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Death Stranding review
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by Colourfuljosh

I respect all the positive reviews I've seen and definitely saw quite a lot of promise in the game. I think the design of the equipment, character outfits and the small touches to a lot of the interactions you have give more depth to the world , also the cutscenes are breath taking and made me really interested to know more about where the narrative could possibly go to make sense of what I was witnessing. But when comparing all of the good aspects of the games to my problems with it, it was incredibly easy to drop this game. Firstly the main gameplay loop is not fun, in fact it seems to be purposely mundane and probably the most frustrated in a mainstream game I've been in a decade. Some people say that's the whole point, but if you're reading this review before buying then consider that sentence: It is supposed to be boring, frustrating and mundane and your interactions with others ease that burden. 

The gameplay loop of receiving a package, loading it on to your backpack stack and running through rough terrain to another outpost only to get the same mission and repeat is not fun. I couldn't bare this even when I had podcasts on and had it in the background. My brain simply wasn't stimulated by what was going on and when the main(aka interesting) story threads completely evaporated after 20 hours then I just couldn't find any reason to continue. 

 I became incredibly frustrated with the MULES ,one of the two main enemies you'll encounter. Their backstory is that they are addicted to the likes people that people give them when they steal packages which is just an insanely ham fisted attempt at critique on society. This enemy presented little to no challenge once you learn basically the first move to dispatch of them. You will also quickly learn that due to the small enemy variety, your danger is limited and avoiding enemies is done to avoid irritation instead of actual harm. 

The list of what frustrated me is very long and I normally don't let that bog me down, but when so little else is offered, then it's impossible to not let that be the main impression the game makes on me. 

Other reviews22

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»
Was a bit of a disappointment but still a good game with a nice pleasant soundtrack  
«OST on repeat»
This is an amazing game from both an artistic perspective, and a "novel" gameplay perspective. However, if you're not already on board with Hideo Kojima's antics, you might find yourself too frustrated to make it through to the end.
no words needed