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Death Stranding review
Exceptional
by Reiko_LJ

I already know that this game is going to stay with me. I knew from the trailers (and the fact it was Kojima) that it was going to be different but I wasn't prepared for how much it would get under my skin.
I see people often complain about repetition and calling it a 'walking simulator'. The game mechanics themselves are only as repetitive as you want to make them. I for one, got hyper focussed on building roads and getting most the preppers to 5 stars which took a good chunk of time. Yet, you don't HAVE to do any of that. You can just forge on with the storyline if you really want to rush a game? It just gives you more time in that world, more items, more interviews and lore. And all that makes it worth the effort for me personally. 

Playing this game during the Covid-19 Pandemic definitely added another layer of gravitas to the setting and some of those emails felt utterly prophetic at times. 4th wall breaks are expected with Kojima though in Death Stranding's case they were overt ads at times, yet I didn't mind. If anything I needed something to bring out of that world a little, lest I get lost completely. 

All in all, and incredible well imagined and fantastically crafted game. Play it if you get the chance, there are some real moments of beauty.
«Blew my mind»
«That ending!»
«OST on repeat»

Other reviews25

Trully exceptional game. Sometimes it got tedious, but i really enjoyed everything. Really awesome mechanics, really complex story, but the message is crystal clear. I hope i'll get back to plat it.
«Blew my mind»
«Can’t stop playing»
I was blown away with the first hour of the game. It was crazy. Levelled out a bit after that but I still enjoyed the rest of my time. One of the final fights was a letdown, for some strange reason they focused on a rather terrible mechanic: throwing.

Date Completed: 2021-01-16
Playtime: 39h
Enjoyment: 8/10
Recommendation: It's weird and pretty fun. At least if you ignore a lot of the deliveries, those can get tiring fast.
Different game...not for everybody. Takes 5-6 hours to start but after that its a roller coaster
«Blew my mind»
«Can’t stop playing»
Too long to be nice. Would've cut a half of gameplay time to make the story more concentrated. Also, I think, there could more cutscenes with THIS cast. Some of the cutscenes really nice, but they're a minority.
«Oh God i managed it»
It should have been a movie instead of a game.. it's to boring a gameplay for a game
A unique experience with a deeper meaning about coming together, a challengingly weird yet intriguing story, as it's gameplay, makes Mr. Kojima's first independent debut one of gaming's most treasured gems.
«Blew my mind»
«Time-tested»
Meh
«Disappointment of the year»
«Waste of time»
One of the best games I’ve ever played, if not the best. It’s insane that only 3 years ago we had no idea what this game was, just a creepy trailer. But it turned into so much more. Especially nowadays, with everything happening, this game is as poignant as can be. It’s hopeful, but it’s harsh, but it’s kind, but it’s brutal. Absolutely stunning.
«Blew my mind»
«Can’t stop playing»
In my oppinion this game is overrated. The game is boring, with a complex history really hard to follow (with words I can't remember).
Playability is frustrating, you are falling all the time and it's hard to control, besides, at the begining there are too much cinematics.
owever the graphic part is awsome and the music is something special. After playing I get a nostalgic feeling and want to play again (but I get bored again...)
walking: the game
«Buggy as hell»
«Disappointment of the year»
I have a lot of praise for Death Stranding despite some major flaws, the biggest being its writing. There was a lot of intrigue in the beginning, but then the characters started dumping exposition in long-winded monologues and repeated this information over, and over, AND OVER again to the point I was getting frustrated and less interested as it went on, especially when it brought the gameplay to a grinding halt. Whenever Deadman would say something like, "Do you want to know how...?" my reaction was more or less:
It eventually picks up much-needed momentum during the very last chapter, but it takes a long time to get there and my patience was dangling on a thread by then. Scenes that were meant to be emotional were so melodramatic that it became unintentionally funny and/or eye-roll inducing, the fourth wall breaking got some of the same reactions. Some moments, it was cute and endearing, but seeing an advertisement for that Norman Reedus show made me audibly groan. I was flabbergasted by seeing the Monster on the table for the first time as I thought stylistically it clashed with the tone that was being established, but eventually accepted it and thought, "It must be saying something about capitalism in America?" Though that might be giving Kojima a lot more credit than what he actually deserves, I think he just wants to show off stuff he likes and had some kind of deal.
There's one task of note I wanna bring up and it's the one with the junk dealer. The dialogue was so poorly communicated, that I genuinely thought I was fetching the dude's daughter and then got really confused when I realized it was his girlfriend. It got way more focus than it needed and the acting was terrible, but at least reading the email drama afterward was amusing. 

Even though I'm trashing on the writing, I don't think it's a complete dumpster fire as it has really interesting concepts and themes. The story would have benefited from having a real talented writer at the helm, but since having someone better than Kojima at the task wasn't an option, he could've at least presented even more of the storytelling through gameplay because that's where he excels. The game design is surprisingly engrossing and immersive. As tedious as your objectives are, the variety of circumstances that goes into each delivery keeps things dynamic throughout and whenever I get through the hardships that are presented, I feel a huge sense of accomplishment that I haven't felt from the plethora of other games I've played. There's a great balance of relaxation and tension, the landscapes are stunning, and the whole isolated multiplayer experience is unique and well-executed. I had a few failed missions, but there was only one moment that pissed me off for being unfair. Every other time was fair and it taught me to be better prepared.

I love Death Stranding. Even if I came into it expecting strong storytelling and was left disappointed by that aspect, my expectations of dull and simple gameplay were exceeded by great design and a satisfying feedback loop. I wouldn't recommend this to everyone, but I think its experimentation is important in expanding the medium of video games as an art form. I look forward to playing the end game.
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«Blew my mind»
«Sit back and relax»