After a long and very confusing marketing campaign, Death Stranding is finally in the world’s hands. It marks the first game Hideo Kojima has helped to make under the ugly divorce from Konami and the founding of Kojima Productions. It boasts some big names, wild concepts and quite a big production for what’s technically an indie studio. Is it just an all for show ‘Hideo Kojima and his friends‘ project or does it actually have something special about it? I’ve spent near forty hours with the game and arguments really could be made on both ends.
For a game that was so ambiguous in its lead up to release, the story of Death Stranding is relatively straight forward. It even hammers it in your head constantly and explains everything. In short, the Death Stranding, a catastrophic event that resulted in the living and dead being connected has occurred. America has fallen as we know it under the threat of BTs, the other worldly dead spirits. As such, America’s people have taken to hiding in underground facilities. From here we get our hero Sam Porter Bridges, with his main goal being to connect these very places through a network.
Debates have sprouted on whether Death Stranding and its gameplay is actually fun. It can be, if you’re the right type of player for the game. I don’t mean this in a stick up my nose, elitist way either. You go on errands and delivery runs across harsh terrains for each facility, garnering enough likes and a connection to then be able to set them up on the network and be onto the next. Luckily, you have some handy gear and equipment under your belt to travel the harsh terrain you’ll see in your journey. This however isn’t going to be for everyone of course.
Cargo management is key in Death Stranding to not over exert Sam and be prone to losing your balance. Balance can be easy enough if you’re not reckless, with a simple feathering of L2 and R2 to hold onto your pack’s straps and even out. It’s important you do this otherwise you’ll be eating dirt. A lot. Combine this with the threat of bandits known as MULEs and BT’s with their gooey black matter they let off, you’re on your toes a lot in this game.