratio and things did begin to struggle. While pin-sharp there was noticeable slowdown from the start with an average FPS hovering between 20fps and 25fps for the majority of the time. It wasn’t unplayable but was at odds with the beautifully detailed imagery.

Finally I tested at the lowest resolution available – 1280 x 720 – and on the lowest details settings and while the game was clearly not as pretty as it could have been I was able to get a solid 60fps which felt very nice.

The video below demonstrates the various settings from the 60fps 720p right up to high detail with motion blur on the highest resolution my monitor can support.

There is the option to cap the frame rate right upto 240fps for those who have top-spec PCs but I didn’t get anywhere near that.

In terms of audio performance the game is outstanding. I used the recently released EKSA 900Pro headphones to play and the atmosphere that the game was able to convey with the gorgeous soundtrack was probably one of my highlights with the game so far. The audio positioning is perfect and I was able to pick out almost exactly where every sound placed within the world.

Death Stranding is very much a time sink – I had the game on the PlayStation 4 but never had the chance to really dive in. I’ve had only a few hours on PC so far but even those have been just as evocative as the time I had on the console version and nothing at all has been lost in the port. Hideo Kojima is a genius and the PC port even at the lowest settings is almost identical to that of the game on the standard PlayStation 4.

Colin Polonowski Colin Polonowski

Updated: Jul 20, 2020

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