Death Stranding reviews

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I'm calling it quits with this game, and the biggest praise I can give it is that it's facinating. But that's really all I can be positive about (apart from the graphics which is default amazing in every AAA game now). And as facinating as it is, there have been other just as facinating games, like Metal Gear Solid, Shadow of the Colossus, Gravity Rush, and Control, that actually presented you with engaging gameplay on top of that. They were very much videogames first, whereas Kojima just wanted to be different for the sake of it, creating something that is woefully unbalanced.

Maybe if Death Stranding actually commited to the delivery gameplay, but by adding the BT's and the MULE's it tips the scale into annoyance. The slow walking, balancing yourself, traversing cliffsides, managing your weight, picking up other packages, and keeping them from degrading is already enough to occupy your brain with; Enemies only end up making you sigh in frustration while you're doing all of this. It's not tense or engaging, it's like having a bunch of fruit flies buzzing in front of you while you're holding a tray of dishes. I'd be somewhat okay with their presence if there was a way to completely avoid those areas, but there isn't. Not in that first chuck of open-world at least. If you avoid one you'll have to make your way through another. Even with the bloodgrenades to kill BT's it's still slow as hell while the rain is ruining your delivery.

Speaking of the rain, why isn't there a way to keep track of when and where it's going to rain? Considering how big of an impact it has on the gameplay you'd figure there'd be a way to "game" it. But as it stands you just have to weather it and than repair when you get to your destination. And that just isn't enough, especially when you throw slow-ass enemy encounters into the mix. You'd think in a world that has death rain the people would've put a lot of research into predicting when and where it's going to hit.

The characters are dull as dishwater, and the only decent voice acting performance was Troy Baker. It was run-of-the-mill by Troy Baker standards, but compared to the other performances it was golden. Norman Reedus has about the same presence as Kiefer Sutherland had in MGS5, and Lea Seydoux was pretty awful. Though I'm not necessarily going to blame her for that, since it's most likely the voice directing coupled with the shit dialoge. And the dialoge truly is garbage. I was getting flashbacks to Final Fantasy 13 with how much nonsense jargon they were throwing my way. Meanwhile a game series like Yakuza manages to perfectly balance wacky, somewhat juvenile toilet humor, with clever and genuine dialoge. The introduction of Majima in Yakuza 0 is more brilliant than anything I've seen in Death Stranding.

So yeah, it's a game with a facinating concept that falls short in the majority of its execution.

Casual Shinji:

Speaking of the rain, why isn't there a way to keep track of when and where it's going to rain? Considering how big of an impact it has on the gameplay you'd figure there'd be a way to "game" it. But as it stands you just have to weather it and than repair when you get to your destination. And that just isn't enough, especially when you throw slow-ass enemy encounters into the mix. You'd think in a world that has death rain the people would've put a lot of research into predicting when and where it's going to hit.

You do get a weather forecast for your map at some point in Chapter 3, after connecting a weather station to the network.

PsychedelicDiamond:

Casual Shinji:

Speaking of the rain, why isn't there a way to keep track of when and where it's going to rain? Considering how big of an impact it has on the gameplay you'd figure there'd be a way to "game" it. But as it stands you just have to weather it and than repair when you get to your destination. And that just isn't enough, especially when you throw slow-ass enemy encounters into the mix. You'd think in a world that has death rain the people would've put a lot of research into predicting when and where it's going to hit.

You do get a weather forecast for your map at some point in Chapter 3, after connecting a weather station to the network.

What's the excuse for not having something like that at the very start though? It's not even hinted at that this is something you'll be able to control later on. In the meantime you're spending hours trying to complete deliveries in those first two chapters, maybe even trying to 100% them, while wracking your brain over this nearly constant hindrance that you have no control over.

That's not even mentioning the lack of consistency to this whole timefall concept.

CaitSeith:

Yoshi178:
snip

Just because you have a hype trigger for anything with a Nintendo logo stamped on it and the rest of their marketing is like white-noise to you, don't think everybody else works the same way.

or in other words

"B-B-B-Nintendo!"

bullshit. as usual.

name one thread i've made this year "gushing" about a Nintendo published game.
in fact i'm pretty sure of the few number of threads i've even started this year that even remotely relate to Nintendo, they've only ever been about if i've posted news that a New Nintendo Direct has been announced with the only other thread being when they announced the Switch lite to see what people thought about that hardware model. that's it. and i hated the Switch Lite too for that matter.

show me all of these threads where i've been yelling about how amazing Nintendo games like Luigi's Mansion 3, Link's Awakening, Fire Emblem, Animal Crossing and Astral Chain etc are.

oh that's right, i haven't. but sure, be like the rest of the mindless sheep on this website and keep it up with your "B-B-But Nintendo" crap towards me.

PM me about this if you don't want this thread to get derailed.

Casual Shinji:

PsychedelicDiamond:

Casual Shinji:

Speaking of the rain, why isn't there a way to keep track of when and where it's going to rain? Considering how big of an impact it has on the gameplay you'd figure there'd be a way to "game" it. But as it stands you just have to weather it and than repair when you get to your destination. And that just isn't enough, especially when you throw slow-ass enemy encounters into the mix. You'd think in a world that has death rain the people would've put a lot of research into predicting when and where it's going to hit.

You do get a weather forecast for your map at some point in Chapter 3, after connecting a weather station to the network.

What's the excuse for not having something like that at the very start though? It's not even hinted at that this is something you'll be able to control later on. In the meantime you're spending hours trying to complete deliveries in those first two chapters, maybe even trying to 100% them, while wracking your brain over this nearly constant hindrance that you have no control over.

That's not even mentioning the lack of consistency to this whole timefall concept.

The reason it's not in at the start is so you learn what it is like without it. It's the same reason you don't start with trucks or roads.

My progress through the story has kind of stalled. I unlocked the zip line and they tell me to head west, but I have been sticking around doing side missions and building roads. I kind of don't want wast to head left because I'll have to start walking again. I like my roads and don't want to leave them.

I hope other games steal ideas from death stranding. The strand system could be neat to see in other games and it's not even that complex. It's just the notes from dark souls only your placeing buffs rather then notes.

Yoshi178:
snip

Fair enough. I apologize for the personal attack.

nomotog:
The reason it's not in at the start is so you learn what it is like without it. It's the same reason you don't start with trucks or roads.

Not having trucks or roads at the beginning doesn't actively harm your delivery with their absence though. The rain showing up out of nowhere doesn't just damage your goods, it also makes you question whether you're actually playing the game right. You're obviously not supposed to get your delivery damaged, but there's zero you can do about it except use repair spray (should you have any) when you make it out of the rain (whenever that is) and hope nothing gets irreparably damaged (which it most likely will should you run into BT's). There's not even any shelters or anything to signal to the player they can wait it out. Or maybe some sort of repair tower placed by an NPC to serve as a safe haven in the middle of nowhere. It's just there to frustrate you and stress you out, and without any sign of a future mechanic that'll alleviate it you'll figure this is going to a thing throughout the entire game. That's a total motivation killer and just really bad game design.

Yoshi178:

]usually the only games that get hype because of publishers are sequels to already established franchise's.

new IP's just only ever get attention through word of mouth and mainly after the titles released.

This is 100% untrue. Where are you even getting this information?

Your example of Goose Game is an indie game, which of course doesn't get the advertising that AAA games or even AA games get.

There are tons of new IP's released every single year that gain public interest through advertising from publishers. So how you even came up with this thought is mind boggling.

Also OT:

I fucking caved and bought the game. I'm so fucking stupid it hurts my brain sometimes. But sometimes you hear so much about a thing (good or bad) that you just have to see the trainwreck for yourself you know? I bought No Man's Sky after I heard it was gonna be dogshit because I wanted to see it for myself. Ride to Hell was another one.

Death's Stranding is a non-game. That's the best way to describe it. I mean sure it is a video game that you technically play. But there really isn't much "game" to it. Walk from point A to point B, and try not to fall. Anyone remember that flash game that was super popular for a while because it was absurd? Death's Stranding is like a AAA version of that. Complete with a story that, in typical Kojima fashion, is fucking nonsense. Like a B-movie that's terrible but people watch it anyway because they have to see something so insane that even though it's terrible you wanna see it. Like Sharknado you know?

If I were to look at this critically (as if it is my namesake), I'd have to say that this is a below average game. 4/10. It's not bad in the sense that it's broken, or filled with glitches. It's bad in the way that it was never a good idea for a game in the first fucking place. It feels like an Alpha build of a game, a concept that they build just to get a feel for mechanics and how the engine works before they focused on putting the actual game into it.

The story is Kojima insanity and people like that for some reason, and that's fine. I stuck around to see how stupidly insane things got, so in a way I guess I "liked" it? It keep me going all the way through so that must mean something. But I would never say it is good in anyway. I mean you have a device that turns water into Monster Energy Drink for fuck sake, that's what we are looking at here in terms of story telling.

But I kept pushing only for story, which means I only did the missions I absolutely HAD to in order to get to the next story beat. The gameplay isn't fun, it isn't rewarding, it isn't engaging, it is just....nothing. Get through it, walk, drive, climb, whatever, just go from here to there and watch the next cutscene.

Like I said, 4/10. Graphics, sound, structurally, it's all fine. It looks good, it doesn't appear to be buggy, everything that should work within the game does, so at base level the game is solid. It just isn't fun, and it is going to appeal to a very specific type of person. A Kojima type person if you will.

CritialGaming:

Death's Stranding is a non-game. That's the best way to describe it.

I would complain about your definition, but that's the same definition Nintendo uses for Animal Crossing; so, I'll just mention that fun fact and call it a day.

CritialGaming:

Yoshi178:

]usually the only games that get hype because of publishers are sequels to already established franchise's.

new IP's just only ever get attention through word of mouth and mainly after the titles released.

This is 100% untrue. Where are you even getting this information?

Your example of Goose Game is an indie game, which of course doesn't get the advertising that AAA games or even AA games get.

There are tons of new IP's released every single year that gain public interest through advertising from publishers. So how you even came up with this thought is mind boggling.

Also OT:

I fucking caved and bought the game. I'm so fucking stupid it hurts my brain sometimes. But sometimes you hear so much about a thing (good or bad) that you just have to see the trainwreck for yourself you know? I bought No Man's Sky after I heard it was gonna be dogshit because I wanted to see it for myself. Ride to Hell was another one.

Death's Stranding is a non-game. That's the best way to describe it. I mean sure it is a video game that you technically play. But there really isn't much "game" to it. Walk from point A to point B, and try not to fall. Anyone remember that flash game that was super popular for a while because it was absurd? Death's Stranding is like a AAA version of that. Complete with a story that, in typical Kojima fashion, is fucking nonsense. Like a B-movie that's terrible but people watch it anyway because they have to see something so insane that even though it's terrible you wanna see it. Like Sharknado you know?

If I were to look at this critically (as if it is my namesake), I'd have to say that this is a below average game. 4/10. It's not bad in the sense that it's broken, or filled with glitches. It's bad in the way that it was never a good idea for a game in the first fucking place. It feels like an Alpha build of a game, a concept that they build just to get a feel for mechanics and how the engine works before they focused on putting the actual game into it.

The story is Kojima insanity and people like that for some reason, and that's fine. I stuck around to see how stupidly insane things got, so in a way I guess I "liked" it? It keep me going all the way through so that must mean something. But I would never say it is good in anyway. I mean you have a device that turns water into Monster Energy Drink for fuck sake, that's what we are looking at here in terms of story telling.

But I kept pushing only for story, which means I only did the missions I absolutely HAD to in order to get to the next story beat. The gameplay isn't fun, it isn't rewarding, it isn't engaging, it is just....nothing. Get through it, walk, drive, climb, whatever, just go from here to there and watch the next cutscene.

Like I said, 4/10. Graphics, sound, structurally, it's all fine. It looks good, it doesn't appear to be buggy, everything that should work within the game does, so at base level the game is solid. It just isn't fun, and it is going to appeal to a very specific type of person. A Kojima type person if you will.

There's always been an oddly dichotic juxtaposition of wackiness and seriousness with his games. I wonder if he stopped to consider the history of Monster Energy, for example. Or if he even cares. Probably not, because if he did he'd be sure to make some example out of it within one of his game's sprawling themes instead of merely cheap product placement.

Aiddon:

stroopwafel:

That's a bit like sticking your head in the sand. Loss of social structures and pair bonding has made people extremely individualistic and insular which led to isolation and separation of large groups of people which in it's turn led to loneliness epidemics and mental health crisis. You're really underestimating the problem. Just b/c there are people who are happy with fringe lifestyles and sexualities doesn't mean Kojima misses the bigger picture of a culture in decline. That half the people in the U.S. are euthanizing themselves with opioids has nothing to do with 'better diagnosing' but everything with a complete loss of hope. People are social animals most people who end up 'stranded' become depressed, anxious and isolated which is also exactly what large parts of the civilized world has become.

Kojima observes this with a sharp and keen eye but at the same time also acknowledges that people want it this way which makes his philosophy particularly honest and insightful of the modern times. It's a keenly aware observation within an already esoteric meta-narrative.

All that Kojima is doing is regurgitating themes Hideaki Anno did twenty years ago with Evangelion. That's seriously all the game is; it's Evangelion except with a grizzled, middle-aged man instead of a middle-school boy and no giant robots (so what's the goddamned point?). Except, unlike Evangelion, this game doesn't have the excuse of being made in the 90s with the Lost Decade of Japan (and even Evangelion brought up the idea that the older generation was filled with bloodsucking vampires who exploited the youth). The "loss of pair bonding and social structures" isn't because of internal issues with people, but external Political (as in actual bureaucratic factors. Marginalized people in particular aren't isolated because of wasting time on Twitter, they're isolated because of social prejudice. That's why Death Stranding's metaphors and themes don't work or at least are EXTREMELY limited. Ya wanna see ACTUAL relevant commentary, look at Persona 5 or Yakuza.

Death Stranding and Evangelion are quite different. If say both are about depression, one is very micro-level and the other is macro-level. 2nd, Eva is quite shit. 3rd, I couldn't imagine the shit you would say about Kojima if he put half the fucked up shit in say MGS that Anno put in Eva. Lastly, people are isolating themselves, seeking out very specific like-minded communities.

CritialGaming:

But I kept pushing only for story, which means I only did the missions I absolutely HAD to in order to get to the next story beat. The gameplay isn't fun, it isn't rewarding, it isn't engaging, it is just....nothing. Get through it, walk, drive, climb, whatever, just go from here to there and watch the next cutscene.

Like I said, 4/10. Graphics, sound, structurally, it's all fine. It looks good, it doesn't appear to be buggy, everything that should work within the game does, so at base level the game is solid. It just isn't fun, and it is going to appeal to a very specific type of person. A Kojima type person if you will.

I really don't know what people expect with this game since it's literally what they've shown in the trailers, previews and gameplay demonstrations. When I play a Kojima game I expect over the top nonsense combined with interesting sci-fi concepts, intriguing worldview and a genuinely opinionated philosophy. Death Stranding is the most pure distillation of Kojima's vision which you either find engaging or not. MGS5 might have been an outlier but all of his other games have been like 80% cutscenes 20% gameplay. DS doesn't have such a sharp distinction as I feel the gameplay(or rather, the cumbersome traveling) is thematically relevant to the plot.

With a Kojima game I don't expect a succinct and shallow story as window dressing for the gameplay I expect lots of drawn out monologue and delivery of interesting concepts through ridiculous characters fuming commentaries on contemporary society as obvious stand-in for the creator of the game. As such, Kojima's games have never been about story but all about message and themes that contrasted nicely with the absurd characters and plot devices. The gameplay also serves a subservient purpose to this vision, in DS more than anything even if it's mechanically very well implement. There is just a tremendous amount of imagination Kojima puts in his games that might be off-putting to some but also gives it a very clear identity.

It's engaging without necessarily being 'fun' in a traditional sense. But, ofcourse, like with anything that is subjective. With DS more than anything I feel the gameplay served to soak in the atmosphere and take in the vistas punctuated by the online social strand component which is integral to the experience. It's interesting and different and this is from someone whose favorite games are Bloodborne and Dark Souls 3 which are like the polar opposite of Death Stranding. I also think it's a game that is enjoyed more in lower dosage alongside other games. Like with ehm..Jedi Fallen Order that is out just now. xD

Casual Shinji:
...The text even clearly said this happened before the apocalypse occured.

My skim-reading has failed me, I thought that was referring to after the event.

As per always, my only substitutes for friends on similar wavelength accurately voice the issues with Kojima's writing;

And for sure, no doubt his eventual films will be pure cringe and torn to shreds once they enter the critical sphere, without the distraction of gameplay to soften the feedback.

Here's a well, balanced, review. Overall she like the game, but she does note the flaws.

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