Death Stranding received a lot of attention ahead of its release. Combine Hideo Kojima’s first game since leaving Konami, Hollywood stars, and trailers that seemed to add more questions than they answered and you can see why.
Upon release, on PS4 and PC, the reaction was mixed. There were those who loved him, those who hated him, and those who thought it was somewhere in the middle. Then there are those who mostly ignored the speech, looking to add it to their backlog at some point in the future… like me.
I spent a few hours with the original but never really put my teeth into it. If I had started with the Director’s Cut it might have been different.
What is death stranding
Death Stranding is not a game that clearly lays out everything on the table. Unraveling the mysteries and history of the world is part of the charm of the game. It is done through cutscenes, messages and more.
To give a quick rundown of what to expect: you play as Sam Porter Bridges. Sam is a courier who, through a whole chain of events, ends up needing to reconnect America by delivering packages that make it possible. You see, an event called Death Stranding wiped out much of the world and forced those who remained into hiding in shelters and settlements.
A lot of your interactions with people will be with holographic versions of them. Something that is helpful for Sam given that he suffers from aphenphosmphobia, which is basically an extreme fear of intimacy and being touched. This helps add weight to Sam’s actions in the game and helps make his distance from others more understandable.
Sam’s background also helps add layers to the gameplay. He’s a steed, not a fighter, and the fact that the combat is awkward at times adds a believable level of panic when trying to move through areas populated by enemies.
How is DEATH STRANDING played?
Death Stranding Director’s Cut does a lot to help make those first few hours a little easier. Not only does it showcase items that aid you in combat and transport, it also offers some helpful hints. I was shocked to check out with my colleagues how new this was, as it not only feels natural, but vital.
Death Stranding’s combat isn’t his strong suit and while it does help you feel more like an unlucky messenger doing his best to survive, having a way to test your skills with minimal risk seems to be a key part. to offer. The shooting range, which you unlock early enough, allows this. This gives you time to hone your skills so that, when you step out into the big bad world, you have a better understanding of what you need.
If you picked Death Stranding on PS4 and typed early due to frustrations with contextualizing what you’re doing, then the Director’s Cut is really useful.
Combat gives you a variety of weapons and ways to pass through or around enemies. You obviously get more as you progress through the game, but I still found it to be a lot more interesting trying to be stealthy than running headfirst at enemies.
Rebel type enemies in the game are smart and can ping your cargo. You have to constantly move and think about your tactics on your feet. BTs, terrifying beings primarily from the afterlife, can be taken down with certain weapons, but most of the time they need to be carefully navigated so that you don’t get caught. If you do, you can expect a bit more of a problem than just losing a life, but I’m not going to spoil this.
These enemies often disrupt the central part of the game that provides items. Item delivery requires you to carefully plan your route, balance your items, and be prepared for anything. Having to think carefully when a delivery presents an unexpected problem is just as urgent, if not more so, than finding a way around enemies. I loved taking my time and finding new routes to get to where I needed to be. He is helped by a key element.
Death Stranding without its online options just isn’t the same game. It’s still enjoyable, but part of what makes Death Stranding feel good is the way others help. Leaving tips, items and more to make it easier to get through difficult areas or give you a convenient place to recharge.
It’s something that really helps Death Stranding feel unique. Knowing that you have helped someone with a well-placed item is rewarding, and getting a feel for a difficult area is helpful. Because not all areas are synced right away, although that also makes new areas dangerous and really helps build tension. Sure, you’ll get through it once you get through it once, but it’s that initial impact that really helps.
Look and ring
Death Stranding Director’s Cut is fantastic. You have two options to play the game. The performance mode has scaled 4K and 60fps while the fidelity mode has native 4K with both supporting HDR. Most of my time with the game was spent in fidelity mode and I found it to be an enjoyable experience with no big issues with regards to the dips.
Character models, landscapes and everything is superb. Climbing a mountain and then turning around to see where you’ve come from is as rewarding as if you had done it in real life because you really get a feel for the ladder. The performance is also, for the most part, very good. There are a lot of dialogue-rich moments, but if it’s okay with you, you’ll really enjoy watching well-animated characters with well-acted performances.
The sound is also a big strong point. The music that is heard on long walks really helps to create a sense of wonder.
Death Stranding Director’s Cut is much more accessible than the original due to the changes early on. Playing online means that there are also many levels of support with the leftover items. Difficulty settings also help make the experience easier if you need it or harder if you want more of a challenge.
If you’ve been waiting for Death Stranding in the hopes that they will improve it, then Death Stranding Director’s Cut is a great time to get started. Even outside of that, I found Death Stranding a fascinating game to play for the first time.
Its history and its world are full of mystery. Sam is a sympathetic protagonist with a time consuming job and must be played as such. Death Stranding is not a game you try to speed up over a weekend. Death Stranding is a game that you take your time with if you really want to get the most out of it.
Of course, the fights can be exasperating at times. Yes, sometimes crossing an area feels more like a chore than a pleasure, but it’s almost always those moments of frustration that lead to moments of admiration. For all of its negatives, there is almost always a bright spot that helps counter it.
Improvements made at the start of the game really help you feel ready for the rest of your adventure. While it shares elements of many games, it also does a great job of feeling unique. There isn’t much else like Death Stranding and the Director’s Cut helps refine an intriguing game to be the best it can be.
Featured Image: Sony
Code provided by PR for review.
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