The new addition to Kojima Production, ‘Death Stranding’ is an open world free roam game which allows players to travel and explore its huge map. Though it has strong gameplay and graphics it has its own shortcomings.
Story and characters:
Death Stranding’s story, a little confusing as it may seem, is about the reconnection of the world after a catastrophic apocalypse. The Death Stranding was a cataclysmic event which gave rise to ghostly beings called the breached things or simply “BTs” which suddenly appeared in the world of living- devouring and destroying everything in its path. Well that’s the short hand form of the story. To get a proper realistic experience there is a 40 hour gameplay waiting for you. The multi star cast of the game includes “The Walking Dead” fame Norman Reedus as Sam Bridges, Mads Mikkelsen as Clifford Unger and Léa Seydoux (James Bond) as Fragile. Though the cast did a pretty good job voicing the characters in the story, players only get to play as Sam Bridges. He is a post-apocalyptic postman who delivers things and goods from point A to B.
The only working organisations are the Monster Energy drink company and a Social network corporation. These companies fund people like Sam to make deliveries across the map (basically all of USA).
Though initially the gameplay was quite different it becomes monotonous as the chapters progress, as Sam’s only routine is to deliver goods across the map. The Decima game engine which was used in Horizon Zero Dawn has been put to good use in terms of environment and Sam’s adaptive response. The other aspect which felt boring was the loads carried by Sam which dramatically altered Sam’s movements to such an extent that the simple act of walking upright takes extra effort. You get vehicles at a later stage which is a saviour, you can also lay roads to the places you have visited for easy mobility, but complete mobilisation is obtained only at the very end of the game. The duels with BTs are hard but less rewarding. The packages dropped while fighting must be recovered later, which is quite annoying at times. At later stages human to human combat kicks in, which lets us fight the villains and bandits. This again was quite sloppy and mostly all you had to do was shoot them. Speaking of guns, just as in other games you can upgrade your gear as the story progresses.
Overall the game has a slow melodramatic story with a lot of side missions to complete. The story by nature is complicated and leaves players with a bemused reaction. The facial expressions and subtle 4th wall breaks of the characters were funny and cool.
Personally, I feel it would have been a fantastic game if the cumbersome travelling process had been reduced. Compared to the previous games like the “Metal Gear” series from Kojima, this game did not meet up to expectation.