Review: Death Stranding (PlayStation 4)

Brave a world utterly transformed by the Death Stranding. Carry the disconnected remnants of our future and embark on a journey to reconnect the shattered world one step at a time.

Pros:

  • An amazing film-like graphics.
  • 48.21gb download size.
  • Platinum trophy.
  • HDR support.
  • Constant ongoing tutorials and videos.
  • 3rd person action gameplay.
  • Gameplay-deliver packages, install new networks, traverse the unforgiving land.
  • Play how you want.
  • Deliveries-different types like timed, heavy, can’t do X amount of damage. You see where the delivery has to be taken and any special conditions.
  • BB-your weird pod baby that you carry around with you. BB will alert you to BTS zones. You care for him/her by rocking the pod, lowering stress levels and connecting to the mainframe.
  • Uses DS4 touchpad and speaker for the BB.
  • BTS-enemy type that shows when you scan the land, they will attempt to grab you and take you to the underworld of sorts. You can stealth past them, kill them, fight them off.
  • Big boss encounters.
  • Private room-your safe place. Here you can shower/pee/poop, soothe BB, customizer your gear, wear hat/glasses, drink energy drinks for a temporary buff, look at maps/lore/music, sleep.
  • Bombs and bullets are made from your pee and poop that is collected when going to the toilet.
  • Cutscenes show up periodically and are done with the in-game engine.
  • Combat is very simple with a punch and kicks combos outside of the weapons like grenades and basic guns.
  • Mules-enemy humans that have shock weapons that stun but also immobilize vehicles. They have camps and steal goods from people, the camp has a main locker you can hack to retrieve stolen goods.
  • Music kicks in at set points for the atmosphere.
  • Centre of gravity-most important mechanic in the game, you use the shoulder buttons to maintain balance or press both to hunker down and be more stable.
  •  Loads-you can manually add items or auto sort. You carry items not just on your backpack but also shoulders, legs, and hands. Every item is of different sizes and weights.
  • Crafting-at terminals connected to the network you can craft vehicles/gear/items.
  • The game world is actually shared with other players, they/you build a structure and it shows in the other player’s worlds. You can work together to build structures with resource drops and orders. Like in Dark souls you can leave icons and messages for each other.
  • Call out and if you time it right another player will do it and you have a weird shouty conversation.
  • Map-assign markers, routes.
  • Likes- You get likes from deliveries, structures.
  • Customize gear and items which are just color options.
  • Huge massive open world.
  • Can build roads/lockers/watchtowers/private rooms/ladders/rope climbing points and so so much more.
  • Shoes have durability and affect speed/stamina/health.
  • Scanner-use whenever and it shows resources/steepness of the land and anywhere that is unsafe and in zones will show BTS/water deepness/mules etc.
  • Leave digital footprints for a short time which is handy for backtracking.
  • Find other players dropped vehicles/gear/deliveries and turn them in for bonuses.
  • Overalls rank based on performance and are split across different areas like coverage/deliveries etc.
  • Resources found in the world and used for crafting.
  • Atmospheric with a vast desolate world.
  • An intriguing story that skates on the line of bombastic and bat shit mental.
  • Fast travel unlocks to set locations.
  • A proper sense of adventure.
  • Fantastic voice acting.
  • Good selection of characters.
  • Vehicles are things like bikes (variations like long-distance), mule truck that has expandable suspension for land traversal.
  • Some interesting locations and weather types.
  • Time fall-rain in-game is called time fall and speeds up the game time but also damages you and your packages.
  • Early game is like an amazing puzzle game of working out how to cross the world using just ladders/ropes.
  • Has truck simulator vibes what with the deliveries.
  • Stealth elements, hold your breath and sneak past BTs.
  • Good brain workout with organizing your load, planning a route, making the most of it and hitting as many points in one run.
  • Building structures is actually very fast.
  • Set your own orders for other players to donate resources for your buildings.
  • Hidden areas to find.
  • Memory chips-find for bonus rewards/lore.
  • It can skip needless repetitive cutscenes.
  • Once a location is connected to the network, you get all user-created structures and signs show up on the map.

Cons:

  • Slow-paced.
  • Repetitive deliveries.
  • Tons upon tons of backtracking.
  • Can get lost.
  • Balancing feels broken at times and you land up dropping packages way too easily.
  • Falling the streams annoy as the packages float down the river too fast.
  • Annoying needless cutscenes when entering BTS zones or sleeping/leaving the private room/showering etc.
  • So many bars and meters to manage.
  • It doesn’t explain everything very well.
  • So much of the story is in data logs and lore drops.
  • Small hard to read the text and prompts at times.
  • A lot of controller inputs.
  • Sometimes feels like a tech demo.

  • 10/10
    Graphics - 10/10
  • 9/10
    Sound - 9/10
  • 8/10
    Accessibility - 8/10
  • 9/10
    Length - 9/10
  • 10/10
    Fun Factor - 10/10
9.2/10

Summary

Death Stranding is Hideo Kojima’s first foray into game design since leaving Konami so how will Hideo unchained go? Well, it is a polarizing experience that’s for sure, Marmite you might say as some love it and some hate it. For me, I am firmly in camp love it! Having a background in games like the Truck simulator and many walking simulators I kinda knew what I was in for. Its a game where you plan routes, avoid enemies and traverse the mass open land any way you can. As you hook up sites to the network you get access to other player’s icons/structures and drops as the world is connected to other players but you never actually see them. You can communicate randomly by calling out and hoping someone is doing the same at the same time. For me, the game is just a good chilled out experience that is so much fun to play. The world is empty minus the few structures, Mules and BTs running am the land but even with not a lot going on the atmosphere is still that of loneliness and intrigue. I read every data entry every bit of lore as I found more and more fascinating characters to work with. The unlocks and upgrades are at a pace that they feel earned and change the game up every time. You start off using ladders to get up mountains but over time you get vehicles, you get fast travel and more. BT fights are initially tough and stealth is recommended but later on, you can take them on no problem, to be honest, you don’t come here for the combat as it is very very basic. You come for the exploration and delivery planning. It sounds boring but it really isn’t, you get many hours of enjoyment but only if you go in knowing what you are getting. Expect to shower plenty, throw poop and pee bombs and going all FedEx with packages. The story is absolutely mental but has just enough hooks to keep you coming back for the conclusion. Watch a short video of the game and if you like the look then you are sorted. If you think you could do it with vehicles be prepared to put in at least 2 3 hours to get the first foray onto it. Overall I  couldn’t get enough of the game and it’s a game that has the potential to create some very interesting conversations and controversy as Metal Gear fans expect a game just like that, this is not it.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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