The weirdest PS5 game I’ve ever played is headed to iPhone 15 Pro — I can’t wait to see it on a small screen

Death Stranding Director's Cut
(Image credit: Kojima Productions)

Hideo Kojiama’s truly bizarre adventure centreing around the lengthy treks of Norman Reedus’ post-apocalyptic postman is a game like no other. Sometimes boring, often beguiling, Death Stranding is a real one-off. And now the Director’s Cut version is headed to iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max thanks to the power of Apple’s A17 pro chip.

Right now, you can currently pre-order Death Stranding Director’s Cut for just $19 from the U.S. Apple App store (thanks, MacRumors). That’s a terrific 50% saving, but you better act fast as this is a limited time deal, with Kojima’s-san’s baby-cradling game returning to its regular $39 retail price shortly after it launches on January 30.

ACT FAST! Death Stranding Director's Cut: was $39 now $19 @ U.S. Apple App Store

ACT FAST! Death Stranding Director's Cut: was $39 now $19 @ U.S. Apple App Store
If you're quick, you can pre-order Death Stranding Director's Cut from the App Store for just $19, which is a fantastic 50% saving. This version will work on both the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, while it will also runs on any M1-powered Macs or iPads. The Director's Cut adds bonus material, like a firing range, a racetrack and more missions. 

This latest port of Kojiam’s eco-conscious opus is also playable on the best MacBooks with M1 chips or later, and that’s the same chipset requirement for iPads, too. You just need to ensure you have at least MacOS 12/iPadOS 17.0 running before you can start going to town on ruining poor old Sam Porter Bridges' shins by stacking all of the sci-fi luggage on his poor back.

Initially, I bounced off Death Stranding hard. It doesn’t really get going for hours, Kojima still loves to have his actors spout nonsensical dialogue over 30 minute Metal Gear Solid-style cutscenes and just ferrying various machinery parts from A to B can be a pain. Maneuvering Sam across an eerily beautiful post-apocalyptic America — with large areas clearly being inspired by Icelandic landscapes — is eye-arousing, no doubt. It just gets a teensy bit frustrating when you keep tripping over tiny rocks every 17 seconds.

Sam isn’t Spider-Man. Sometimes merely getting him up a mildly bumpy hill can be a real challenge"

Sam isn’t Spider-Man

Sometimes merely getting him up a mildly bumpy hill can be a real challenge if you’ve loaded too much cargo onto his back. Think of Mr Bridges as a walking game of Jenga in handsome human form. If you don’t place the blocks/cargo in juuuuust the right order, The Walking Dead actor is likely in store for a painful tumble.

Thankfully, you evenutally get bikes, trucks, motorized loaders and special mechanical leg braces that let you run really fast, so the game definitely opens up to make navigation less of a teeth-gnashing chore as you progress. 

Death becomes him

Death Stranding Director's Cut

(Image credit: Kojima Productions)

On PS5 and PC, Death Stranding really holds up, despite being released on PS4 back in 2019. Thanks to its use of the Decima Engine, it’s always been a tremendously well optimized game that runs at a buttery smooth 60fp on PC. My 60-odd playthrough was on PC, so I was playing at double that frame, and in motion, it was often spectacular to look at… no matter how much of a clutz Sam was being.

To punctuate all the silence that constantly permeates through the game’s lonely mountain ranges, Kojima drops in some absolute bangers, primarily from the former Icelandic indie rock group Low Roar. The group’s chilling yet soulful highlights include “Don’t Be So Serious”, “Because We Have To” and “Please Don’t Stop”.

I could never have finished this ponderous yet curiously hard to put down game if I hadn't been simultaneously binging the X-Files on my iPad"

It’s been years since I’ve played it, but my big takeaways from Death Stranding were thus. Why does Sam have an actual baby shoved down his throat? And no, that really isn’t a typo. Why am I shooting a flying whale covered in oil? And could I ever have finished this ponderous yet curiously hard to put down one of a kind game if I wasn’t simultaneously binging the X-Files on my iPad. I definitely know the answer to that last question. Fox Mulder, thanks for keeping my senses in check every time I crashed on my ass.

Considering the recent iPhone 15 releases of both Resident Evil Village and Resident Evil 4 didn’t come without performance issues even with the power of the A17 Pro, I’ll be interested to see how Death Stranding performs on both the iPhone 15 Pro and the likes of the MacBook Pro 16-inch M3 Max. I’m not suddenly expecting Death Stranding to boast hardware-accelerated ray-tracing, but Apple’s beast should have more than enough power to run this aging game smoothly.

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Dave Meikleham
UK Computing Editor

Dave is a computing editor at Tom’s Guide and covers everything from cutting edge laptops to ultrawide monitors. When he’s not worrying about dead pixels, Dave enjoys regularly rebuilding his PC for absolutely no reason at all. In a previous life, he worked as a video game journalist for 15 years, with bylines across GamesRadar+, PC Gamer and TechRadar. Despite owning a graphics card that costs roughly the same as your average used car, he still enjoys gaming on the go and is regularly glued to his Switch. Away from tech, most of Dave’s time is taken up by walking his husky, buying new TVs at an embarrassing rate and obsessing over his beloved Arsenal.