The latest Hideo Kojima title hit the shelves today, and already it has been put under a rather bleak spotlight by both long-term Kojima fans and critics alike. But, to be fair, the ambivalent responses came months before the game was even released to the public. With a vast majority of reviewers left scratching heads at the seemingly pointless structure to the story, people are beginning to think Kojima has just been trolling us the entire time with his latest project.
Death Stranding never really gave a great deal away when it was first announced at E3 in 2016. It had a rather outlandish feel to it that made us want to learn more and embark on this wondrous journey as this mysterious package carrier known as Sam Bridges. It had a certain quality that made us want to dive straight in and walk the world as bad boy Norman Reedus in the nude. But, beneath the rather thick layers of Death Stranding lay a blatant goal that no fan hoped would be the case. And that goal was to deliver parcels. Over and over again. For fifty hours straight.
As Sam Bridges, you are destined to walk the apocalyptic wastelands of the United States day by day in the desperate fight to keep the various encampments across the country thriving. This, of course, means having to make multiple trips back and forth, all for a few likes, points for upgrades, and a heartfelt holographic handshake from a stranger or two.
There is, no doubt, many obstacles that you must overcome as you work your way through the decaying lands. But, as you establish the boundaries of the world, you quickly come to understand that the toughest tasks are the things that should, in reality, be the easiest. Say, for example, balancing boxes with your hands on the triggers as you navigate across twenty miles of scourged and rocky landscapes ¬¬– that should be something we shouldn’t really have to worry about. But it is. And nine times out of ten it’s easy to pop a vein in your bulging forehead as you spill your remaining stock after a nineteen-mile trek. But that’s Death Stranding. That, in a nutshell, is your goal for the duration of fifty or more gruelling hours.
Gamers have taken to social media to relay their feedback on the title so far, and while some have praised it as being a unique experience, a lot of players have already had the urge to shamefully shelve the Kojima project for a much later date when spare time isn’t exactly an issue.
Personally, I’d say that there is a deeper meaning beneath the ambitious title, and at no point would I compare it to a UPS simulator. It’s just that a lot of players are struggling to see what that certain meaning is yet, and a lot of critics are shaking the stick at Kojima before even really seeing the experience through to the bitter end.
Sure, it’s rather longwinded and overall a pretty mundane journey that lacks in passion and creativity ¬– but there is something that urges to be found from the depths of the Death Stranding core. But I suppose players will never dig up the secrets if they aren’t willing to pour fifty hours of time into dropping off parcels first.
Death Stranding is now available to purchase on PS4.
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