Death Stranding Review Roundup
Ever since Kojima Productions announced the ever elusive Death Stranding game 3 years ago, everyone was looking forward to Hideo Kojima’s new big project featuring star-studded cast. Review embargo has been lifted with few more days before launch, let’s read what critics have to say
Death Stranding is unlike anything else out there in the gaming medium right now. It’s huge, innovative and utterly unashamed in what it wants to be. Kojima Productions is heavy-handed in its implementation of modern political themes, but they tie into the narrative and involve the player in ways that feel beautifully compelling- resulting in one of the strongest final acts I’ve seen in some time. It’s going to be polarizing, glacial in its pacing during the opening hours as it expects players to delve into its mechanics, finding out what makes it tick while bonding with other couriers through a personal network of massive significance. I laughed, I cried and I grinned like a stupid idiot at the absurdity of it all. But by the end, I was left wanting more. Death Stranding is one of a kind, cementing itself as a weird, wonderful masterpiece.
Death Stranding is one of the best games I’ve ever played. It’s smart, it’s well-produced, and it just feels good to play. It’s damn cool. I don’t think any other game made me think to myself, “Damn, that was powerful,” as many times as Death Stranding did. Sure, there’s a lot of games that have some point to make. I don’t want to downplay anyone else’s work. However, Death Stranding will get you thinking about some stuff. I’ve played through it twice, and there are still things I’m turning around in my head. It’s always struck me as weird that people look down on games as some “lesser” form of entertainment than books, TV, or movies. Death Stranding stands defiantly in the face of that attitude, and I’d put its story against anything that’s come out in the last decade. Sam’s journey is a true epic that spans the whole country, and it inspires the hell out of me. If there’s one game you should play this year, it’s Death Stranding. It’s a system seller, and I love it.
Following years of mysterious anticipation, Death Stranding delivers on all fronts. An accomplished, fascinating set of gameplay mechanics allow you to make deliveries the way you want to, while social features let the game live on once you've put the controller down. It may become slightly tiresome as you hit the halfway mark, but the phenomenal narrative is on hand to pick things back up again and its outstanding visuals are the cherry on top. Death Stranding doesn’t raise the bar for any particular genre, it creates an entirely new one.
Death Stranding is like nothing I have ever played; beautiful, heart racing, heart breaking, frustrating, epic, stunning, and utterly nuts. I laughed, I cried, I cursed, and I went to the toilet an awful lot. Death Stranding isn't just my Game of the Year, it's a contender for Game of the Generation too.
Death Stranding is a hard game to absorb. There are many intertwining threads to its plot, and silly names, corny moments, and heavy exposition belie an otherwise very simple message. That comes through much more clearly in the game's more mundane moments, when you find a desperately-needed ladder left behind by another player or receive a letter from an NPC thanking you for your efforts. It's positive without ignoring pain; in fact, it argues in both its story and its gameplay that adversity itself is what makes things worth doing and life worth living. It's a game that requires patience, compassion, and love, and it's also one we really need right now.
As something I’ve been dying to understand for 3+ years, I really didn’t know what to expect from Death Stranding. What I found as I journeyed cross country with Sam Porter Bridges is a game unlike anything else I’ve played. Its central mechanic is a monotonous, everyday piece of modern life, and somehow Kojima has managed to make that a very satisfying thing to do. At times that distracted me heavily from the storyline, and I think the midgame would have been more compelling if the story beats popped up more frequently. Still, the quality of the narrative is undeniable. Death Stranding is an outstanding title that ended up blowing away the expectations I wasn’t even aware of. For an auteur like Hideo Kojima, that sounds like an unequivocal success.
Death Stranding is not a “fun” game, but it’s an important and meaningful experience that earns its payoff through every bit of frustration and slog. It’s a look at life and death, connection and solitude; a game about building up what matters most and supporting each other selflessly. You’ll be bored at times and downright frustrated at others, but it comes with a great reward at the end that is made sweeter by the trials that precede it. It’s brilliantly unique in its design and implementation of online elements. Even if it’s got a few places where it stumbles, Death Stranding firmly holds down R2 and L2 to regain its balance and deliver an unmatched experience.
Electronic Gaming Monthly
In the end, Death Stranding’s biggest mystery isn’t any of the elements we’ve had teased in three-plus years of trailers—it’s what people are going to think of it. Even from a man known for making love-them-or-hate-them projects, this may end up being one of the most divisive games ever created. For me, it was an experience that I can truly say was unlike any other I remember. And, if nothing else, Death Stranding makes me respect Hideo Kojima for convincing Sony to invest millions into a game that’s about a man delivering packages to holograms.
Death Stranding is a story of rebuilding America by connecting people far and wide. Stealth, exploration, combat, and inventory management are all necessary in order to succeed. With a fantastic cast, incredible set pieces, an engaging story, and Kojima's brand of incredibly enjoyable crazy, you won't want to put your controller down.
God Is A Geek
Death Stranding is an ambitious game, featuring so many different systems and ideas, but it never falls under the weight of them. Whilst journeying across a crumbled America can be hugely frustrating at times, I never got bored of it, and through the powerful story, tense gameplay, and amazing action sequences, this will go down one of Kojima’s best. Taking time to build the necessary structures and adapt to the terrain is time consuming, but making sure you’re prepared will make your experience a much better one. Fabricating tons of cool equipment is exciting, especially when you earn the ability to build something new, and the message of connecting people provides an important backdrop for a wonderful game.
Death Standing proves itself as a unique, palpable new IP, filled with rich storytelling both in narrative and gameplay. The beginning of the game suffers from long gaps of time intended for learning the ropes, but the ship rights itself once it finally turns the corner. Despite that with a handful of missteps, a deep, potent message of coming together rings through every aspect of Death Stranding that dazzles the game as a whole. If you give it the time, Death Stranding will offer you something most games never do.
Death Stranding is not the overly-strange inaccessible walled garden the marketing has made it out to be. It's weird, don't get me wrong! But anyone with a surface-level understanding of surrealism in art should be able to acclimate to what is essentially a playable Hollywood production.