AAA blockbusters don’t get much more unpredictable than Death Stranding. Hideo Kojima’s first game since departing Konami some four years, Death Stranding arrives on PS4 on November 8th, with a PC release to follow in Summer 2020. At long last though, the review embargo has lifted and we know exactly what Death Stranding is all about.
Calling the reviews divisive would perhaps be a little strong. Out of the 68 reviews out there right now, 82% of them recommend Death Stranding. So around one in five of those reviewing the game didn’t get along with Death Stranding at all. While not particularly unusual, this isn’t the universal critical acclaim which greeted the likes of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
Criticisms of Death Stranding focus on its lengthy dialogue, tedious gameplay, pretentiousness, and a lack of that all-important fun. These views are in the minority though, with at least 13 perfect 100% scores and dozens of 9/10 and above. Death Stranding is described variously as unforgettable, a masterpiece, beautiful, and one of the best games of the generation. It’s praised for amazing acting performances, a slow-burning narrative, grand set-pieces, and a devastatingly bleak atmosphere. Reading between the lines, you can probably right from the get-go whether Death Stranding is the game for you.
Here are all the reviews out there right now and you can find the full breakdown over on OpenCritic.
And while we’ve all been sat around for years trying to figure out exactly what Death Stranding is, the truth was always staring us straight in the face. It is the game it appeared to be from the moment we first saw a snippet of gameplay. Norman Reedus is a sci-fi delivery man, carrying goods in an effort to reunite a discordant United States of America.
What follows is a series of deliveries, each of which need to be meticulously planned out. Everything the player carries has a weight which affects speed and balance. Tools such as grapple hooks, ladders, and even bridges can be brought along for the ride, all of which centres of getting from A to B as smoothly as possible. Do you take the flat route which potentially has enemies, or do take the long round up an icy waterfall?
Sprinkle in plenty of lengthy cut-scenes and a sprawling, often nonsensical plot and voila, we have Death Stranding; a beautiful hiking simulator with some meditative qualities which certainly won’t be for everyone.