2nd playthrough, thanks Epic for giving this away for free that one time.
This really is an outstanding game, and whilst it does suffer from a very bad case of gameplay and cutscenes that feel ripped from different mediums let alone genres, both are super engaging and entertaining. The feeling of strategising journeys and then adapting to whatever crops up as you go on every delivery never gets old and the game always keeps it fresh with new obstacles and tools to use. The story is well written and phenomenally performed even if it is Kojima at his most insular and convoluted.
The score and art design really stand out, the world returned to nature is so simple but so consistently breathtaking, and every single BT encounter is atmospheric, tense and gorgeous.
I can't wait for Death Stranding 2, I want to know why we shouldn't have connected in the first place, but for now I'm happy to keep filling out orders in this game, maybe I can 100% it now that I'm on Steam Deck.
Speaking of which, the game is surprisingly fantastic portably, taking small chunks of a journey or shorter orders on lunch breaks or commutes is a great feeling, and whilst it's a shame not to have the great sound design and music the vibrations the game provides do a lot of the same work. It does, however, dip and dive in framerate, it averages about 40-50fps but there were points during BT or MULE encounters where it dipped down to 25-30, but never down to anything any reasonable person would call unplayable.
Was worried the incongruity that permeates this game would make it grating to revising but honestly knowing that the experience would be that way may have actually improved the experience through expectation
Can't believe this game was done so dirty on release, more big budget games with different ideas that know how to deliver on those ideas please!

Reviewed on Jan 19, 2023