The lack of Scalability in the PC Port of Death Stranding Restricts the Otherwise Best Implementation of the Game

Death Stranding was the most bizarre yet unique AAA game that one could experience on the PS4. It was the first game from the iconic Hideo Kojima’s new studio Kojima Productions. Arguably the studio had to deal with the hardware shortcomings of the PS4 and PS4 Pro while designing the game. Both consoles could not achieve the intended 30/60 FPS consistently. Add the checkerboarded 4K rendering on PS4 Pro, and we were looking at the title that could achieve so much had there been a more powerful platform.

This is where the PC port of the games comes in the mix. Death Stranding was the first PS4 exclusive for which the PC port was announced within weeks of the initial release. Now that the game is finally released on Steam and Epic Games Store, let’s see how the open (and more powerful) structure of the PC platform allows the game to flourish.

Starting with the obvious, players would be able to experience the game as it was intended by the developers, i.e., it could finally run at 60 FPS (potentially much more). Unfortunately, the game does not allow unlocked FPS, but you can select the frame-limiter from 30 FPS up to 240 FPS. The same could be said for the resolution as well. You can not opt for a custom resolution. According to the digital foundry, The developers have added a set of options (from 720p to 4K) that players can choose depending upon the hardware. Cut-scenes are also locked at 60 FPS regardless of your frame-limiter.  Anisotropic filtering is also locked at 16x.

The game also supports DLSS from Nvidia and adaptive sharpening from AMD. Both these work very similarly and allows for better performance at higher resolutions. It reduces the rendering resolution to its 75% on both axis and uses optimal anti-aliasing solution and AI to boost resolution and performance. The implementation of DLSS is so on point in this game that the game can output stable 4K 60FPS performance on an overclocked RTX 2060 graphics card. Other anti-aliasing options, such as TAA and FXAA, are also included.

Other than these, there are a plethora of graphics options, including motion blur, ambient occlusion, SSR, and depth of field that can either be turned on or off depending upon the user. All of these are turned on in both console versions, and turning any of these off does not result in a significant performance gain.

Lastly, we can say that the PC port of Death Stranding looks better than the PS4 Pro version but the lack of scalability and ‘tight controls’ restrict the overall outlook of the game. In contrast, the PC port of Horizon Zero Dawn (based on Decima engine too) shows that scalability and ‘openness’ can alter the whole game if implemented correctly.


Mohsin Naeem

Mohsin is a budding writer who has a thing for PC hardware and gaming. He has been building computers according to the need of his clients and is well versed in the area. He is an economics major and the analytical skills he learned from his academics adds to his writing and gives him a unique way to observe the tech industry.
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