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Death Stranding review – is Kojima such a genius?

Death Stranding is one of the most intriguing and interesting games of this year, at least until its release. The renowned game designer Hideo Kojima intrigued all players with unusual trailers and an interesting setting, in which there was a place for the apocalypse, dark forces and philosophical reasoning. But what is behind all this and is this project worth all the expectations and the hype that has been made around it? Let’s dive into the game and see what Kojima has in store for us this time.

Chaos and devastation

The world of Death Stranding is harsh and merciless. The game takes place in the near future, where humanity is on the brink of extinction. The reason for this was the penetration of otherworldly forces into our planet, which changed the living conditions and drove people underground. From another world, the so-called “timefall” often comes to us, the drops of which can destroy life and make the human body age. It is in such conditions that our main character, whose name is Sam, finds himself. This character is a kind of courier who forges communication between disparate settlements of the former United States. The hero’s goal is quite simple – to unite people and eventually create a new state called “United Cities of America”.

The appearance of the main character was copied from the famous actor Norman Reedus, who was actively involved in the development of the game. Another famous actor who gave his appearance to one of the heroes is the Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen. So the player will have to admire the game of real professionals, and considering how many cutscenes there are in the game, this is a big plus.

Death Stranding review

Death Stranding game review (review)

Courier Simulator

This is what many players call the project. It is very difficult to argue with this. Kojima intrigued us with good trailers, an interesting story with philosophical overtones and post-apocallipsis. What is the bottom line? The main character must, under the guidance of the player, take cargo and deliver them from point A to point B. Of course, the developers tried to diversify the everyday life of the “delivery man” in every possible way, for example, we need to monitor the safety of the cargo, and if we hang too many containers on ourselves, then we will start chatter from side to side. The main character can be attacked by the same dark entities or ordinary bandits, and you can deliver the goods both on foot, and by transport, but all these factors do not change the main point – the gameplay in the game is rather boring and even numerous interesting cutscenes and a good plot of this can’t fix it. The developers also tried to diversify the game with the so-called QTE. For example, when Sam is once again skidded to the side due to a large amount of cargo, you need to quickly press the necessary buttons or the hero will fall to the ground, and his entire cargo will be damaged. Gameplay is the most important factor in whether a game is fun or will be abandoned in a couple of hours. And, alas, Death Stranding is far from being in a winning position here.

Death Stranding review

Unfortunately, even some missions the game in places tries to make it as banal and boring as possible. The game has a rather dull open world without interesting quests and random events. The game has a rather complex and incomprehensible interface, where to get to the desired characteristics of a separate cargo is already a kind of task.

In fairness, it should be said that in the later stages of the game we will still be allowed to fight with the so-called “creatures” that resemble outwardly mysterious spirits. If in the first minutes of the game meeting with them caused panic, then they give us weapons and teach us how to fight them back. Of course, it’s a little strange why such powerful creatures, which they are represented in the plot, can be destroyed by an ordinary courier with an analogue of a pistol, but still it is better than once again running to a new settlement with many containers.

Death Stranding review

Boring to play, but nice to watch

What Death Stranding can definitely be praised for is its great visuals. The picture in the game is made at the highest level and it is pleasant to look at it. Stunning locations, good action, which is really not very common, and of course the animation and appearance of the main characters. It is felt that a lot of time and effort was devoted to this aspect of the game. Even Sam’s antics are boring and dull in terms of gameplay, but in terms of visual performance they are done very well.

The cutscenes in the game also turned out to be very rich and bright. Where Kojima is really strong is in the colorful game inserts, where magnificent scenes with the main characters are shown to dynamic music. So if in games you value a beautiful story and vivid scenes most of all, then Death Stranding, like in principle any other game that Hideo Kojima has had a hand in, you will definitely like.

Death Stranding review

Death Stranding game review (review)

How the game is heard

Death Stranding has a great soundtrack. Music and melodies perfectly complement what is happening on the screen, which is especially felt in the same cutscenes. A stunning soundtrack enhances the atmosphere in the game and helps to better penetrate the history of the game. Generally speaking, in terms of the visual and auditory part, it is difficult to find fault with the game, everything here is done at the highest level.

Death Stranding review

Death Stranding game review (review)

What can you say about Death Stranding in the end?

As a result, we have a beautiful game with rather boring gameplay. Cutscenes, sound, story with a plot – all this is done at the highest level, but the game lacks the main thing for which we love games so much – an exciting gameplay. Agree, few people like to be engaged in the delivery of cargo to various places in deserted locations. As a result, on the one hand, we have a good storyline, interesting characters, colorful cutscenes and great graphics with sound, and on the other, a desert world, boring gameplay with complex interface. And from all this, something in between is obtained – a project where you can find very positive aspects, but where you can also find many disadvantages. Probably, the game would not have received so much attention if the famous game designer had not been behind its creation, but most likely the game would have turned out to be completely different in that case. To summarize and talk about who will like this project, then these are definitely lovers of Kojima’s creativity and those who appreciate a good picture and sound in games. Well, if you like dynamic and interesting gameplay and Kojima’s name doesn’t really mean anything to you or just doesn’t matter much, then Death Stranding will most likely disappoint you. I just want to add that the game, like a great many other projects, has one big problem – an interesting idea, but poor implementation.

LID2PRO reviewer verdict

Playability

Interesting cutscenes, dynamic QTEs and an interesting plot that you want to watch contrast with boring gameplay, monotonous mechanics, a complex interface and an empty game world.

From the point of view of the visual part, Death Stranding fully reveals its full potential and clearly shows everything that it is capable of. The picture in the game looks great and will not disappoint even the most skeptical connoisseurs of graphics.

The soundtrack in the game deserves the highest marks. It enhances the atmosphere well and helps you to better immerse yourself in what is happening on the screen. The sound in the game leaves only the most positive emotions, and the varied soundtrack well complements the overall picture of what is happening on the screen during the game. Well, in the end, nice music in games hasn’t hurt anyone.

Single player campaign

A beautiful story, memorable characters and an amazing setting of the game are its obvious advantages, which are opposed by the desert locations and the “walking simulator” that we have talked about more than once. As a result, the single player campaign in the game evokes ambiguous emotions, although there are much more pluses than minuses in it.

Delivery of goods, travel to locations, QTE and transportation are made at a fairly high level, although they have minor flaws. But in general, the controls in the game are quite convenient and do not cause serious complaints.

Death Stranding is a good project, where a good outer shell in the form of graphics, plot and music contrasts with not the most interesting gameplay. Kojima’s project is definitely noteworthy, but it certainly shouldn’t be considered something unique and revolutionary.

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