Mastermind Hideo Kojima needed about three years to realize his vision of Open World games with PlayStation 4 Death Stranding. An unprecedented secrecy in the run-up made sure that few details on the gameplay where hidden before the release to the public. What the story is all about is clear, but the gameplay looks Kojima kept to himself. Until now. We’ll show you what makes Death Stranding a typical Kojima game and what features the game has.
- A complex action that unfolds slowly
In the beginning, Death Stranding kills you with technical terms and story elements. However, until you really get behind the mechanics and story-lines, draw some hours of play into the country. What’s up with Doom’s illness? Why is Sam Porter Bridges, played by “The Walking Dead” star Norman Reedus so special?
For the first 10-15 hours, Death Stranding raises a number of questions, which the game slowly answers. A specialty of Hideo Kojima, who has already defined his complex background in his games like Metal Gear Solid.
Ohje now want to reveal too much: Death Stranding answers the majority of his questions in the approximately 50-hour game satisfactorily and creates a successful suspense that ties you to the end of the gamepad.
- The entry is tough
Many of the MGS titles have one thing in common: Getting into the game is quite tough. Kojima is a master of his craft when it comes to a cinematic start to the game. He takes the time to shed some light on the characters and their backgrounds before he lets himself play with his game.
This is also the case in Death Stranding. For those who have not promised the ratio between scenes and gameplay, for example in Metal Gear Solid 4, they should better keep their fingers off the new Open World game. So it takes almost an hour to take control of Sam after the detailed intro and long cut-scenes – that’s something you have to like. However, whoever stays behind will be rewarded.
- The production is Oscar-ripe
What makes Death Stranding so special, however, is the staging on Hollywood blockbuster level. Nowadays, actors in games are not uncommon anymore, we have already introduced you to the best examples. Even trying to blur the boundaries between film and game dares some games today. No other title reaches the level of Death Stranding.
The clever plot comes with a successful arc of suspense and surprising plot twists, where you keep dropping your jaw. At the same time, the detailed facial expressions of the actors, such as Reedus, Mikkelsen, Seydoux or Wagner, provide such complex and credible characters that no other game has ever succeeded. In combination with the first-class English voice output, this results in an Oscar-ready gaming experience that will remain in your memory for a long time.
- Unique characters
Kojima has a knack for unique characters, just remember Psycho Mantis, Revolver Ocelot, Quiet or The Sorrow. The figures in Death Stranding also captivate with their multi-layered psyche, which sometimes conceals their true motives for a long time.
The mysterious Cliff, played by “Hannibal” Mads Mikkselsen or Heartman, to whom Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn lends his face and who dies every 21 minutes, are just two examples.
- Impressive moments
Whenever you think you’ve climbed slowly behind the Death Stranding, the open-world games are sprinkling new impressive moments. As it suddenly rains sea creatures from the sky, the onset of the rain of time leaves everything and everyone around him aging incredibly fast. Moments that skillfully break the classic game structure of the game, keep you pausing and amazed. Death Stranding changes regularly during the plot and reinvents itself time and time again.
The atmosphere in the game is second to none. The developers of Kojima Productions masterfully sprinkle beautiful and fitting pieces of music into the deliberately lifeless-looking game world, where a pleasant shower runs down your spine. There is hardly another game that provides such consistent goosebumps with its harmonious use of music. Masterful!
- Messenger gameplay and more
In the first 10-15 hours – and thus in the complete first third – Death Stranding lays the foundation for his game mechanics before reinventing the game. Accordingly, this entry is incredibly tough. In fact, the first missions consist of running errands for different clients and getting from point A to point B, packed with utilities. The only thing you have to look out for is not to lose your balance and damage the goods by falling. Which in turn reduces your reward and reduces the experience gained. However, can that really be all?
To be honest, we also asked ourselves that question in the first few hours. If that’s the whole gameplay of Death Stranding, that would be pretty disappointing.
Luckily, the game really picks up speed when the ghostly GDs come on the scene, but even then, it takes a while for them to face the haunting characters in combat. Yes, Death Stranding offers fights – that was not clear after all the trailers and videos shown so far – and even comes up with huge boss fights. The simple knit combat system is not the actual strength, but the dense atmosphere.
When invisible characters are rampaging all around you, your robot arm (sensing the position of the GDs) flailing wildly and running out of steam as you try to sneak past the monsters as quietly as possible, you’re in mighty power. In these, sometimes divided into several phases fights, Death Stranding almost reminiscent of a true-to-life horror game.
- The Beach Genre: A whole new kind of a game?
Hideo Kojima himself does not describe Death Stranding as a classic open-world game or action adventure. Rather, the game wants to define a whole new genre: the beach genre.
Basically, the game plays like a classic third-person open-world game with a few stealth elements. Even the classic mission structure differs only slightly from many modern titles.
However, what makes the game so unique is the “social beach” system, because – assuming an active internet connection – you are never really alone in the bleak and lonely game world. There is no classic multiplayer mode, but a wordless and indirect interaction with other players.
In fact, building bridges in Death Stranding is a central issue, both literally and figuratively. Yes, you build bridges to be able to cross rivers undamaged and reach the other side. However, these symbolic bridges also affect interaction with other players.
Structures or help, created by other players in their world can appear in your game and help you move forward. Since Sam’s carrying capacity is very limited, you will need to think carefully about how many ladders and ropes you want to take with you to climb particularly steep hills or rappel from edges to underlying areas.
How practical it is when another player has already placed a ladder at this exact spot that you can use for yourself.
This is sometimes reminiscent of the indie hits Journey, goes on in Death Stranding, however, significantly further. In the style of social networks, you collect and distribute likes for such help. Although they have no playful use, they emphasize the unique approach consistently. Death Stranding is a game that seeks to focus on social interaction in a bleak environment. You are all prisoners in this world and you should work together to survive.
This does not culminate in a completely innovative feel, but still provides some memorable moments.
Death Stranding: The hoped-for revolution?
The hoped-for revolution in video games is over, but Death Stranding has become a unique game that will be remembered for a long time. Whether and how much fun the whole thing does, however, also depends on how far you want to get involved in the game. Death Stranding is a game where ghosts will get part.
The entry is tough, the story sometimes extremely complex and confused and it takes longer than the time of many other games until something happens. And yet the game rewards you with a unique atmosphere, complex and detailed characters, exciting fights and fresh ideas. Death Stranding is by no means a game for everyone, but one thing is for sure: You have never played anything comparable before.
Finally, a word about the technique of the game. Graphically, the game easily makes it into any top list of the prettiest modern console games. Especially the detail-loving character models along with expressive facial expressions and first-class animations, in combination with the picturesque game world and the beautiful effects, amaze.