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Death Stranding review
by XV

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 reviews3

nivr
«Blew my mind»
«Just one more turn»
Loved it. It certainly not for everyone but I think in terms of walking simulators it might be the peak of the genre thanks to lots of interesting mechanics and details that keep the act of getting from A to B very engaging. Whats great as well is how the design of the game ties into the story and it's themes of isolation and rebuilding society to connect again. A very contemporary piece, it's not subtle with its themes but commits to them wholeheartedly and pulls them off with a great deal of success if not always perfectly.
If I have any major complaints it's that the enemies, both human and BT lose there menace when you figure out how they work and I do wish the side content was fleshed out a bit more.
«Sit back and relax»
«That ending!»