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Death Stranding review
by Uneducated_Reviews

Definitely Death Stranding it's a beast of its own, I can't remember where but said something along the lines that it feels like an indie movie with a blockbuster budget, and maybe that might be correct, the only difference is that this is a videogame.

DS is overwhelming in every aspect, from its story to its gameplay, starting with the story, Kojima is a genius in terms of setting a world and making statements or even predictions of our own reality, here in Death Stranding he took it to the next level, when people talk about how MGS is a complex story is because DS hasn't appeared yet, it really overwhelms you with its lore and at times it can be difficult to keep up with all the terminology it uses in its story, I don't want to speak a lot of it because the less you know about it the better, also, I wasn't thrilled with the inclusion of "Hollywood" actors but they surely pay off in a lot of scenes, specially Tommi Earl Jenkins, one of his scenes gave me goosebumps to the next level, it also made my eyes tears a little, they're that good.

The divisive part may be the gameplay, a lot of people said that this is a walking simulator and that may be true at some extent, but is not that simple, the core mechanic to me is that the player goes against the terrain, weather and some hazards, the hazards come as human enemies or BTs (the black beings), but mostly the terrain. In order to progress you need to adjust your inventory and decide what kind of things are you going to take with you, then, depending on how heavy or light is your character, your movement can be from cartoony clumsy to fast as a soccer player, after that you take delivery items from "A" to "B" and repeat till the end of the game, in theory it might sound boring but in practice is really addictive, and once you get to chapter 3 where you get a lot of new items and structures to help you in your journey you'll have a blast. I can't compare DS to any other game but to me, it has a Monster Hunter vibe, where the learning curves are stiff and overwhelming, but once you passed them you'll have an amazing time.

The multiplayer aspect is also incredible, instead of having a competitive experience this is a connection or strand experience where you and your fellow players didn't see each other or play with them directly but help each other with structures or items you construct, i.e. If you set a bridge to cross a river, other players in your server can use it too and also can upgrade it together, this aspect really hit me in a good way, to the point that I even gave away things to my neighborhood in order for everyone to use them. But not everything is perfect with this system, it can at times broke the experience, for example, at least two times I was told that my next delivery would be incredibly hard but, when doing it, I find a lot of things like bridges, power stations or vehicles that made the mission so easy, so it can break the immersion. As for the negative things, I can see how for someone this can be boring, but one needs to keep in mind that this is not a shooter or a stealth game, but at the end it can feel repetitive and at times cheaty, as for the stealth part, I didn't feel it worked that good with the human enemies, the AI is dumb but the mechanics also felt unrefined at times, a similar thing happens to the "other" stealth mode with the BTs, they give you a lot of tension but once you understand how they work, they're for the rest of the game annoying, speaking of BTs the boss fights with this beings are so cool, flashy and epic but they are also broken and easy, it feels that you can't die from them because the game throws a lot of resources like HP or ammo in order for you to don't run out of them, they're also very fun tho' so it depends on your view I guess. My last and maybe more important issue to me is its world, it can felt empty to the point that it feels unfinished, you'll find a lot of people but they're holograms, for the most part, humanity is hidden in the ground and narratively it makes sense but I can't shake the feeling that is more a budget issue than a story issue, also because exploring is dangerous and also unrewarding, you'll find yourself making the same trajectories or following another player's trail to get to your destination.

Certainly Death Stranding is not a masterpiece for me, but I can easily see why it is for another person, for me it was a great time, and every day it passes it makes me think a lot in its themes, characters and my personal narrative with it, I also hardly believe that the passing on time will give its rightful place as a great game.
«Blew my mind»
«Just one more turn»
«Can’t stop playing»
«Time-tested»
«Underrated»
«That ending!»
«OST on repeat»

Other reviews25

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!»
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»