Death Stranding is the latest action-adventure game developed by Kojima Productions and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. The game features and intriguing plot which can be confusing to understand at times but I will try to sum it up briefly. An event called the Death Stranding caused a link to the afterlife at a beach which resulted in BTs (Beached Things) coming to Earth. You get to play as Sam Porter Bridges who works as a courier tasked with delivering items to survivors. I will not go into much details regarding the story but this should give you an idea of what to expect. The gameplay leans heavily on exploration and traversal in the gorgeous environment that was made possible with the Decima engine.
Everything in the story and narrative is done absolutely perfectly and the attention to detail is very clear from the get-go. The high-profile cast members such as
Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen and Léa Seydoux provide impressive performances with character models that are almost identical to their real life counterparts. While the first few hours of the game are full of cutscenes which make the pacing feel slow, they are able to lay a strong foundation for the rest of the game. This is especially true in the later parts where the exciting and fast-paced action sections kick in.
As for the world design, it’s great for traversal and even makes something as simple as walking seem like a challenge. It is reminiscent of a puzzle game where you’re trying to find the easiest and safest route while also not spending too much time avoiding rocky terrain. This combined with a stellar soundtrack and gorgeous graphics really enhance the experience and sense of immersion. I love how you have to take so many things into account such as balance and weight when moving around. Even rain is a threat since it degrades your parcels if you stay in it for too long. Death Stranding also features stealth and combat sections but they aren’t the main focus of the game. However, they do a good job in giving players some action sequences to switch things up.
The multiplayer aspect adds another interesting mechanic where you can use gadgets left behind by other players to your advantage and help others as well. Finding someone else’s perfectly placed ladder or rope is extremely satisfying and you can contribute in hopes of getting likes for your assistance. Also, if players start taking the same route when traversing the map, a desire path begins to form. This works very well with the core idea of the game which is connecting everyone and helping others to bring about a brighter future.
Overall, Death Stranding is a remarkable experience where everything from the story to the gameplay come together perfectly. The online system provides an interesting addition that blends well with the main concept of the game and rewards you for your efforts. Death Stranding benefits from a strong and innovative narrative, great visuals and enjoyable gameplay mechanics. With so many similar games releasing nowadays, it is definitely difficult to find one where every aspect is unique and fresh. Thankfully, Death Stranding raises the bar and sets itself apart from the rest for the reasons aforementioned.
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