I love this game. I finished it today, and it's a 9/10 for me. This is a review of a unique, flawed, hopeful game called Death Stranding.
This is a truly special game. It has a really great story and world. It's got a completely unique premise, memorable characters and some divisive gameplay.
First on the chopping block – why I won't recommend it to anyone. It's got an amazingly complicated world and a convoluted story. It's got weird pacing, all of the Kojima hallmarks (super long cutscenes, melodramatic dialogue and tons of bad dialogue in general)
This is my favourite game of all time right now. If you click on any review, nearly every criticism has merit. It is impossible to tell what will bother you and what won't.
I love the world. I know more about Chiralium than I should. It's a beautifully realised landscape with an incredible draw distance that really gives a sense of scale. The best part about the draw distance? Anything you see, you can go there. The highest mountain is within your grasp. There are no borders. This contributes a lot to my experience. I am an explorer, I can go there, no mountain is too big to climb. Purely personal preference. I've never seen a review that touches on this.
The lore is deep, convoluted and confusing. I loved every bit of it. I was so immersed into this world. It felt within my grasp. I could understand how it functioned.I don't know why this feeling was there, but it was.
I loved the side characters. Each and every one gets their moment to shine. All of them are memorable, layered, quirky and weird.
Sam is a phenomenal protagonist. He's not this perfect person, he's just a damn good porter. His character development is my favourite in any game. He's not your typical protagonist, but he's a fantastic way to express many of the themes and messages this game wants to get across.
The soundtrack is phenomenal.
The dialogue never bothered me.
The gameplay possesses this beautiful quality in inducing a sense of tranquility and serenity. Its a relaxing and cathartic experience. It's definitely not for everyone. It definitely is for me.
The messages it gets across hit very hard in today's world. It deals with grief, loss, fatherhood , family and, most of all, connection. Check out my post here on the power of connection.
The ending is the best in gaming.
Cliff is a fantastic character.
The multiplayer is integrated in such a great way, that it appeals to the better person in us all and fits in perfectly with the themes of the game.
I refuse to call this game a masterpiece. It is, without a doubt, a flawed game. I acknowledge and accept that. It's my favourite game of all time. It's got this indescribable quality that makes me feel at peace. It's story moved me in ways other games could not. It's art.
I cannot say that anyone else on the planet had the same reaction to this game. You buy this game on hope alone. You cannot know whether you would like it or hate it. It's a unique game, and your experience of it will be wholly different to mine. I love this game.
Thanks for reading.
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