From the creative mind of that one dude that started the Metal Gear franchise way back in the 80s comes a game that is as divisive as it is mysterious: Death Stranding. Boasting a stellar cast with the likes of Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen and Tommie Earl Jenkins, Death Stranding is the result of creativity gone wild. A huge budget, an incredible soundtrack, massive celebrity names…it’s got everything, but is it any good?
Death Stranding Review
Death Stranding follows the journey of Sam Porter Bridges (Norman Reedus) as he works with the United Cities of America to restore communications through scattered cities and small prepper bunkers in a post-apocalyptic America. Following the events of the Death Stranding, a cataclysmic event that blurred the lines between the worlds of the living and the dead, the majority of life has been wiped out and has left strange other-worldly anomalies in its place, bringing a beautiful but desolate America on its knees.
While initially reluctant to get on board, Sam plays an integral part in the expansion of the UCA. He is one of the few remaining survivors with the DOOMs, a type of illness that deepens the connection between the afflicted and the afterlife. This unique ability, further aided by Sam’s special companion (BB), allows Sam to identify and locate Beached Things (BT’s), a paranormal entity hellbent on consuming anything living.
Following the Death Stranding, several other large-scale events of destruction took place. BT’s breaching into the world of the living, combining the antimatter of their world with the natural matter of ours, resulted in catastrophic explosions that became known as Voidouts, leaving huge craters where once proud cities stood. Sam sets out on a journey to connect the UCA to the expanding Chiral Network, while hoping to discover the origin and nature of the BT’s, and the multiverse of beaches – a personal stop between life and death for each survivor of the Death Stranding.
Death Stranding’s narrative is one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had in years; it’s incredible. Much of the game presents more questions than answers, offering ample time to contemplate the potential twists and turns on your long journey to the next drop-off. Multiple planes of existence, seemingly unrelated stories running concurrently, a cast of fantastic characters, and the highest quality voice-over work all combine together in such a way that it will encourage conversation and discussion far past the games shelving date. If you can look past its shortfalls and niche gameplay hook, the story is worth the price of admission alone. Plus, it looks great.
Death Stranding’s visuals are among the greatest to grace the modern generation. The game world is beautiful – awe-inspiring in places – and it’s supported by a depth of character detail, motion capture, and animation unrivaled in this industry. Tears rolling down cheeks, imperfections on the surface of the skin, clothes reacting to environmental stimulation, lighting effects….it all comes together to provide a feast for the senses. This is lucky, as it’s largely what makes some of its bigger shortfalls more bearable.
At its core, Death Stranding is one giant, continual fetch quest. You’re tasked with collecting Orders at various locations, picking up cargo, and transporting it to its …