A really fascinating game that doesn't always hit the mark, but has just enough to recommend so long as you know what you're getting into. I would certainly not recommend this as a blind buy. If you're on the fence about this game, read reviews, watch gameplay videos, and do some research before you shell out $40 (although I got it for $20 on sale.) It's an acquired taste that is most definitely not for everyone. The common joke is that it's just a walking simulator which is both true and oversimplified. Yes there is a lot of walking but it's also what makes the game so satisfying and ties into its themes. We're all walking the same path, so to speak, trying to reconnect America by rebuilding the roads, leaving out ladders and ziplines for other players to use so we can get likes. The feeling you get when you're about to embark on a long journey, but then see a truck someone left behind or a ladder that'll help get you up the mountain is fantastic. It's on us to make the game better for others an knowing that we're all on this weird journey together in a sense makes the walking so satisfying as its core gameplay. I can see why that would turn off some players, but it really does work. It's not "fun" but it works.
What doesn't work is the rest of the gameplay. When you're not walking up hills, it turns into a lame 3rd person shooter with clunky mechanics. Once I learned you could run away from the Beached Things, I never bothered fighting them again. And the driving is genuinely awful. I don't want to spend five minutes trying to get past a small rock. This is where the game tests your patience and not in a particularly rewarding way like other aspects.
And the story is pure Kojima. Great ideas and terrific acting that's bogged down in convoluted exposition and some ridiculous dialogue. But that's just part of the deal at this point.
So yeah, I really appreciated my time with Death Stranding. I don't think I'll ever play it again and I have a tough time recommending it but it's one of the more interesting and unique experiences I've had on console and I'm glad it exists. It's a game we'll be talking about for years to come and that alone counts for something.
Last thing: that soundtrack is killer. I love it so much.
- I started playing Death Stranding and I’m actually liking it a lot!
- Death Stranding
- YSB Death Stranding
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