Death Stranding is everything you hoped and feared it would be. Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima’s ambitious and unapologetically bizarre new project simply oozes with originality, bold storytelling, and an unwavering ability to keep you engaged - even when the game often grinds to a crawl, and lets you soak in a stunning world harbouring wonder, mystery and death over every rain-soaked hill and mountain. Death Stranding delivers moments of visual splendor and exploration, and unrelenting terror with equal, impactful resilience. Kojima Productions have crafted an incredibly unique experience in gaming, but also one sure to be met with some furrowed brows.
NOTE: This review is completely spoiler-free.
Set in a post-apocalyptic dystopia, in a world where humanity is on the verge of extinction following a cataclysmic supernatural event called the Death Stranding, the game follows a courier named Sam Porter Bridges who is tasked with reconnecting a fractured and divided America under the new UCA, or United Cities of America. That’s just the surface explanation of the story, and as with all Kojima games, explores more elaborate themes surrounding existentialism, morality, family, and a heavy emphasis on connecting society. That last bit is important, as it becomes the driving force behind most of your exploration and gameplay.
Mads Mikkelsen’s Cliff is an intimidating and sympathetic antagonist, along with Troy Baker’s Higgs who clearly has a lot of fun chewing up every scene he’s in.
Death Stranding is not a walking simulator, though you’ll still be doing a lot of walking in the process.
No matter how many times I ran into timefall storms, I was absolutely enthralled and kept on the edge of my seat.
...Death Stranding risks alienating audiences to its unconventional, but undoubtedly unique, execution.
Writer. Enthusiast of all things geek. Legend has it he completed Final Fantasy VII without a memory card.
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Sony Interactive Entertainment
8 November 2019
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