Death Stranding reviews

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Phoenixmgs:
Why does a game have to be totally about combat or have none at all? If there is a reason to fight say 10% of the time, why can't combat consist of 10% of the game? I don't get why a game can't have a little of something (combat or otherwise) if that's what makes sense for the game to have.

Because it can come across as trying to have your cake and eat it too, something Kojima has a history with. If Death Stranding is a game that's supposed to be a partial critique of how all games are about action and killing, seeing as the main character's name is Bridges and trying to reconnect rather than destroy, it feels a bit disingenuous to than have a combat system there at all. It could be done if the creator in question had some nuance, but let's be honest...

Who knows, maybe it'll actually work.

Very few game directors are allowed to make what they want in the AAA landscape, it's why every game is so similar to each other. I'll take a chance on something that was made with any kind of passion these days. There's way too much wackiness and cheese in Kojima's games for me to think that he thinks he's amazing or some genius, I never got pretension from his works yet. Whereas Dan Houser's work seems to me that he thinks he's some great writer when he's more of a hack than David Cage. Characters did nothing but spout politics in the time I played RDR1 and quite playing because of how boring it was. Max Payne 3's writing felt the same way, that it really thought it was good. Although from a gameplay perspective Rockstar's games are as safe as they come, they haven't evolved from GTA3 yet. RDR2 has realistic horse testicles and MGS5 has pooping horses, but in MGS5, horse poop had legit gameplay purposes (that I actually did use). Every MGS game feels very different gameplay-wise while every Rockstar game feels like every Rockstar game.

Every MGS pretty much felt the same as well, apart from maybe Peace Walker and Phantom Pain. MGS2 is even expressly about trying but failing at being MGS1. Even gameplay-wise it felt the same. It expanded on what came before, sure, but every game had the same action gameplay, the same enemy interaction, the same area transitons, the same method of storytelling etc. A big problem with this series as it continued was that it was too in love with its own iconography, both in terms of narrative and gameplay.

Casual Shinji:
Because it can come across as trying to have your cake and eat it too, something Kojima has a history with. If Death Stranding is a game that's supposed to be a partial critique of how all games are about action and killing, seeing as the main character's name is Bridges and trying to reconnect rather than destroy, it feels a bit disingenuous to than have a combat system there at all. It could be done if the creator in question had some nuance, but let's be honest...

Who knows, maybe it'll actually work.

Every MGS pretty much felt the same as well, apart from maybe Peace Walker and Phantom Pain. MGS2 is even expressly about trying but failing at being MGS1. Even gameplay-wise it felt the same. It expanded on what came before, sure, but every game had the same action gameplay, the same enemy interaction, the same area transitons, the same method of storytelling etc. A big problem with this series as it continued was that it was too in love with its own iconography, both in terms of narrative and gameplay.

I obviously haven't played the game, but it makes sense to have some kinda of threats along the way. Bad effects of participating in combat can reinforce said message as well. Though giving the player the choice to determine when combat would be overall beneficial isn't a bad thing either.

The MGS series went from top-down non-shooter gameplay (basically just auto-aim in MGS1) to a full-blown 3rd-person shooter by MGS4. It's why MGS1 has aged well (it's still extremely playable) as it's not a shooter at all while Syphon Filter has aged horribly. Whereas current Rockstar games are just better looking GTA3s (Rockstar hasn't even come close to making anything near Mercenaries, which came out same gen as GTA3). MGS2 added so many different actions you could do (I don't even think you could hang from ledges in MGS1). MGS2 is far far more than just trying to be MGS1, it used the same structure but for a very specifically different purpose. MGS2 out-Bioshocked Bioshock before Bioshock was even a thing and also predicted society in the new digital age (the Patriots were right). MGS3 added CQC and Camo. MGS4 became a full-blown shooter while keeping everything from past games. MGS5 kinda became dumbed-down and more like every other TPS control-wise, but added an open world (for the worse IMO), the base and fulton recovery system (from Peace Walker though), more box abilities, etc. There's not many series that have changed more than MGS has over its iterations.

Phoenixmgs:
The MGS series went from top-down non-shooter gameplay (basically just auto-aim in MGS1) to a full-blown 3rd-person shooter by MGS4. It's why MGS1 has aged well (it's still extremely playable) as it's not a shooter at all while Syphon Filter has aged horribly. Whereas current Rockstar games are just better looking GTA3s (Rockstar hasn't even come close to making anything near Mercenaries, which came out same gen as GTA3). MGS2 added so many different actions you could do (I don't even think you could hang from ledges in MGS1). MGS2 is far far more than just trying to be MGS1, it used the same structure but for a very specifically different purpose. MGS2 out-Bioshocked Bioshock before Bioshock was even a thing and also predicted society in the new digital age (the Patriots were right). MGS3 added CQC and Camo. MGS4 became a full-blown shooter while keeping everything from past games. MGS5 kinda became dumbed-down and more like every other TPS control-wise, but added an open world (for the worse IMO), the base and fulton recovery system (from Peace Walker though), more box abilities, etc. There's not many series that have changed more than MGS has over its iterations.

Those are all pretty much added features instead of integral changes. The biggest change in MGS2 was the first-person aiming, but even that was present for a couple of weapons in the first game. The CQC in MGS3 was hardly any different from the punching/grabbing of the first and second game and didn't add any definite improvment. It only made interaction with enemies more convoluted and messy. The camo also slowed the stealth gameplay down considerably, and again was only an extention of what had come before. The best change to MGS3 was having free movement over the camera, and that only got added in the Subsistence version. And MGS4 had the weapons market I guess along with other added features that didn't make the combat any more efficient compared to simply taking aim and shooting dudes in the head. There were also active battles going on during gameplay, but that only made the game easier.

With each sequel it felt like you had to press more buttons to perform basic actions, until MGS5 finally decided to actually play like an action game that doesn't feel like you're controlling a cardboard cut-out that required four buttons to be pressed down in order to aim a gun around a corner. Your movement finally had a freedom and physicality to it, making it the first MGS since MGS1 that played well. It didn't feel like you had to constrict yourself into the control scheme. It created a much greater incentive to experiment with your options, because you didn't have that sword of Damocles hanging over your head at the thought of incorrectly pressing a series of buttons and instantly triggering an alert. But yeah, the open-world sucked.

stroopwafel:

Tim Rogers, in his phenomenal non-spoiler review...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZHUY-nVXKU

'"You can't just make a game that's like Solaris though. It would be too boring." Kojima furrowed his brow, like, that was a challenge.'

This is amazing, someone I wasn't aware of. He talks like xavier renegade angel.

metalmagerin3
4 days ago
"This review of Death Stranding, from what I'm hearing, seems to be the Death Stranding of reviews about Death Stranding."

Well GiantBomb seems to have talked amongst themselves about that game and dig at the heart of the subtext I was getting from the other reviews which is that... it has some interesting systems in the way it's overall gameplay works but that the carrot is dangled not in front of you but ten yards away from you and the carrot isn't THAT good that getting to it is worth it.

Doesn't help that finally hearing someone say the very very VERY stupid names of the characters out loud made me wonder how much power Kojima has now that not a single person could get him to not literally name someone Die-Hardman.

I think the most apt comparison they had is that as far as story goes the game is acting as if it's built up a history with the player that it obviously doesn't have. The Metal Gear games had a long lineage for people to get invested in the weirdness and symbolism and stuff or at least put up with it but that this game hasn't earned that trust or tolerance that Metal Gear had with people.

Though another thing they said is that this game is as if Kojima heard about the Walking Simulator genre second hand without knowing the implications of that term and decided that he would make the magnum opus of Walking Simulators. And so he gave us The Postman crossed with Russian Kamaz Truck Driver.

I get the overall impression that this is a game that will live or die by how many people are just inerested in seeing what the game is outweighing the amount of people that will say they don't have time for something like this.

Casual Shinji:
Those are all pretty much added features instead of integral changes. The biggest change in MGS2 was the first-person aiming, but even that was present for a couple of weapons in the first game. The CQC in MGS3 was hardly any different from the punching/grabbing of the first and second game and didn't add any definite improvment. It only made interaction with enemies more convoluted and messy. The camo also slowed the stealth gameplay down considerably, and again was only an extention of what had come before. The best change to MGS3 was having free movement over the camera, and that only got added in the Subsistence version. And MGS4 had the weapons market I guess along with other added features that didn't make the combat any more efficient compared to simply taking aim and shooting dudes in the head. There were also active battles going on during gameplay, but that only made the game easier.

With each sequel it felt like you had to press more buttons to perform basic actions, until MGS5 finally decided to actually play like an action game that doesn't feel like you're controlling a cardboard cut-out that required four buttons to be pressed down in order to aim a gun around a corner. Your movement finally had a freedom and physicality to it, making it the first MGS since MGS1 that played well. It didn't feel like you had to constrict yourself into the control scheme. It created a much greater incentive to experiment with your options, because you didn't have that sword of Damocles hanging over your head at the thought of incorrectly pressing a series of buttons and instantly triggering an alert. But yeah, the open-world sucked.

MGS is always a stealth series, I'm not saying it changed genres, though I feel the controls did (to become a full-on shooter). Compared to say Splinter Cell, MGS changed a lot more over time. MGS2 probably required too many buttons to shoot from cover but to me the button inputs made sense and I never had a problem with them (and MGS2 was well before cover shooters were a thing). The CQC totally changed how I played MGS onward, I remember interrogating literally every enemy in MGS3 and slicing their throats (which I later paid for). The CQC and camo made MGS3 play totally different as it was now about hiding in plain sight vs just being out of line of sight. The CQC also works amazingly well in online play too. MGS4 has far better controls than MGS5, MGS4's online plays faster than probably any console shooter and the controls are spot-on (still the best TPS controls to date). There's so many little but important things you can't do in MGS5 that you can in MGS4 like leaning. Also, MGS5 has a stupid contextual cover system so you stick to cover when you don't want to and it gets you killed. MGS4 fit more actions without any contextual bullshit.

Here's an example of the cover system getting you killed. What I wanted to do was box slide out of there as nades are incoming but my character sticks to cover causing them to crouch, which results in me crouch walking in the box vs standing straight-up, boxing, then being able to box slide and possibly getting out of said sticky situation that I've done numerous times before.

Specter Von Baren:
I get the overall impression that this is a game that will live or die by how many people are just inerested in seeing what the game is outweighing the amount of people that will say they don't have time for something like this.

So many other games are giant wastes of time. Just about every RPG is well over 50% filler copy-paste content filled with systems that literally don't respect your time. Just about every "live-service" is some grindathon Skinner box covering up average at best gameplay. Or another open world collectathon that now gates content with RPG mechanics ala the new AssCreed games. In the AAA landscape, every game wants to be THAT game that you play nearly daily (get that daily reward) for a year or so. So if there is something legit fun in the game, it's stretched further than a Stretch Armstrong. I'd rather try something that could be "special" vs playing something I know ain't.

Phoenixmgs:

Specter Von Baren:
I get the overall impression that this is a game that will live or die by how many people are just inerested in seeing what the game is outweighing the amount of people that will say they don't have time for something like this.

So many other games are giant wastes of time. Just about every RPG is well over 50% filler copy-paste content filled with systems that literally don't respect your time. Just about every "live-service" is some grindathon Skinner box covering up average at best gameplay. Or another open world collectathon that now gates content with RPG mechanics ala the new AssCreed games. In the AAA landscape, every game wants to be THAT game that you play nearly daily (get that daily reward) for a year or so. So if there is something legit fun in the game, it's stretched further than a Stretch Armstrong. I'd rather try something that could be "special" vs playing something I know ain't.

Of course all games are basically wastes of time, but people have different opinions for what is and isn't a waste of their time and we currently live in a time where the hoi polloi either don't have the time or the patience to play games that ask a lot of them. It's a problem with "them darn kids these days" and I feel like that's where this will come down.

Specter Von Baren:
Well GiantBomb seems to have talked amongst themselves about that game and dig at the heart of the subtext I was getting from the other reviews which is that... it has some interesting systems in the way it's overall gameplay works but that the carrot is dangled not in front of you but ten yards away from you and the carrot isn't THAT good that getting to it is worth it.

Doesn't help that finally hearing someone say the very very VERY stupid names of the characters out loud made me wonder how much power Kojima has now that not a single person could get him to not literally name someone Die-Hardman.
.

You've played the Metal Gear series, right? Stupid names are Par for the course.

Big Boss
The Boss
Hot Coldman
Fatman
Chinaman(planned by not used)
Skullface

Need I go on?

I honestly hope that Deadman's full Name is Alive Deadman, just to keep the theme of stupid names going.

Specter Von Baren:
Of course all games are basically wastes of time, but people have different opinions for what is and isn't a waste of their time and we currently live in a time where the hoi polloi either don't have the time or the patience to play games that ask a lot of them. It's a problem with "them darn kids these days" and I feel like that's where this will come down.

Most of the popular games ask a lot of time of the player right now. If a game is like 10 hours long, it's a rental or wait until it's like $20. I look to play stuff where all of the content is worth my time regardless if it's like 5 hours (Vanquish) or 50 hours. Same thing with other mediums like TV, I ain't watching something that's like 15 seasons ala Supernatural or whatever procedural crime show that's been going for like 20 years on CBS. Just give me the good stuff, don't stretch it out.

Dalisclock:

Specter Von Baren:
Well GiantBomb seems to have talked amongst themselves about that game and dig at the heart of the subtext I was getting from the other reviews which is that... it has some interesting systems in the way it's overall gameplay works but that the carrot is dangled not in front of you but ten yards away from you and the carrot isn't THAT good that getting to it is worth it.

Doesn't help that finally hearing someone say the very very VERY stupid names of the characters out loud made me wonder how much power Kojima has now that not a single person could get him to not literally name someone Die-Hardman.
.

You've played the Metal Gear series, right? Stupid names are Par for the course.

Big Boss
The Boss
Hot Coldman
Fatman
Chinaman(planned by not used)
Skullface

Need I go on?

I honestly hope that Deadman's full Name is Alive Deadman, just to keep the theme of stupid names going.

Yes but in that case they're all code names for people that are undercover soldiers and spies. Code names for operations are known to be weird like Project Blue Book or Project Dynamo and undercover operatives will also have names like that. In this game it seems that people just decided to call themselves things because why not or some kind of hippy thing.

Phoenixmgs:
Here's an example of the cover system getting you killed. What I wanted to do was box slide out of there as nades are incoming but my character sticks to cover causing them to crouch, which results in me crouch walking in the box vs standing straight-up, boxing, then being able to box slide and possibly getting out of said sticky situation that I've done numerous times before.

I could point to numerous situations where the previous games got me killed because of the terrible crouch controls. Those games were designed around stealth, and unfortunately that meant whenever you were forced into action you had to contend with controls that weren't designed for action. The controls got more and more convoluted as the series went on (along with the narrative) getting further away from the simple, solid controls of the first MGS. MGS5 brought a bit of that simplicity back. The change to the crouch alone made that game more bearable to play in comparison to 2,3 and 4.

Phoenixmgs:

Hey, videos are back.

As entropy consumes me whole, the patience towards pretentious twatwaffle decreases at an alarming rate. Especially when beaten around the head with it in a most repetitive self-indulgent fashion. The MGS games had a good stealth gameplay hook, so I tolerated the drawn-out exposition amongst the anime tendencies. Will try this on a sale most likely, but will be going through it with a grimace not a smile, and a whole load of weed and booze to blunten the edge off the cringe. Look forward to the torturous word-salad articles from people using it as a handy jump board to flex their literature degrees and entry-level philosophy though. Am thinking of rotating Torment: Tides of Numenera to satiate certain urges at the same time.

Specter Von Baren:

Dalisclock:

Specter Von Baren:
Well GiantBomb seems to have talked amongst themselves about that game and dig at the heart of the subtext I was getting from the other reviews which is that... it has some interesting systems in the way it's overall gameplay works but that the carrot is dangled not in front of you but ten yards away from you and the carrot isn't THAT good that getting to it is worth it.

Doesn't help that finally hearing someone say the very very VERY stupid names of the characters out loud made me wonder how much power Kojima has now that not a single person could get him to not literally name someone Die-Hardman.
.

You've played the Metal Gear series, right? Stupid names are Par for the course.

Big Boss
The Boss
Hot Coldman
Fatman
Chinaman(planned by not used)
Skullface

Need I go on?

I honestly hope that Deadman's full Name is Alive Deadman, just to keep the theme of stupid names going.

Yes but in that case they're all code names for people that are undercover soldiers and spies. Code names for operations are known to be weird like Project Blue Book or Project Dynamo and undercover operatives will also have names like that. In this game it seems that people just decided to call themselves things because why not or some kind of hippy thing.

I suspect you could probably make the same argument for Death Stranding. Besides, the code names in Metal Gear are used so exclusively, with their real names being barely mentioned or not at all(even Huey(Emmerich) is a Nickname, not his real name), that they might as well be their real names.

Hell, even in MGS4 when Otocon and Snake are alone on the plane for long periods of time, they still call each other Snake and Otocon instead of David and Hal. Same with Snake and Kaz Miller in the prequels.

Phoenixmgs:

Specter Von Baren:
Of course all games are basically wastes of time, but people have different opinions for what is and isn't a waste of their time and we currently live in a time where the hoi polloi either don't have the time or the patience to play games that ask a lot of them. It's a problem with "them darn kids these days" and I feel like that's where this will come down.

Most of the popular games ask a lot of time of the player right now. If a game is like 10 hours long, it's a rental or wait until it's like $20. I look to play stuff where all of the content is worth my time regardless if it's like 5 hours (Vanquish) or 50 hours. Same thing with other mediums like TV, I ain't watching something that's like 15 seasons ala Supernatural or whatever procedural crime show that's been going for like 20 years on CBS. Just give me the good stuff, don't stretch it out.

You keep talking about the "good stuff", but it's so highly subjective as to what that actually constitutes. Games and their inherent worth in terms of content or entertainment value can only be compartmentalized so much.

Like, RDR2 is listed on google as a "survival" game even though it doubles as a Wild West fantasy simulator, so does it really need to play like Mercenaries when it does dozens of other things so much better?

Casual Shinji:
I could point to numerous situations where the previous games got me killed because of the terrible crouch controls. Those games were designed around stealth, and unfortunately that meant whenever you were forced into action you had to contend with controls that weren't designed for action. The controls got more and more convoluted as the series went on (along with the narrative) getting further away from the simple, solid controls of the first MGS. MGS5 brought a bit of that simplicity back. The change to the crouch alone made that game more bearable to play in comparison to 2,3 and 4.

The only minor problem with the crouch controls was that you couldn't crouch while moving but the box allows for that just fine. MGS4 plays exactly like a shooter, L1+R1 to shoot just like every other shooter (not MGS2 controls). Again, MGS4's online component MGO2 plays faster than COD, it's as twitchy a shooter that's probably ever been on a console. Here's a match on the smallest map (Blood Bath), the guy even fits in a CQC stun knife during the match. And you can run in place on a wall without getting stuck to it as well.

hanselthecaretaker:

Phoenixmgs:
Just give me the good stuff, don't stretch it out.

You keep talking about the ?good stuff?, but it?s so highly subjective as to what that actually constitutes. Games and their inherent worth in terms of content or entertainment value can only be compartmentalized so much.

Like, RDR2 is listed on google as a ?survival? game even though it doubles as a Wild West fantasy simulator, so does it really need to play like Mercenaries when it does dozens of other things so much better?

Mark Brown's video Design by Subtraction is exactly what I mean by the "good stuff". If an element or system or whatever isn't enhancing the core game, then it shouldn't be there. Also something done poorly that takes up far too much time like combat in most RPGs. Why am I fighting enemies for more hours than I do in Bayonetta in an RPG with below average combat? If you want combat to be so prevalent in your game, make it fucking good instead of shit.

What I mean by Mercenaries being far better than GTA/RDR is the fact that the missions in Mercenaries have so many different ways to complete them that it's almost akin to a puzzle game. GTA/RDR doesn't need to play like Mercenaries but use the open world properly. If you fill your game with linear missions why not just make a linear game then? Or why are you making an open world game without open ended mission structure? Rockstar's worlds just amount to wasting player time to travel to the actual content of the game.

Just played a bit and it actually starts off pretty good. There's a short intro cutscene and then it's right into gameplay. It is only walking and picking up packages, but the way the game dumps you off in an unknown wasteland leaving you no choice but to make your way anywhere works well at creating a sense that you're completely on your own.

It quickly ruins that pacing though by throwing a 20 to 30 minute cutscene at you where really blatant exposition is unloaded.

We'll see where it goes from there.

Beautiful game that obviously takes it's time. At that point where you have to prevent void-out with your DOOM abilities and BB scanning for BT's. It's Kojima alright. Vivid imagination as always. Definitely slow-paced but genuinely intriguing and not boring. Game has me intrigued so much I wish I could play it right now instead of adult responsibilities *sigh* Everything in the game is so perfectly in tune from the environment to the desolate atmosphere to the ambient sounds and music. Like a meticulously crafted composition where all the pieces fit but still maintain their own expression.

Only the location is more Iceland than U.S. Probably fit into one of the game's themes of climate disaster but I guess the real reason is ''re-unite Iceland'' didn't make for a good marketing ploy. xD Though, it's obviously more of a stand-in for the game's more universal messages.

Casual Shinji:

It quickly ruins that pacing though by throwing a 20 to 30 minute cutscene at you where really blatant exposition is unloaded.

It's a Kojima game all right. I hear the ending is literally a two hour cutscene.

09philj:
I'm interested in playing it but I'm the kind of person who likes doing cargo haulage and deep space exploration jobs in Elite: Dangerous, and I suspect if you're not that kind of person you're not going to get much out of the experience.

This is also exactly why I'm curious about the game and might pick it up when it hits PC.

Traversal and plotting routes through rough terrain can be quite a lot of fun.

I see people saying "it's just a walking simulator", when really, it's more hiking than walking.

A walking simulator is just "press w and interact with stuff once in a while". A hiking simulator has you planning HOW you're going to traverse the terrain and make gameplay out of it.

It's the difference between walking up and down your home street, versus going on a hike through rough forest terrain and taking the occasional shortcut by jumping across streams or climbing up rocks.

erttheking:

Casual Shinji:

It quickly ruins that pacing though by throwing a 20 to 30 minute cutscene at you where really blatant exposition is unloaded.

It's a Kojima game all right. I hear the ending is literally a two hour cutscene.

Oh god I hope you're wrong. A 2 hour cutscene is waaayyyyy too long.

Phoenixmgs:

Casual Shinji:
I could point to numerous situations where the previous games got me killed because of the terrible crouch controls. Those games were designed around stealth, and unfortunately that meant whenever you were forced into action you had to contend with controls that weren't designed for action. The controls got more and more convoluted as the series went on (along with the narrative) getting further away from the simple, solid controls of the first MGS. MGS5 brought a bit of that simplicity back. The change to the crouch alone made that game more bearable to play in comparison to 2,3 and 4.

The only minor problem with the crouch controls was that you couldn't crouch while moving but the box allows for that just fine. MGS4 plays exactly like a shooter, L1+R1 to shoot just like every other shooter (not MGS2 controls). Again, MGS4's online component MGO2 plays faster than COD, it's as twitchy a shooter that's probably ever been on a console. Here's a match on the smallest map (Blood Bath), the guy even fits in a CQC stun knife during the match. And you can run in place on a wall without getting stuck to it as well.

hanselthecaretaker:

Phoenixmgs:
Just give me the good stuff, don't stretch it out.

You keep talking about the ?good stuff?, but it?s so highly subjective as to what that actually constitutes. Games and their inherent worth in terms of content or entertainment value can only be compartmentalized so much.

Like, RDR2 is listed on google as a ?survival? game even though it doubles as a Wild West fantasy simulator, so does it really need to play like Mercenaries when it does dozens of other things so much better?

Mark Brown's video Design by Subtraction is exactly what I mean by the "good stuff". If an element or system or whatever isn't enhancing the core game, then it shouldn't be there. Also something done poorly that takes up far too much time like combat in most RPGs. Why am I fighting enemies for more hours than I do in Bayonetta in an RPG with below average combat? If you want combat to be so prevalent in your game, make it fucking good instead of shit.

What I mean by Mercenaries being far better than GTA/RDR is the fact that the missions in Mercenaries have so many different ways to complete them that it's almost akin to a puzzle game. GTA/RDR doesn't need to play like Mercenaries but use the open world properly. If you fill your game with linear missions why not just make a linear game then? Or why are you making an open world game without open ended mission structure? Rockstar's worlds just amount to wasting player time to travel to the actual content of the game.

That's the catch-22 of developing a strict narrative-driven story in an open world game. I get people's complaints, ironically enough like from a Naughty Dog dev of all people who are synonymous with linear narrative driven games, but I get why Rockstar sticks with it. The biggest narrative driven sequences like what's pictured in that link would've lost a ton of impact if the player is off bumblefucking about in the woods for a flank during that Braithwaite manor assault for example. It would've been a futile clusterfuck trying to engineer a story when the player is free to make their own story, so to speak.

So the developers have to make a choice regardless of how linear or open the level design is, whether they want to weave a specific yarn or leave it predominately up to the player. Rockstar continues to choose the former, and in the case of RDR2 still manages to save the vast majority of the game's content for the player to do their own thing in the meantime.

erttheking:

Casual Shinji:

It quickly ruins that pacing though by throwing a 20 to 30 minute cutscene at you where really blatant exposition is unloaded.

It's a Kojima game all right. I hear the ending is literally a two hour cutscene.

Well, of the three and a half hours I've played thus far I think 30 percent was gameplay.

aegix drakan:

09philj:
I'm interested in playing it but I'm the kind of person who likes doing cargo haulage and deep space exploration jobs in Elite: Dangerous, and I suspect if you're not that kind of person you're not going to get much out of the experience.

This is also exactly why I'm curious about the game and might pick it up when it hits PC.

Traversal and plotting routes through rough terrain can be quite a lot of fun.

I see people saying "it's just a walking simulator", when really, it's more hiking than walking.

A walking simulator is just "press w and interact with stuff once in a while". A hiking simulator has you planning HOW you're going to traverse the terrain and make gameplay out of it.

The walking gameplay is actually pretty captivating so far. Just the visual of the landscape is unlike most other games. It's when the cutscenes happen and people start opening their mouths that I zone out. I've had one BT stealth section which was stripted, but I already felt it overstayed its welcome, so I don't know what that'll mean moving forward.

hanselthecaretaker:
That?s the catch-22 of developing a strict narrative-driven story in an open world game. I get people?s complaints, ironically enough like from a Naughty Dog dev of all people who are synonymous with linear narrative driven games, but I get why Rockstar sticks with it. The biggest narrative driven sequences like what?s pictured in that link would?ve lost a ton of impact if the player is off bumblefucking about in the woods for a flank during that Braithwaite manor assault for example. It would?ve been a futile clusterfuck trying to engineer a story when the player is free to make their own story, so to speak.

So the developers have to make a choice regardless of how linear or open the level design is, whether they want to weave a specific yarn or leave it predominately up to the player. Rockstar continues to choose the former, and in the case of RDR2 still manages to save the vast majority of the game?s content for the player to do their own thing in the meantime.

Rockstar games are the only open-world games that suffer from this though. There are no missions in The Witcher 3 or Horizon: Zero Dawn that require you to travel to a specific place in order to meet up with someone, only to then travel to another location with that character in tow. Most open-world games cut that fat. You also don't receive a 'mission failed' by accidentally bumping into an NPC. That's the first thing that happened to me after I was out of the intro snow section; I ran my carriage over a dude on horse back and got an instant mission failure because attention from the law wasn't allowed.

Rockstar really doesn't know how to organically merge its open-world and linear story elements so it just completely seperates them. While other open-world games allow you to drop the main story mission at almost any time to go do something else and pick it up again when you wish, Rockstar just slaps you on the wrist and says 'NO, you do this now, and you do it exactly how we want you to.' Not even Naughty Dog games are that linear. I certainly can't remember the last time I saw a 'mission failed' screen in one of their games that wasn't just a 'game over, cuz you're dead'.

hanselthecaretaker:
That?s the catch-22 of developing a strict narrative-driven story in an open world game. I get people?s complaints, ironically enough like from a Naughty Dog dev of all people who are synonymous with linear narrative driven games, but I get why Rockstar sticks with it. The biggest narrative driven sequences like what?s pictured in that link would?ve lost a ton of impact if the player is off bumblefucking about in the woods for a flank during that Braithwaite manor assault for example. It would?ve been a futile clusterfuck trying to engineer a story when the player is free to make their own story, so to speak.

So the developers have to make a choice regardless of how linear or open the level design is, whether they want to weave a specific yarn or leave it predominately up to the player. Rockstar continues to choose the former, and in the case of RDR2 still manages to save the vast majority of the game?s content for the player to do their own thing in the meantime.

You can do a linear story within an open world game just fine. Every mission can have the same end-state that leads into the next story beat, but the way you get there can be different whether it's just guns blazing or stealth option. RDR1 had a mission where you have to get into a barn to save someone (I think) but the game made me go to a specific ladder, go through a specific window to get into the barn. If want I have to do is so specific, have it be a cutscene of my character getting in the barn, then I can do whatever next. I gave up on the game at Mexico since I heard that was the worst part and nothing up until that point was fun or engaging.

Phoenixmgs:
snip

So to be clear, you aren't talking about liking the core system; but about the core system enhancing itself and keeping itself focused being good, even if you hate it.

I don't know how long I'm going to keep playing this. I'm a good 5 hours into the game, and it just doesn't feel like there's much to it other than boredom and annoyances. The walking around itself is engaging enough, but all the hassle surrounding it is just aggravating. The BT encounters are annoying as well so far. And God, do the cutscenes put me to sleep with their vague mumbo jumbo jargon. I'm fine with things being mysterious and kept in the dark, but Jesus, there needs to be something to latch onto and the game isn't giving me anything. This game is too in love with its nonsense talk to allow you a proper foothold into its story.

Casual Shinji:

hanselthecaretaker:
That?s the catch-22 of developing a strict narrative-driven story in an open world game. I get people?s complaints, ironically enough like from a Naughty Dog dev of all people who are synonymous with linear narrative driven games, but I get why Rockstar sticks with it. The biggest narrative driven sequences like what?s pictured in that link would?ve lost a ton of impact if the player is off bumblefucking about in the woods for a flank during that Braithwaite manor assault for example. It would?ve been a futile clusterfuck trying to engineer a story when the player is free to make their own story, so to speak.

So the developers have to make a choice regardless of how linear or open the level design is, whether they want to weave a specific yarn or leave it predominately up to the player. Rockstar continues to choose the former, and in the case of RDR2 still manages to save the vast majority of the game?s content for the player to do their own thing in the meantime.

Rockstar games are the only open-world games that suffer from this though. There are no missions in The Witcher 3 or Horizon: Zero Dawn that require you to travel to a specific place in order to meet up with someone, only to then travel to another location with that character in tow. Most open-world games cut that fat. You also don't receive a 'mission failed' by accidentally bumping into an NPC. That's the first thing that happened to me after I was out of the intro snow section; I ran my carriage over a dude on horse back and got an instant mission failure because attention from the law wasn't allowed.

Rockstar really doesn't know how to organically merge its open-world and linear story elements so it just completely seperates them. While other open-world games allow you to drop the main story mission at almost any time to go do something else and pick it up again when you wish, Rockstar just slaps you on the wrist and says 'NO, you do this now, and you do it exactly how we want you to.' Not even Naughty Dog games are that linear. I certainly can't remember the last time I saw a 'mission failed' screen in one of their games that wasn't just a 'game over, cuz you're dead'.

Every quest I've played in The Witcher 3 (about 60 hours so far) is scripted too. The Bloody Baron for a good example of something that was supposedly a high point (narratively sure, but not by any other measure) jumps around a lot but you're still ultimately waiting for the drunk dude to follow you down to the target area and there's no way to avoid it. And there is no shortage of exposition to sit through in most missions while you're doing nothing other than literally standing there waiting for the next move.

I had more of a problem following missions in Horizon. Sometimes I wouldn't even know it ended let alone what I did to break it. The nonlinear design is admirable on one hand, but on the other it's still tied to story-driven gameplay, which in a sense makes it more confusing. Sure you can complete it in a number of ways but to what advantage in terms of the narrative? It still ultimately boils down to a scripted end-game sequence, which I personally couldn't be bothered to pay much attention to. Maybe it was the subject matter too, but I had a tough time recalling the finer details outside of the main arc, and didn't connect with any of the characters because there was so little logical flow. It's like they were trying for a blend of Souls-like and traditional storytelling but each approach was made weaker as a result.

I personally haven't been bothered much by mission structure in RDR2, because they're unmistakably deliberate, designed for easy replayability and have fair checkpoints assigned. The only problem I've run into was when I wanted to finish looting bodies but had to follow someone to avoid a failure. RDR2 is an easier critical target because the story structure is so rigid vs the rest of the free roam content, but that's more a testament to how much game there is beyond it than either TW3 or Horizon; budget be damned. I can only clear so many monster nests, bandit camps or holographic puzzles before it starts getting tedious. I haven't hit that plateau in RDR2 yet after about twice as many hours because I'm still finding or doing something new.

I've been playing for a few hours now and I'm in the second chapter and if what the game has been so far is anything to go by, this is the real shit. I don't think there's been a game that has captivated me as quickly as Death Stranding in a long time. Not only are the cutscenes impeccably directed and acted, not only are the stark, Scandinavian landscapes breathtakingly beautiful, not only does it have what's probably the most unique approach to a post apocalyptic setting I've ever seen, it manages to present all of these things mostly without having to fall back on overdone mechanical action game clich?s. I haven't fired a single shot or thrown a single punch so far on my way to Port Knot City. It really feels like being on a sort of pilgrimage, there's this almost mythical sense of pathos to it that makes being a courier feel heroic.

No, I'm not sure if the game is gonna manage to keep its gameplay fresh all the way throughout, so far it has been able to present me with interesting challenges and interesting environments and, of course, interesting story developments at a fairly consistent rate but I hope that doesn't mean that all of its setpieces are front loaded and it's gonna devolve MGS V style busywork somewhere along the line. But so far, this thing is fucking brilliant.

The more I play it the more the game has me intrigued. I absolutely love the story. I like how you not only need to connect humanity to it's future but it's past as well. In many ways the world of Death Stranding feels like the modern world taken to it's conclusion. People living in self imposed exile that you need to deliver oxytocin to mitigate the stress from lack of interpersonal connection and with people no longer reproducing even humanity's last remnants are still largely rejecting any attempts to reach out. It makes the game's theme of connection heartfelt but also eerily prescient and kind of futile despite the best of intentions. It's easy to preach ''humanity needs to come together'' but that is not realistic and Kojima is aware of this. It's kind of going against the current which makes Death Stranding strangely melancholic as well.

BB's theme is also so beautiful and fits the game perfectly.

This guy has the right idea, about certain receptions of the game.

CoCage:

This guy has the right idea, about certain receptions of the game.

Not so much the right idea about having an obnoxious personality. Has a valid point though.

Kwak:

CoCage:

This guy has the right idea, about certain receptions of the game.

Not so much the right idea about having an obnoxious personality. Has a valid point though.

This has always been his "gimmick". Silent Rob was one of the ones that was part of the angry review fad back in the early days of YouTube. Even he got tired of that style of reviewing around 2012/13. He mostly does streaming now, and some personal videos. I've had some disagreements with him in the past, but usually his rant videos don't bother me. Aside from one or two back in 2009. I don't even remember them, and the videos are now lost.

hanselthecaretaker:
Every quest I?ve played in The Witcher 3 (about 60 hours so far) is scripted too. The Bloody Baron for a good example of something that was supposedly a high point (narratively sure, but not by any other measure) jumps around a lot but you?re still ultimately waiting for the drunk dude to follow you down to the target area and there?s no way to avoid it. And there is no shortage of exposition to sit through in most missions while you?re doing nothing other than literally standing there waiting for the next move.

That's one quest where you walk a couple of yards. Most if not all the other quests give you the option to simple warp to the place in question. In RDR2 you are constantly forced to follow an NPC, usually on horseback, to the mission target after already having traveled to the NPC to activate the mission. That's two trips almost everytime that could've easily been reduced to one.

I had more of a problem following missions in Horizon. Sometimes I wouldn?t even know it ended let alone what I did to break it. The nonlinear design is admirable on one hand, but on the other it?s still tied to story-driven gameplay, which in a sense makes it more confusing. Sure you can complete it in a number of ways but to what advantage in terms of the narrative? It still ultimately boils down to a scripted end-game sequence, which I personally couldn?t be bothered to pay much attention to. Maybe it was the subject matter too, but I had a tough time recalling the finer details outside of the main arc, and didn?t connect with any of the characters because there was so little logical flow. It?s like they were trying for a blend of Souls-like and traditional storytelling but each approach was made weaker as a result.

It's not about narrative benefit, it's about the benefit of the open-world pacing. Putting a player in an open-world it stands to reason to not lock them down and punish them should they try to harnass the free-roaming setting during missions. RDR2 does this at nearly every turn; there's all these things to interact with in the gameworld, but if you dare do it during a story mission 'mission failed'.

I personally haven?t been bothered much by mission structure in RDR2, because they?re unmistakably deliberate, designed for easy replayability and have fair checkpoints assigned. The only problem I?ve run into was when I wanted to finish looting bodies but had to follow someone to avoid a failure. RDR2 is an easier critical target because the story structure is so rigid vs the rest of the free roam content, but that?s more a testament to how much game there is beyond it than either TW3 or Horizon; budget be damned. I can only clear so many monster nests, bandit camps or holographic puzzles before it starts getting tedious. I haven?t hit that plateau in RDR2 yet after about twice as many hours because I?m still finding or doing something new.

Those monster nests, bandit camps, what-have-you's are optional and easy to ignore. The incessant horse riding RDR2 isn't. The fact that there's an auto-travel, where you just look at the screen while the horse rides itself, says enough.

Rockstar needs to stop babysitting the player for fear that they're not going to experience the story the way they want them to, or just not make it an open-world.

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