Death StrandingNov 08, 2019
Sam Bridges must brave a world utterly transformed by the Death Stranding. Carrying the disconnected remnants of our future in his hands, he embarks on a journey to reconnect the shattered world one step at a time.
I decided to not watch anything past the first reveal trailer, and that was probably the best decision I could have made.
I didn’t expect to love this game, I thought I’d play for like 3 hours and quit. but I was surprised with how solid the gameplay was. It’s fairly simple, but that’s the beauty of it.
You trek across america trying to rebuild the country by reconnecting the “chiral network”. You’ll have to traverse through BT zones, timefall, strong winds, harsh mountains covered in snow, etc.
The movement system is pretty bare bones but also solid, you’ll have to manage your cargo depending on the environment and weather, and if you carry too much you’ll have to actively rebalance yourself to make sure it doesn’t topple over. The management is satisfying, like say you have to travel through strong winds coming from your left, you’ll have to constantly lean your character to the left to fight the wind, orrrr you could rearrange your cargo to allocate more weight to your left which will make it easier to traverse.
the inventory management feels great and just gets better as you progress and unlock more blueprints (like which skeleton to use to help you get to your destination, or which guns to keep on you to deal with MULEs, etc.) every once n a while you’ll have to deal with MULEs who want to take your cargo, but they’re quite easy to take out. you can raid their camp to get a shit ton of materials to put into fabrications or to build structures to help yourself and other players traverse the terrain.
Throughout the game you’ll encounter big BTs that you have to actually kill to progress, which is where the game starts having some problems. The gunplay feels very stiff, it’s not very satisfying.
Another con is the vehicle handling, driving the truck is so frustratingly difficult, its not even worth trying.
the motorcycle is little better but the turning on it feels a tad stiff n tanky.
The story is confusing at the start but it comes together in the last 6 hours. characters like deadman are very likeable. though there are some iffy lines like “im princess beach” which just makes you cringe. but those aren’t very common.
Very easy to follow the story, unlike metal gear (dear god)
Overall: While the game will definitely be divisive, I enjoyed my time with it, and feel like Kojima delivered exactly what i wanted from this game.
I personally recommend this game to anyone who is on the fence about it.
11/24/19: Definitely a Kojima game; where he thought of a premise that makes very little sense in a practical world. It could just as easily be a game about being a postal worker in 2019 who encounters ghosts on his route, but it has to be the most overly complicated nonsensical plot ever. I've played every single Kojima game (MGS and MGS4 being my all time favorite) and there is usually a sense of accomplishments between the gameplay and the overly long cinematic and dialog trees... but this game feels way more tedious in the ladder. He nailed the presentation aspect though; that opening gameplay segment with the music (low Roar "Don't be so serious") playing as you're running through the green open fields. That was beautiful. I just fixed up the bike, so my route's between bases will be quicker. But god damn it's still a game about delivering packages.
I found my Vita yesterday and eventually hooked it up to remote play to my PS4... so I think I'll be able to play this a lot more than I originally thought.
11/25/19: I just reached episode 3, right after you are thrown into the most convoluted, obscene boss battle ever convinced by man, and my game is hung on the loading scene. Time for a break I suppose.
Oh and protip, don't try and ride your bike through a BT area. Doesn't work.
11/26/19: This game is a metaphor to everyone in cinema saying we need more original ideas and less super hero films. In 2019, this game is equivalent to Under the Silver Lake.
The annoyances start to shine through- I still find it fucking hilarous that after I travel what is equivalent to 1/10th the distance across the United States (it's only refereed to as "America" in the game, which is also hilarous), plop my delivery down on the conveyor belt as it gets processed through a bunch of elevators and hooks, a nifty little hologram boots up and tells me how valuable I am to rebuilding "America"... I look around these giant delivery facilities and realize there isn't another soul in these buildings. Everyone is communicating to me remote via hologram or codec (gee Kojima, still can't get past the codec from MGS eh?) . Like, we have the technology for holograms, for these BB devices, giant beautiful structures, weird ass vehicles, but can't figure out how to deliver supplies across the country unmanned? They do reference drones at one point but I forget the reason why they stopped using them.
11/27/19: The more I play Death Stranding, the more I feel like the game was designed so Kojima could see what he could get away with in a game.
There's a lot to be annoyed with...
Like the self-congratulations after delivering a tiny package is comical; there's like 37 different lines of measure you see every single time, that you eventually just skip through it all. From the dialog of the guy accepting the package to whatever you are being graded on; Quality of the package, time it took you to deliver, which THEN translate to your rewards and ranking system- which feels never ending. Normal ranking systems have what? 1-30, 1-60? With Recruit, Captain, Colonel, General etc etc? Not a Kojima game. It's ranking system goes from 1- infinity+... from all kinds of different names like Veteran Porter, Expert Hiker, Expert Transporter... etc etc. I can't remember most of them because you can breeze through them with one large delivery.
If that wasn't complicated enough, lets make every city have a similar name so you can never remember which is which or where you are or where you need to go without looking at the Arial map, which btw is completely useless. You can't tell the different between a huge canyon or a giant mountain so good luck traversing until you come across an obstacle you wish you were aware of before you started on your journey. The names of places are: Capital Knot City, Mountain Knot City, Waystation Knot, Edge Knot City... wtf is this shit?
But hey... I'm still playing it I guess.
An uniquely bizarre, technically and visually stunning, tense and fun, and ultimately rewarding experience.
This is Hideo Kojima unchained, for better or worse.
While there were some minor, mildly annoying things -like some UI animations taking too long and otherwise requiring too many inputs to skip, and some heavy handed and a bit shallow dialogues and exposition- the excellency and depth of the gameplay, the rewarding asynchronous social networking mechanics, and a engaging group of characters makes the whole thing so brilliant it outshines any of those minor issues.
One of my favourite games of this generation. I'm so glad such a different and experimental game exists on the high-calibre, Triple-A level.
it cant be overstated how important kojima is to the game industry. like him or not, he's revolutionized the way we see game design more than once. with his newest game he may not change the way we look at games, but he still proves he knows how to make a new idea work perfectly well.
i went into this game expecting it to suck hard. i thought it would just be walking from point a to b with some face-level story on top. i was severely wrong.
the amount of nuance from just getting package x to point a is insane, with everything down to the terrain keeping your attention. hell will rise from the ground to keep you from delivering some packages. but deliver them you will god damn it, because youre Sam Porter Bridges.
there's so many things that keep gameplay from getting stale, down to the end of the game youre constantly unlocking new weapons and gadgets and modes of transport. on top of that youve got MULE camps which never stop being satisfying and the BT sections which never stop being tense. everything feeds into everything else and its impossible to look away from the screen once it starts, and i have never played anything like it.
but what truly elevates this game is the balls to the wall story. the horrifying symbolism of strands and hands and uterine glands makes for a visual experience unlike anything before it. it's a weird thing to say, but this might be the most well-shot game i've ever played. not to mention that every character is extremely well written and even more interesting than the last, the obvious highlight being Mads Mikkelsen.
death stranding's america is a world i wont forget and the tense package delivery along with it. theres truly nothing like this game and i applaud everyone involved for making such an interesting, dare i say bold game work so god damn well. just one more feather in kojima's cap.
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