Death Stranding – Review

Where to start with this one? Since it was announced to its release, it was clouded in mystery, weird babies in tanks, black goo like monsters, so who would have thought that you would just become a glorified mailman?  There is obviously a lot more to it than that, but in essence, that’s what Sam the main character is.

So what is the game actually about? Well, you’re tasked at bringing America back online to the network after an apocalyptic type event caused chaos. BT’s as they’re called infest the land which along your journey is set.

I have to be honest, when I started this game I didn’t know what to expect, I’ve only now just been able to get around to playing it and have avoided spoilers and game play videos in the build up.

Best thing about not know what to expect is that I was surprised, I didn’t expect the game to be what it is, it is a very strange game and has a very strange atmosphere to it. But while that can be good in most instances and in small doses I found Death Stranding to be overly strange, if that’s the right way to put it? The BT’s are not your normal enemies, They’re sporadic and seem very timed to when you’re going to different outposts etc, they almost feel pushed upon you, which I will say I wasn’t a big fan of. Also, you only get a way to properly deal with them when you’re a fair chunk of the way through the game, or what feels like a chunk of the way through, especially with all the walking you do and the distance you have to cover.

Distances made to feel a whole lot more longer when you take the terrain into account, which I have to admit was done really well, on a visual and on a technical sense. Visually, stunning, cannot complain an ounce at what you get to see throughout the game. Landscapes were well worth there wait in screenshots.

Technically, you could tell a lot of work had gone into this, the way your character Sam walked over ridges, dealt with different heights and drops from ledges, walking through water, all done spectacularly, you can see how the use of motion capture with Normal Reedus had been played out and he did play the part very well too.

As you were walking through the world you would have to take into account the cargo you were carrying, making sure it wasn’t too top-heavy that it would cause your character to lose balance. What I liked, although it got annoying was the fact that the weight would shift around and you would have to make sure that you got your balance again, again annoying but that was down to how I packed the stuff. I tried to balance it myself instead of using the option in-game to auto pack the stuff so that it was balanced properly. After I learned I couldn’t really get my head around doing it myself, I just let the game do it for me!

One thing I really liked in the game is how you could help other people playing the game, this was used by leaving ladders or ropes so people could climb or descent from high cliffs, it could be leaving post boxes dotted around so any lost cargo that you find that you don’t have time to deliver, you can leave in one of these boxes for someone else to pick up and deliver. You could also build bridges across rives too deep to swim across with your cargo, it had me thinking that this is a really neat feature, it brings the best out of gamers, allowing you to help others indirectly through your own playthrough of the game. I have to admit as well that there were a few things that really helped me out so I did give a load of likes out to those people, because without them it would have made the journey so much more harder.

Especially when you look at the map and plan your route out, mark it down and try and take the terrain into consideration to then find that when you get there, there’s a mountain in the way and the terrain is not what it seems. So many times I did that to have to double back on myself and find another way around.

Now, it comes down to whether I would recommend Death Stranding or not. I think the answer is yes, there are experiences here which I would say are to to…. experience. The way the game brings others together, allows you to help other gamers on there play through, such a brilliant idea and it is one I am hoping gets used a lot more in the future. Does it make the game too easy? Not at all, there are still plenty of obstacles in play to make this a rewarding game, and when you see you get likes off others for helping them, it makes it all worth while and gives you that fuzzy warm feeling knowing you have done right with the world.

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