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  • There's no doubt that Death Stranding will be the most polarizing game to players and

  • reviewers alike.

  • It's a game with high expectations that don't follow the traditional expectations modern

  • gaming has set on the industry.

  • It's slow, tedious and repetitive yet at the same time, it's therapeutic, satisfying and

  • zen-like.

  • Death Stranding is a very ambiguous game and for that same reason, I'll try not to spoil

  • anything for you all.

  • After a catastrophic event is known as the Death Stranding, The United States and seemingly

  • the rest of the world has been completely changed as we know it.

  • Civilization is segregated into cities with large gaps in between.

  • It's a world of isolation and quartine that's constantly haunted by the memories of what

  • the world used to be and the monsters that haunt it now.

  • These monsters are known as BTs, come from the world of the dead, crossing the boundary

  • between are two worlds and are a constant obstacle looming over our head.

  • Who are we exactly though?

  • Well, we're Same Porter Bridges, a porter or delivery man.

  • In our modern society, we joke about just being a simple UPS or deliver man, but in

  • a post Death Stranding world, they're the connective tissue that connects city to city

  • by delivering vital packages to isolated cities.

  • In return, connecting these cities brings them, online to the chiral network, this world's

  • version of the new internet under the recovering United Cities of America government.

  • Through connecting the cities back together, delivering packages to those in need and being

  • a vital part of society, Sam slowly beings to reconnect America all while slowly uncovering

  • more about the people in this world, the death stranding and how it all connects.

  • In typical Hideo Kojima fashion, the story is told through long-form cinematics that

  • rival and at times surpass those in Hollywood.

  • Characters are filled with depth and personality despite their odd names like Deadman and Die

  • Hard Man.

  • Never the less, the performances here are truly outstanding being some of the most captivating

  • performances I've seen in a video game.

  • Ultimately the story grabbed by its mysterious foundation that fed me bits of lore and information

  • the more time I invested in the game.

  • Whether it was through long-form cutscenes or the subtle stories told through the emails

  • and mission briefs, Death Stranding was a fascinating story though told in unconventional

  • ways.

  • Through its many gameplay previews and trailers, many including myself thought Death Stranding

  • looked like an overly simplistic walking simulator and I was partially right.

  • Death Stranding's gameplay does have elements of action here and there but the larger gameplay

  • ratio is walking from point a to point b to deliver item x.

  • Where I was wrong was whether it'd be oversimplistic because Death Stranding is the most intricate

  • walking game.

  • Where any other video game would treat walking as pressing forward on the analog stick and

  • that's it, Death Stranding kicks it up a notch to some absurd levels.

  • Sam Porter has weight to him as he walks the uneven mountain terrain.

  • Carry too much on your back and you'll begin to lean on one side too much.

  • As you walk, you'll have to shift your weight around to adjust to your movement.

  • This means something as simple as walking down hell can easily mean Sam tripping off

  • the side of a cliff and dying.

  • While you can respawn, your mistakes have consequences like damaging your cargo and

  • ruining your orders.

  • The terrain isn't your only obstacle though.

  • In this post Death Stranding world, some are against the reconstruction of any government.

  • They like the chaos and freedom of this demolished world, these terrorist or mules lookout for

  • porters like yourself to rob and kill.

  • On top of the human enemies are the BTs, these creatures from the world of the dead that

  • haunt the world of the living.

  • They appear along with the time fall but with the help of your BB, you can detect their

  • direction and hope you remain undetected.

  • The BB attached to your chest comes from brain dead mothers, they're a bridge between the

  • world of the living and the dead and thus, they can help detect the other world creatures

  • like BTs.

  • However, that's another management system to use as well.

  • BB gets stressed when you're hurt when BTs show up and so on.

  • Like any other baby, when BB feels scared or anxious, they'll start the cry only making

  • the mules and BTs more aware of your location.

  • Over time, I began to unlock new tools and weapons like grenades that could help me take

  • down these enemies, making the anxiety and fear of them dwindle rather quickly.

  • Like the terrain, I had been walking on for hours, these enemies went from being enemies

  • to just any other obstacle.

  • That theme of management is a constant mechanics in Death Stranding.

  • From how you place the cargo on your body, your footwear wearing out as you walk more

  • and BB's stress levels, Death Stranding is all about complicated management systems.

  • The satisfaction of dealing with them comes through all the thank yous and social interaction

  • you receive in a game where you never really directly interact with people.

  • Death Stranding is an online game but not in the traditional sense.

  • You don't see other players online but rather their creations.

  • Death Stranding creates these server pools that gather a handful of people together.

  • This means as I brought new parts of the world into the chiral network, I'd begin to see

  • other people's building efforts in my world and vice versa.

  • I could build a bridge in my world over a larger river that could appear as a useful

  • structure for someone else playing the game.

  • That introduce this sense of comradery between me and all the people playing online.

  • I wasn't just helping rebuild America, it was and everyone else playing too.

  • It's with that I found myself going out of my way from my main and side objective deliveries

  • to build new structures, warning signs for players and pick up other people's lost cargo

  • so I could help deliver it to where it needed to go.

  • In return, I'd see a few likes appear on the side of my screen as I went on my way.

  • The social likes act like a currency here that upgrades Sam's stats but also act as

  • a motivational boost to me, letting me know my efforts were appreciated by some other

  • real-life player.

  • All in all, Death Stranding is a social heavy synchronize online game that caters to heavy

  • inventory management.

  • It's slow-paced and repetitive with bits of action toward the later end of the game but

  • ultimately this is a game that takes its time to tell a story.

  • For some it'll be too much of a sluggish buildup, swaying away many people, for others like

  • myself, they'll find the process therapeutic and rewarding with new bits of story and action

  • elements.

  • With that said, the slow-paced nature of Death Stranding is front and center most of the

  • time.

  • It's not for everyone.

  • As with all of my reviews, I can only speak for my take on the experience.

  • There's a sense of beauty in the despair and isolation of this world.

  • The Death Stranding has dismantled the environment leaving it this wide-open mountainscape that

  • looks as if society was never here.

  • Sam is but a speck of dust in this world but the mark he along with the rest of the players

  • online leave can be monstrous.

  • Like a nature walk through a forest, Death Stranding looks simple but lovely.

  • The terrain here looks incredibly realistic from the plant life growing and dying as the

  • time fall hits it, to the shine of the rivers leading down the mountainside.

  • Character models are even more stunning with some of the most realistic facial capture.

  • Norman Reedus, Troy Baker, Guierllmo Del Toro, and Margret Qualiy are phenomenally captured

  • along with the rest of the studded cast.

  • When it comes to performance, Death Stranding is impressive on both the base and pro model

  • PS4.

  • Base PS4 runs at native 1080p 30fps while the PS4 Pro can render that at a checkerboard

  • 4k resolution also at 30 fps.

  • With the resolution being the only major differences between both versions, both pro and base ps4

  • maintain a mostly constant 30 fps outside of a few hiccups during some cutscenes.

  • Those tended to be the mirror shots when Sam was in his private room.

  • Mostly likely due to the double rendering of Sam instead of a reflection trick, the

  • game will dip to the mid-20s in these instances.

  • Outside of that, you can expect a stable performance.

  • If you're on PS4 Pro, you do have the option to render at 1080p instead of 2160p through

  • system settings, this ironed out most of the frame dips.

  • However, you can also force supersample from 2160p to 1080p using the PS4 system options

  • for a sharper visual on a 1080p tv.

  • Death Stranding is a true showcase of this generation's visual capability just like The

  • Last of Us proved to be a technical showcase for the PS3.

  • This Kojima's love for movies, cinematic framing and obsessively realistic visuals firing at

  • full cylinders.

  • The performances of actors are not only a spectacle to watch but to hear here too.

  • While there's a lot of Hollywood stars here, it's more impressive to see the less known

  • actors give it their all here.

  • Tommie Earl Jenkins who may not be as well known as someone like Mads or Norman is incredible

  • with his performance as Die Hard Man.

  • Music selection here is well done.

  • Low Roar's tracks playing as I spend hours walkthrough the devastated world gave things

  • a melancholy but also meditative like feeling anytime I was on an expedition.

  • After completing my 50 hours adventure, I found myself playing many of the Death Stranding's

  • tracks on my walks.

  • Chvrches' Death Stranding, Hoshino Gen's Pop Virus and Low Roar's Don't Be Serious were

  • easily the most addicting songs for me.

  • Just how I didn't think Joker was a fun movie to watch but I still enjoyed it for what it

  • was and the social commentary is made, I find myself feeling the same way about Death Stranding.

  • Death Stranding isn't fun, it lacks action and when it does have it, it takes an absurd

  • amount of build-up to get to it.

  • The slow pace nature of the gameplay drags on unlike other artful experiences that usually

  • keep its entire gameplay down to 4 hours or less, Death Stranding is an easy 30-80 hours

  • at least.

  • Despite it all, I found myself smiling with every delivery made, with every thank you

  • received.

  • I didn't like spending my free time in Uni helping other people study for exams, but

  • the satisfaction of seeing the joy on that person's face when they scored better because

  • of my help, was enough to get me to keep helping.

  • I felt like I was doing my part and that's what I feel with Death Stranding.

  • It's soothing and reflective but sluggish and tiresome like any given chore given to

  • you as a kid.

There's no doubt that Death Stranding will be the most polarizing game to players and

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Death Stranding Review

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    吳銘凱 posted on 2019/11/15
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