Death Stranding



  • Finished it last night after 60 hours. No overt spoilers here but vague impressions: man this game is simultaneously the most genius and refreshing thing I have played in years and the game most in need of an editor. I thought MGS4 went off the rails with an hour plus long cut-scene during the final act but it has nothing on this. I have historically been a big Kojima fan in the past and accept his hollywood leanings but the final few hours of this game are soooo in need of more restraint. Two hours of rambling cinematic sequences with dialog that makes little sense all reserved for the final two missions with almost nil interactivity! I absolutely LOVE the gameplay in DS and I just spent the entire ending sequence incredibly annoyed and wishing I was back doing standard deliveries. Clearly, not the imact I imagine Kojima was aiming for. Still my GOTY and there is absolutely mad genius on display here but I am so excited to get to the post game and be done with the finale.



  • @ozymandsss I'm right now at what I think (and hope) are the closing credits and had to make a break because I was literally falling asleep. I'm at 110h of play time and level around level 315, I've enjoyed this game quite a lot but every time it tries to tell a story it's kinda awful. Now for the last couple of hours it's worst than that. The game just keeps going over stuff already overexposed before, and even worst, stuff that's not even that interesting and just keeps going and going.

    It's a great game that really shines when it's unscripted, for its emergent gameplay. But everything that's more scripted, like boss fights and storytelling moments, goes from ok to terrible.

    OK, back to finish the game.

    Edit: OK, this is still going but now I'm laughing out loud with a particularly moment of extra corny acting.



  • @Phbz The story feels like Kojima got bit by a radioactive Kojima and turned into Mega-Kojima who then tried his hand at writing Kojima fan-fiction.
    Game was great tho...



  • I'll just copy/paste what I've written elsewhere

    Finally beat the game. 112h, level 323.

    Overall I enjoyed it. Core game is good and it creates great moments of emergent gameplay that never get old all the way through. Never got bored to be honest. Built all the roads, made an impressive zip line, attacked camps, and so on. There's enough variety to the way one choses to play.

    The online component works well enough, but it's not what I'd call a golden moment in gaming as Journey was.But it does feel great occasionally. Combat situations are perhaps the weakest component of the gameplay, boss fights are particularly mediocre.

    The writing it's just too awful. Like, the story is dumb but OK yet the narrative is just so bad, it takes overexposition to a level I've never seen before and most of the time for stuff not that good or worth the time. The characters within the narrative are fine, but the construction of their narrative arch is pretty terrible. I think the biggest challenge in gaming is how to intertwine narrative into gameplay and DS is pretty terrible at that. Kojima goes so far with his attempts of emotional exploitation that just made me numb and indifferent. Even BB, didn't connect emotionally at all with. Fragile was my favourite character, great voice acting and facial animations.

    But on the other hand it shines in connecting the player to the world. Here Kojima absolutely nails it. Gives vibes of Inarritu's The Revenant for its man Vs nature theme. And there's plenty of movie influences going on here. The beach takes me to the 7th Seal, BTs remind me of Kairo. The Road and even Mad Max are obvious inspirations too. And that all would be great if Kojima was good at writing. Death Stranding shows Kojima is a brilliant game designer and a mediocre writer. And sadly the mediocre writing trickles down to gameplay it self.

    A good game with severe issues. I'll give it a 7.5 but believe it's a game that won't be forgotten as quickly as some higher rated games will. Mostly because although there's a lot of bad here there's also enough moments where its emergent gameplay is an absolute triumph. Not exaggerating really, there was plenty of times when after a situation was over I just took a break to think about the complexity of all that went down and how satisfying that was.

    Technically is great. Graphics good, sound design great. Music ok but it's a matter of taste, to me it felt derivative but still enjoyable. Level design/morphology are great too, but the world lacks the surprises and variety of something like a BotW.

    tldr:

    7.5, still I'll recommend anyone to try it.



  • The receivers (the hologram people) are all now wearing Santa hats when I deliver them their goods. Feels... weird.



  • @sentinel-beach I think it's pretty jolly. I kinda want one for myself...



  • I started Death Stranding this weekend and I'm completely gripped. After hearing so many people mention "boredom" in their reviews, even the reviews with praise, I became quite skeptical. I still really wanted to play Death Stranding but I wasn't champing at the bit after the reviews came in.

    Now having played 4 hours and being nearly done Chapter 2 (I think), I feel so immersed in the world. I think the set-up for the world does far more showing than telling which is great by Kojima standards but by gaming standards as well. DS throws a lot of buzzwords at you but I'm not lost because its always said in context in such a way that I understand what is meant by: stranding, BB, BT, et cetera.

    I'd go as far as to say that I really like the simple - yeah - SIMPLE plot scenario. I didn't expect a game to unify gameplay and story so well where traversing a game world is contextualized so well. That's why its a shame to read @Phbz most recent post. As of now, the gameplay and story is going fantastically for me and I hope it continues on that way. It's refreshingly experimental yet simple in both gameplay and story. I wonder where it detours...



  • @DIPSET Despite what I said above about the story towards the end, the actual GAME here is one of the most compelling things I have played in years. I finished it weeks ago but am still playing in the post-game just because I love the world and contributing to it. I can see where the complaints are coming from but i feel like there are two sorts of people: those for whom DS resonates with and those for whom it does not. Both perspectives are valid but if you are one of those who like it, I think you will LOVE it in the end. Also, I'm sure you have seen this before in various other threads or articles but what they say is true: rush through chapter 2 and get to 3 asap. You are totally ham-strung until you get access to the vast majority of your tech in chapter 3, after which the game opens up endless possibilities.



  • Finished the game today. My last stretch ended up being seven hours long (not recommended). And the final hours showed 43 hrs, which was almost entirely just focusing on the main missions and the story.

    The game was really good! The start is very slow, yes, but at some point the game worked its magic and I was simply hooked. You got more and more items and ways of transport and everything simply started working more smoothly with all the upgrades and whathaveyou. This was fun to play! Still is, I'm definitely continuing. My zip-wire network worked wonderfully already now, and now it'll ease my way five-staring all those places. Super fast, highly recommended. And so satisfying, too, connecting places with those, getting those perfect spots for the pylons.

    The story was mesmerizing. Hypnotizing. Much like the gameplay itself often. I'm not gonna go deep into that right now, but I did like it a lot. Heartman might've been my favourite character.



  • @Sentinel-Beach I cannot stop playing. Finished it weeks ago but have doubled my play-time in the post-game getting five stars, building roads, achievement hunting etc. Goes to show that the core gameplay here is very strong, even in the absence of plot developments to drive it forwards. I still get frequent emails from the preppers which prevent the world from feeling too dead after the main story concludes. Def gonna platinum this one.



  • I had strong "No Man's Sky at launch" vibes before playing it and I wasn't mistaken.

    Death Stranding is a perfect background game that you can pause anywhere and then just continue next day. Yes, Death Stranding has more story than No Man's Sky, but for some reason in every Kojima game I played (MGS 2-5, Death Stranding) I was more interested in camera work than the plot and the characters. So it's all about gameplay for me.

    So, traversal in Death Stranding is pretty great. Especially when I got the bike - it was my prime tool for the rest of the game. Driving has the perfect balance of speed, challenge and accessibility and it allows you to skip combat encounters. But since you get such OP tool pretty early, it kills the rest of progression. I never used things like zip-line or… in fact I even didn’t bother to look what I was unlocking. Also I never felt the need to build anything, and I don't think that I used community projects that much.

    Online interaction is very interesting. There were some useful online buildings (like charging stations), but they never felt like my only chance to survive (it was more like “Oh, there’s a charge station on the hill, I can use boost now and save few seconds”). However there were numerous useless community creations that were built just to gather likes. Meaningless signs in every base exit, bridges over flat surfaces, etc. So I wished that Death Stranding was an offline game with more traditional environmental upgrades unlocks. Well, at least it’s a nice commentary on how useless online interactions can be when people get obsessed by likes.

    Several things I didn’t like. Mud-on-a-face texture looks terrible, almost like it’s a very low-res texture. Music wasn’t designed for this game, so songs are constantly interrupted either by reaching destination or by timefall. Nearly each time the rain starts the game stops for several seconds to load assets (played on PS4 Pro).

    In summary, Death Stranding is game where going through motions feels good, but you try to avoid the rest just because it doesn’t add anything to simple pleasure of reaching the destination. Just like in No Man’s Sky at launch.

    P.S. Finished in 30 hours including a couple of hours to listen to the music while reading the mail.



  • Hit Credits. This thread is my first time looking at any takes at all.

    This is probably my favourite game of the generation, overtaking HITMAN 2016.

    What a video game.

    Also:

    I called the identity of Unger's son literally as soon as Sam saw the first memory.