From legendary game creator Hideo Kojima comes an all-new, genre-defying open world action adventure, starring Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen, Léa Seydoux and Lindsay Wagner.
In the near future, mysterious explosions have rocked the globe, setting off a series of supernatural events known as the Death Stranding. With otherworldly creatures plaguing the landscape, and mass extinction imminent, it’s up to Sam Porter Bridges to travel across the ravaged wasteland and save humanity from impending annihilation.
Reviews View More
Ah... Death Stranding. I just finished the last of the achievements... Here on Steam. This is technically my second playthrough. I preordered, and played for 40 hours on a borrowed PS4, and now I'm here. Lend me an ear, and I'll explain the appeal of this game. Right out the gate here: To the probably 95% of you reading this, you will probably not enjoy it. But to the small 5%... You've found an absolute masterpiece of a game that's worthy of your mind, and your time.
I say that 95% of people won't like the game because a majority of people, I imagine, will not look at this game beyond the core game play. They won't like the combat. They won't like the movement system. Many people will just say Death Stranding is a "point A to point B simulator" and get very frustrated with its mechanics, and I don't blame them for it. A lot of people want something different out of games when they sit down and play them. It's not everybody's version of "fun", and it's definitely not fast paced by any means. But it's slow burn I found it immensely satisfying, and I thought that all the games systems worked together in perfect harmony to create one of my favorite gaming experiences of all time.
Many say "Death Stranding is a walking simulator". And, while that's a perfectly adequate description, I don't think it goes deep enough. To me, Death Stranding, is a JOURNEY simulator. And a near perfect one at that.
I've always reveled in the journey of my characters in open world games... Bethesda is fairly good at it, and with Skyrim especially, I vividly and fondly remember a vast majority of my time exploring the countryside and impossibly scaling mountains. I never fast traveled... Never even used a horse... It was soothing and cathartic for me to take in the scenery, occasionally find some baddies to fight or loot to grab, and just enjoy my time, seamlessly wandering and living in the world. If you've done anything similar, then don't even bother reading the rest of this and hit buy. You'll fall in love.
Death Stranding hits that particular dopamine generator like a ton of bricks. The sheer realism of nature, the rocks and the grass, and the few bits of fauna is astounding. The sound design, especially with the music that kicks in at pinnacle moments makes me go absolutely agog. All of the fine details they put in this game, to make you feel like you're Sam, taking this epic journey across the country, sincerely blows my mind. All combined, this is a gaming experience I will never forget. I'll always be a Porter, and carry the memories and feelings I've had here until I die. For months, I've felt emotionally attached to Death Stranding's "vibes"... I feel like it's the perfect representation of my feelings of great loneliness (the kind I feel no one can understand). The soundtrack to the game goes on repeat for weeks at a time. It's all remarkably validating.
And that's not to mention how important I think this game is as an allegory to today, done in true Kojima fashion. Death Stranding has powerful messages about coming together, about the depression and loneliness of being "stranded" or alone, and other really important topics that go beyond this being just a game but a commentary on the world at large, which just continues to drive it home (to me) that it's one of the most important games of the generation. It's not new to do this in games... but these messages really hit home.
The world building is also immaculate. It's so unique, and so fresh. I can't help but remember when trailers of the game just kept releasing and making the plot more and more elusive. It's incredible. For the most part, the writing and dialogue helps with this as well, but at times I found it lacking, and occasionally very cringe (Fragile's "catchphrase" and that Mario liner from Amelie near the end of the game make me welcome an early death). Maybe that's from the wacky Japanese to English translation gang but either way... those hurt in my ears haha.
All in all, if you've made it this far and are still considering giving Death Stranding a shot... I really recommend you go for it. Play it with the mindset that it's more a cathartic experience, rather than a "hyper-fueled fast paced" game experience, and you'll do just fine. I absolutely envy you new players. My first time playing blew my mind open at every turn. I can't wait until I un-vault this in 5-10 years and come back home to the UCA... it will be... remarkable.
Back in my review of Skyrim, I said that Death Stranding poses its protagonist as a "walking bomb", thus constituting a likely risk to others.
What I found relevant about that point recently, is the fact that he doesn't intimidate others because of an immediate harm he might cause --it's not as if he were poisonous or anything like that--. Folks keep their distance from him because of the accidents he could occasion.
And I thought: aren't we all literally like that? I mean, everytime we find ourselves liking something new, we risk losing other affinities, and as a result we do have the propensity to nullify relationships thereby, even if we don't want to.
And of course, every time Sam dies, a whole crater forms where he fell. When we change, that's basically what happens. But now we must remember: when a bond is broken, and the ground sinks, that's the moment when it is possible for us to go through the mountains.