Open-world hit Death Stranding comes to PC Game Pass today

Best open world games: Death Stranding

Microsoft’s PC Game Pass just got one of the best games out there.

Starting today (August 23), PC Game Pass users will have access to Death Stranding. This open-world game defies a lot of conventions, but what do you expect from Hideo Kojima’s first post-Konami Game? 

In Death Stranding, you play Sam Bridges (Norman Reedus) a porter who delivers cargo to isolated cities spread throughout a post-apocalyptic United States. While the game can be a bit jarring in its novelty and weirdness, it also provides gamers with something different from the typical action game.

Death Stranding was published by Sony Interactive Entertainment, so seeing it on Microsoft’s PC Game Pass may seem odd at first. However, Kojima Productions is not a first-party studio for Sony, and the game has been available on PC for some time. Death Stranding is currently ranked number three on our list of best open-world games

Death Stranding: Critical response 

death stranding screenshot

(Image credit: Sony)

Death Stranding is not without criticism — though nobody finds the game truly bad. In our review roundup, the most common complaint is that it can be a monotonous walking simulator at times. There is a lot of transporting cargo across the post-apocalyptic landscape once you get into the core of the game. However, most critics agree that the landscape is beautifully rendered by Kojima and his team.

The other main concern is that depending on the type of gamer you are, the first 10 hours may be a bit slow. You also cannot access the game’s online component — a key selling point of Death Stranding — until you get through this early portion of the game. 

Once you get through that 10 hours, though, you have the ability to see how other players impact the game world that you are in, even if you never directly interact with other players. Players can leave behind supplies, structures and messages for other players and you can even pick up another player's lost cargo and finish their delivery.

Our sister site PC Gamer really loved Death Stranding, particularly the PC version now coming to Game Pass. If you’re willing to simply let the game do its thing, to not fight that you have to walk for hours of the game and just immerse yourself in the experience, Death Stranding is a clear step above anything else like it. PC Gamer gave it their Game of the Year title in 2020, and it’s hard to argue with the choice. 

Don’t expect more Sony games to follow Death Stranding on to Xbox Game Pass 

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

(Image credit: Amazon)

While Death Stranding was published by Sony Interactive Entertainment, Kojima Productions is an independent studio and even has a partnership with Microsoft to create a currently untitled cloud-based game. That’s part of why Death Stranding was able to come out on PC less than a year after its PS4 release — though notably, it is still not on Xbox (and likely won’t be).

That means we should not expect Xbox Game Pass to get a flood of Sony games on Xbox or PC. Death Stranding will be unique on that front, as it is unique in many other aspects. So enjoy it while you can on PC Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. You may not get another opportunity like this again. 

Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.

Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.