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