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Death Stranding review 2022

There are a few games I feel the need to post about, or even talk about to a larger audience, but after over 50 hours in Death Stranding, I can’t conclude that But at its core, it’s not even a game – it’s an experience.

An experience that no other medium of art can express. And through this deceptively rich, fulfilling story and all the meditative contemplation that Hideo Kojima encourages to keep you up, I’ve been left with fresh ideas of how the interactive medium has potential beyond belief.

If you haven’t heard of Death Stranding before, here’s a quick, spoiler-free summary of the plot. An extinction event known as Death Stranding has left what was formerly the United States shattered and split into cities across the continent. You play as Sam Bridges (Norman Reedus), an ordinary courier tasked with reuniting America by traveling west from sea to sea.

Now, allow me to preface this by saying that I am never a Kojima fanatic. I love Metal Gear games and think he’s a great storyteller and performer, but that’s definitely not what some people tell him.

That being said, he envisioned something different for Death Stranding. Sure, on the surface it might be classified as an action RPG, but that’s irrelevant. Instead of fighting and strife, you are met by quiet introspection. Instead of quick levels, you’re faced with long, difficult tasks that make completing so much the ultimate reward.

Once you cross the exterior of the game and get into Kojima’s true intentions, you realize that everything this game achieves has never been done before, and in this cold desolate world In He Created where communities and people have been torn apart by the events of Death Stranding, players are taught to come together. There’s no reason other than to be kind, to arm your fellow porters and lend a helping hand. to help others.

That’s the real beauty of this game, and why shouldn’t you decide to play or not to play it based on the reviews alone. Forget 6 out of 10. Forget 10 out of 10. A review may not convey the feeling of building a bridge to help others cross a treacherous river, or using a ladder that another player has used to help bring others down a dangerous cliff.

hired to help. At the risk of trying to fall apart, the game may be too slow or too difficult for some people. It encourages you to find structures or equipment that other players have put down to help you along your way, until you are able to put up your own structures and equipment for other players to use.

By doing this you yourself become a helper. And then it hits you. In a world that can seem so bleak and divided at times, Death Stranding teaches players a valuable lesson in community and goodwill. It teaches you to be grateful for the community.

Everyone is walking the same path and the weight you carry is not yours alone. And if the game didn’t seem so hard and tedious at times, that lesson wouldn’t have been so difficult. Kojima doesn’t want you to suffer. He wants you to ease the suffering of others.

The argument of whether games need to be fun will go on for as long as the medium will exist (if not longer). But I see games as an artform who doesn’t need to be constrained by ideas of living up to a fun fantasy of being a jumping plumber or a pizza thing searching for pills. Games like Silent Hill 2 and Paratopic show that there is far more to this medium then being “toys of entertainment.”

But none of this applies to Death Stranding which I found to be engaging, entertaining, awe inspiring, and yes… fun. Fun in a way that only avid hiking enthusiasts are likely to appreciate. People go into this game expecting a “walking simulator” where you point the character in the direction of your goal and push forward in the D pad.

Granted, I understand why people would think this way, as the medium never has tried to make the act of walking more complex then this equation. But once you go at the game with understanding of cross country hiking your experience will benefit greatly.

For instance: instead of walking straight up a mountain, try walking perpendicular to the slope, while also leaning towards said slope. Extendable ladders, placable climbing anchors, and weightlifting exosuits help facilitate this gameplay loop of being a cross country “delivery-boy.”

A quiet multiplayer system of cooperative infrastructure helps make this loop simpler, but the basic gameplay loop never really evolves into anything different. Granted there are stakes. Ghosts and bandit camps litter the GINORMOUS map forcing player to prepare for potential combat encounters, but with some quick and quiet footwork players are able to easily sneak by these halts in progress.