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The weird and wonderful visuals of Death Stranding on PC

Death Stranding is one of the few PlayStation 4 titles to have come to the PC, and it has brought with it a whole host of visual upgrades, some of which are exclusive to certain graphics cards. What exactly makes this version of the game so special? Let’s dive into what the PC port has to offer.

Before you boot up Death Stranding, you’re going to want to make sure your graphics cards are fully updated. Kotaku’s Chris Person put together a hilarious video about what might happen if you don’t. Fortunately, the issue seemingly only plagues the most current Nvidia GPUs, and can be fixed simply by making sure the latest drivers are installed.

Once that’s completed is when the magic happens. Any Nvidia RTX card supports DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) 2.0, which allows for some impressive performance increases even on lower-powered cards — a GeForce RTX 2060 is able to run the game at 4K and optimized settings at over 60 frames per second. How is that possible? This technology sets the game at a lower resolution, then uses an A.I. to process the information of each frame, turning 1440p footage into 4K, for example. That means there’s a ton of headroom on the GPU to process other visual improvements.

It’s not all Timefall and rainbows with this PC port, however. While this version of the game offers higher resolutions and much higher frame rates, the textures themselves are going to be similar to the console version. This means that running the game on an older GPU with a lower-than-4K resolution monitor is going to look nearly identical to the game on a PS4 Pro, save for a few extra frames per second.

The most important differentiator between the game on PlayStation and the game on PC is the support for ultra-wide monitors. With a 21:9 aspect ratio, much more of the game world is viewable. To take full advantage of this feature, the team actually added in details to cutscenes that wouldn’t have been previously available to see. Yoji Shinkawa, the game’s art director, said the console version felt like watching a TV series, while the PC version on an ultra-wide monitor had a filmlike quality.

All in all, while it may not push the envelope in terms of graphical fidelity, the PC port of Death Stranding marries fantastic style and art direction with interesting, bold new technology, making for a unique experience — so long as you have the graphics card and monitor to support it.

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Tom Caswell
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