Death Stranding: Director's Cut

Posted:  January 23, 2023
SDHQ BUILD SCORE: 
Cloud Saves
Disclaimer: This is an initial impression of the game. Our review and recommended settings will be updated when we've completed a full and thorough analysis of how it performs on Steam Deck. Check back soon for our full analysis!
SDHQ Settings
Review
Game Info

SDHQ Recommended Settings

SteamOS
30 FPS
Limit
60
Refresh Rate
HRS
No
TDP Limit
9
Scaling Filter
Linear
GPU Clock
1200
Proton Version

Proton GE 7-47

Game Settings

Settings Used for Pre-XeSS Version:

Model Detail: Low

Memory for Streaming: Low

Shadow Resolution: Medium

Ambient Occlusion: On

Screen Space Reflections: Off

AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution (1.0): Quality

Projected Battery Usage and Temp
14W - 16W
68c - 73c
2.5 - 3 hours

Review

Thank you to Jimmy Champane from Deck Ready for helping me test late-game scenes for this first look and TheFirstJosh for providing a save game I could test with.

Will you be able to bring this shattered world back together? In Death Stranding, you are Sam Porter Bridges, a delivery man who travels across a post-apocalyptic America to reconnect cities and society. The game features elements of stealth, as well as open-world exploration and a variety of missions to complete as you deliver packages and fend off enemies in this third-person experience.

Death Stranding is directed by Hideo Kojima, and with some of his signature storytelling and world building. The story can feel a bit convoluted at times, but is overall a fantastic experience, which the Director's Cut expands on. With new items, expanded combat, more customization, new missions, new structures, and more, the Director's Cut is the best way to experience this world, but on the Steam Deck, some compromises are needed to enjoy all it has to offer.

With Death Stranding Director's Cut, I had a mix of feelings. First, it started off with excitement as the 30 FPS with XeSS seemed to be holding up under a 17W drain, but as it got a bit more intense, the cracks started to form. They formed so hard that my game crashed about 3-4 times, all with different setting configurations I was testing and in different spots. Turning off all caps was a little bit better, but also drained a significant amount more that I didn't feel justified the slight increase in stability, and that's just regarding the opening areas.

Death Stranding: Director's Cut is a weird egg. The power draw is stagnant and doesn't change much with any graphics setting changes. On top of that, setting everything on the lowest possible settings with FSR 1.0 at performance mode only saved around 1W of drain and when caps were turned off, it still drained really high. I also tried forcing resolution with Steam and while it technically worked, it only decreased the size of the game's window and didn't change any battery drain or temps.

Compare
FSR on
XeSS On
\
XeSS On
FSR on

Jimmy from Deck Ready helped test this on his end. In one of the late-game factory scenes, he confirmed that regardless of the settings, there were drops no matter what. From multiple reports, you will start to see this more and more towards the late-game, making it near impossible to play at times with crashes and framerate drops. This kind of performance degradation started becoming a bit more noticeable after the patch that added in XeSS, so I decided to try the game in a pre-updated state to see how much the performance changed.

Death Stranding Director's Cut - Before XeSS

Before I go into the findings, I was able to go backwards in version by using the Steam console and downloading the corresponding manifest for the game and replacing the game files. I found this using SteamDB and going to the correct game depot. I will post a small guide on how to do this yourself soon because, as I thought, performance can be improved by downgrading Death Stranding: Director's Cut to the previous version. Due to borrowing a save from TheFirstJosh, I also had to hex edit the game's .exe file to bypass any corrupted save checks.

Just for transparency, this is the console command I used in Steam to download the old version of the game, which I then used to replace the files stored in the local area:

download_depot 1850570 1850571 7865482309805580274

While more testing needs to be done, I was finding the game to hold framerate much better in the older version, especially at 30 FPS, and at lower battery drain. When riding around on vehicles, I noticed a significant reduction in drops at a similar graphics setting with Ultra Quality on FSR. I did encounter bigger drops when it started raining and the BTs showed up, but switching "Available Video Memory" to Low and changing FSR quality to "Quality" did help bring this back up to 30 (TDP Limit of 9). Overall, more testing needs to be done, but I believe downgrading the version will be the way to go.

For comparison, I also tried a bit of the original game, which seems to run better than the DC version completely. This makes sense since it is using older graphical tech that isn't as demanding, but since it isn't on sale anymore, it doesn't matter too much.

Conclusion (For Now)

There is still a lot to test and go over with Death Stranding, but I believe the best way to play this currently is pre-XeSS update. With lower settings, it was able to handle the rain and BTs much better than before and still looked pretty decent with FSR on quality. If you want to just play without the downgrade, be prepared for late-game areas or spots where it is raining and BTs show up as it will slow the game down, possibly leading to crashes. Death Stranding is an awesome game and I highly recommend buying it just because of the content, but enjoying it on the Steam Deck in late game areas will require a bit of finessing.

Extra Screenshots:

Just some cool shots I got while I was testing:

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

If you enjoyed this first look, be sure to check out the rest of the content on SteamDeckHQ! We have a wide variety game reviews and news that are sure to help your gaming experience. Whether you're looking for newstips and tutorialsgame settings and reviews, or just want to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, we've got your back

SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Death Stranding: Director's Cut is an awesome game and it can be played, but there will be a lot of issues later in the game on Steam Deck.

Performance: 
VISUALS: 
Stability: 
Controls: 
Battery: 
Reviewed By:
Noah Kupetsky
Steam Profile
Steam Deck Compatibility
Current Price: 
$39.99
View in Steam Store
Proton DB Rating

Review

Thank you to Jimmy Champane from Deck Ready for helping me test late-game scenes for this first look and TheFirstJosh for providing a save game I could test with.

Will you be able to bring this shattered world back together? In Death Stranding, you are Sam Porter Bridges, a delivery man who travels across a post-apocalyptic America to reconnect cities and society. The game features elements of stealth, as well as open-world exploration and a variety of missions to complete as you deliver packages and fend off enemies in this third-person experience.

Death Stranding is directed by Hideo Kojima, and with some of his signature storytelling and world building. The story can feel a bit convoluted at times, but is overall a fantastic experience, which the Director's Cut expands on. With new items, expanded combat, more customization, new missions, new structures, and more, the Director's Cut is the best way to experience this world, but on the Steam Deck, some compromises are needed to enjoy all it has to offer.

With Death Stranding Director's Cut, I had a mix of feelings. First, it started off with excitement as the 30 FPS with XeSS seemed to be holding up under a 17W drain, but as it got a bit more intense, the cracks started to form. They formed so hard that my game crashed about 3-4 times, all with different setting configurations I was testing and in different spots. Turning off all caps was a little bit better, but also drained a significant amount more that I didn't feel justified the slight increase in stability, and that's just regarding the opening areas.

Death Stranding: Director's Cut is a weird egg. The power draw is stagnant and doesn't change much with any graphics setting changes. On top of that, setting everything on the lowest possible settings with FSR 1.0 at performance mode only saved around 1W of drain and when caps were turned off, it still drained really high. I also tried forcing resolution with Steam and while it technically worked, it only decreased the size of the game's window and didn't change any battery drain or temps.

Compare
FSR on
XeSS On
\
XeSS On
FSR on

Jimmy from Deck Ready helped test this on his end. In one of the late-game factory scenes, he confirmed that regardless of the settings, there were drops no matter what. From multiple reports, you will start to see this more and more towards the late-game, making it near impossible to play at times with crashes and framerate drops. This kind of performance degradation started becoming a bit more noticeable after the patch that added in XeSS, so I decided to try the game in a pre-updated state to see how much the performance changed.

Death Stranding Director's Cut - Before XeSS

Before I go into the findings, I was able to go backwards in version by using the Steam console and downloading the corresponding manifest for the game and replacing the game files. I found this using SteamDB and going to the correct game depot. I will post a small guide on how to do this yourself soon because, as I thought, performance can be improved by downgrading Death Stranding: Director's Cut to the previous version. Due to borrowing a save from TheFirstJosh, I also had to hex edit the game's .exe file to bypass any corrupted save checks.

Just for transparency, this is the console command I used in Steam to download the old version of the game, which I then used to replace the files stored in the local area:

download_depot 1850570 1850571 7865482309805580274

While more testing needs to be done, I was finding the game to hold framerate much better in the older version, especially at 30 FPS, and at lower battery drain. When riding around on vehicles, I noticed a significant reduction in drops at a similar graphics setting with Ultra Quality on FSR. I did encounter bigger drops when it started raining and the BTs showed up, but switching "Available Video Memory" to Low and changing FSR quality to "Quality" did help bring this back up to 30 (TDP Limit of 9). Overall, more testing needs to be done, but I believe downgrading the version will be the way to go.

For comparison, I also tried a bit of the original game, which seems to run better than the DC version completely. This makes sense since it is using older graphical tech that isn't as demanding, but since it isn't on sale anymore, it doesn't matter too much.

Conclusion (For Now)

There is still a lot to test and go over with Death Stranding, but I believe the best way to play this currently is pre-XeSS update. With lower settings, it was able to handle the rain and BTs much better than before and still looked pretty decent with FSR on quality. If you want to just play without the downgrade, be prepared for late-game areas or spots where it is raining and BTs show up as it will slow the game down, possibly leading to crashes. Death Stranding is an awesome game and I highly recommend buying it just because of the content, but enjoying it on the Steam Deck in late game areas will require a bit of finessing.

Extra Screenshots:

Just some cool shots I got while I was testing:

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

If you enjoyed this first look, be sure to check out the rest of the content on SteamDeckHQ! We have a wide variety game reviews and news that are sure to help your gaming experience. Whether you're looking for newstips and tutorialsgame settings and reviews, or just want to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, we've got your back

SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Death Stranding: Director's Cut is an awesome game and it can be played, but there will be a lot of issues later in the game on Steam Deck.

Performance: 
VISUALS: 
Stability: 
Controls: 
Battery: 
Reviewed By:
Noah Kupetsky
Steam Profile

SDHQ Recommended Settings

SteamOS
30 FPS
Limit
60
Refresh Rate
HRS
No
TDP Limit
9
Scaling Filter
Linear
GPU Clock
1200
Proton Version

Proton GE 7-47

Game Settings

Settings Used for Pre-XeSS Version:

Model Detail: Low

Memory for Streaming: Low

Shadow Resolution: Medium

Ambient Occlusion: On

Screen Space Reflections: Off

AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution (1.0): Quality

Projected Battery Usage and Temp
14W - 16W
68c - 73c
2.5 - 3 hours
Steam Deck Compatibility
Current Price: 
$39.99
View in Steam Store
Proton DB Rating

7 comments on “Death Stranding: Director's Cut”

  1. I just finished my first playthrough on SD using the Epic giveaway version and Heroic Launcher. Had a couple crashes, especially early in the game, but on low settings I was able to get 30 to 40 FPS through most the game and non of the crashes were game breaking.

  2. It is weird that the review mentioned so many issues and crashes with the game in the steam deck. It is true, that the load is higher than the regular version, but im playing the actual version with online connection most of the settings between high and medium and 30fps fix. I would like to lower the resolution in game more to get more benefits from using fsr what works nice so far. Beside this the game works just wonderful on my steamdeck and is one of my favorite games I play while commuting

    1. Hi! What do you mean by the actual version? The Director's Cut or the original? It would be awesome to be able to effectively lower the resolution and upscale that way though.

      1. The actual updated directors cut. So with the newest patch that seemed to cause issues in the test above.

        I own both versions on steam (the standard and the directors cut) and I transferred my save games to the DC. It was a but annoying on the steamdeck because you have to do it manually in desktop mode but then it worked. Really no issues with both versions of the game on the steam deck and I play it a lot right now.

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