Experiencing Death Stranding for the first time in 2020.

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Arcitee

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#1  Edited By Arcitee

Thanks to a sale a month ago I was able to pick up and just now complete Death Stranding.

It is probably my game of the year, one of the most unique, beautiful and emotionally resonate games I have played in a long time.

I don't want to get mad at Giantbomb for dismissing the game as much as they did (other than on music this game has a fantastic soundtrack and deserves more praise for that, I can't actually remember that discussion from GOTY)

I can definitely see it being a game that isn't for everyone but I think this game more than any other suffered from the review process and any new players now will have a different experience than the reviewers.

Consider the following: throughout the whole game I benefited from other player creations, I would estimate only about 40% of the time I needed to built a structure the rest of the time I was always taking advantage of other player bridges/ladders/ropes/generator.

Although I had to built most of my network of ziplines, a few key placements other players ziplines taught me of their importance and helped start my network. I also was always finding an abundance of vehicles and equipment.

All roads were already 40-60% complete when I found them, I just had to finish them.

All of this cut down on some grind and frustration.

I was also able to slowly play the game over several weeks and take in the atmosphere and environment (which again seems less difficult to traverse now than it was for the GB staff)

I could take my time to do extra deliveries as I wanted and unlock and read the emails and data entries which helped flesh out the story.

I also think this game hits differently now while playing it in quarantine than it probably did in the fall when the idea of being the delivery-man in the apocalypse came across as silly.

My final thoughts are that if you dismissed this game because of some games media's take on it and you can get the game at a sale you are comfortable with than most gamers should give this game a try, it might be your game of the year too.

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pajamariot

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From what I remember, Dan and Jeff are the only ones that were turned off by the way the game played. Alex and Vinny enjoyed playing it after the first couple chapters, they just disliked the story. Vinny especially hated the ending.

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Arcitee

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@pajamariot: everyone will feel the way they feel about the story, can't fault people for not liking something although I very much disagree with them and think it is a very good story and I think people should try the game for themselves before judging it.

I have noticed a growing trend in the industry of people that say they didn't like a story but also did not finish it or pay attention to it. I am not saying Alex or Vinny did this, I will accept their take is honest, I think the rush of a getting a review done or finishing a game in a timely matter is a bad setting to fully take in a story. I have seen a lot people make comments, mostly on YouTube and twitter, that indicate to me they didn't actually pay attention the kind of comments that say things like "tHeY NeVeR eXpLaInEd X" when it was explained in a cutscene and then clarified in an in-game email or data entry.

Like I said initially don't want to hate on Giantbomb staff they like what they like but I also think some games deserve a second look.

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notnert427

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https://www.giantbomb.com/shows/ben-stranding/2970-20212/free-video

Ben played it last week.

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Humanity

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#5 Humanity  Online

I enjoyed it! So there is that. I also think that now it is especially topical to play as this delivery guy connecting people holed up in their bunkers. What a crazy time.

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Arcitee

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frytup

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#7  Edited By frytup

I was done after maybe five hours, but I've always thought Kojima is a hack so... kinda my fault for playing it to begin with.

Good you enjoy it. Just don't fall into the trap of thinking people don't like something you enjoyed only because they didn't try hard enough to get it.

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Arcitee

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@frytup: oh I don't assume that of people that don't like something, and I think the GB crew is pretty good about being honest if they quit something and why, it was more I noticed others around the internet that will pretend they "played a game through" yet either clearly didn't or didn't seem to pay attention.

There are also a lot of comments about Death Stranding and also FF7R that will say things like "this game is stupid and I'm glad I didn't play it"

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north6

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Death Stranding was fantastic and flawed. There's nothing else like it, so I'm fine with it's flaws.

Honestly Jeff and Dan disliking something is usually a pretty good key that I should pay attention, there's probably something interesting or unique there. Both of their opinion on games is almost always 180 degrees to mine, with Dan's metal gear exception.

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#10  Edited By ThePanzini

Jeff & Dan not liking DS could be seen a mile away, but I can't even imagin what DS would be like pre-release the social element chips away all the chores. I think DS terrific but its easy to see why someone wouldn't, complex traversal has all but disappeared from gaming for a reason.

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BoOzak

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#11  Edited By BoOzak

I also enjoyed Death Stranding, I wasnt a big fan of the licenced music but I loved the OST. (i'm a sucker for synthy sci-fi music)

I would say it's better than anything i've played this year (I played DS at launch) even if it pales in comparison to MGS at it's best. I agree that the story sucks but you could argue the overall plot of MGS kind of sucks (convoluted doesnt mean deep) so it isnt a huge surprise that it fails in that regard.

Ultimately i'm just happy that a AAA developer got to make such a weird thing.

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Arcitee

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@thepanzini: yeah I think I would not have liked it nearly as much if I wasn't finding other people's stuff everywhere.

I laughed a few times whenever I would make a difficult climb the first time to places like the Spiritualist because there was always a truck left up there I used to get back down.

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Nodima

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Interesting. I played a few months after release and feel like I had the perfect storm. I mostly still had to plot my way around the world for the first half of the game, but by the back half there were a lot of optimal ziplines set up which I was really appreciative. That said, I also was able to find ways to get nearly everywhere via the Long Range Truck so I didn't spend a ton of time on foot since my goals were to deliver 5 or 6 different sub missions in one long route most sessions.

@arcitee said:

I have noticed a growing trend in the industry of people that say they didn't like a story but also did not finish it or pay attention to it. I am not saying Alex or Vinny did this, I will accept their take is honest, I think the rush of a getting a review done or finishing a game in a timely matter is a bad setting to fully take in a story. I have seen a lot people make comments, mostly on YouTube and twitter, that indicate to me they didn't actually pay attention the kind of comments that say things like "tHeY NeVeR eXpLaInEd X" when it was explained in a cutscene and then clarified in an in-game email or data entry.

My problem with the game, and what Vinny/Alex found so laughable about it, was precisely that it did explain everything in a cutscene. And then in an in-game email, and a data entry, and a random side mission. I really enjoyed my time with the game, I think I put nearly 60 hours into it and the only reason I uninstalled it before getting as many trophies as I could was the lame decision to keep the BTs In the final chapters. I just wanted to schlep stuff around in that world.

I'd agree if somebody argued that most of the world building makes Death Stranding a truly singular experience, but if I'm just thinking about what that game is before I played it, I'd have been totally satisfied if the framework surrounding the delivery and weird detached postal outlets was all there and none of the BT or story beats were more than minor flavor text. Instead the subtext became the text to the point it was a truly fascinating mess, but it wasn't necessarily the reason Death Stranding was any good. I'll admit it was the reason I ultimately bought the game, but knowing what I know now Death Stranding was strong enough to stand on its own without all the "What is Death Stranding?!" marketing/story material.

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Onemanarmyy

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#14  Edited By Onemanarmyy

The title of this thread is pretty funny because it sounds like this is an ancient game from another era that will get a completely different reaction in this day & age, when the PC version ain't even out yet :)

I will say that it annoyed me how Alex said during GOTY and in it's review that Death Stranding is very hamfisted in it's message and that the thing you think it tells from min 1 , is still the exact same message after you see the credits. There's way more to get out of the game than 'together we can achieve more, we should build bridges instead of walls and be connected with eachother'. Down in this thread there's some good stuff to be found. Spoilers though.

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Zripwud

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What an amazing experience of a game. Just how it's different from everything else makes the experience worthwhile.

Also, great graphics and music, competent storyline as well, which in video games IS A LOT.

And the adventure packs just as much anxiety as moments of introspection.

It's great all around.

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Humanity

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#16 Humanity  Online

The one thing I sort of envy people for playing the game for the first time now is that in recent patches they have put in a toggle for the little cinematic slowdown each time you encounter BTs. There are a few locations where you run into BTs quite regularly but I'm sure everyone that played the game is familiar with that one corner of the highway on the way to Mama's hideout that would always stall your vehicle and put you in that slow-mo phase even though you were never going to get attacked there.

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#17  Edited By Brian_

I'm playing through the game now as well. I find the story to be really hacky. A lot of eye-rolling going on. But I really like just being a sci-fi mailman, making deliveries, building roads and the zip-lines, and progressively trivializing traversing the world.

EDIT: Also, every time I see a shot of Norman Reedus ass in that game, I can't help but wonder if it's done to purposely off-set all the shots of Quiet's ass in MGS V. You know, to shame us of all our words and deeds. I mean, it's entirely possible that Kojima just genuinely wanted to see Norman Reedus's ass. Either one seems just as likely as the other really.

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#18  Edited By NTM

I liked the parental love part of the story, but everything else I couldn't have cared less about, and that 'fake' credits sequence on the beach was excruciatingly bad. I wanted it to be a game that I could roam the environments and relax in, but it's pretty hard to do since the rain in the game doesn't allow it. I wish there was a way to turn off BT's. And yes, I find the game very repetitive in that you're just going from one place to another to deliver a package. As I went through the game to finish the story, I didn't have much issue with it, but in hindsight, I didn't love it. I also didn't find the online portion necessary. It was helpful at times, but more often than not, I could either find a way through the terrain with no equipment aside from the suit I wore or use my equipment to get through. I also wish you could listen to the music through some kind of iPod or whatever as you roam the environments. I'll have to go back to it at some point though because I do think the game looks and sounds phenomenal, and I bought a new sound system recently. Technically, there are still some locations I need to discover.

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NTM

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@humanity said:

I enjoyed it! So there is that. I also think that now it is especially topical to play as this delivery guy connecting people holed up in their bunkers. What a crazy time.

Huh... I hadn't thought about that. Very interesting.

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Humanity

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#20  Edited By Humanity  Online

@ntm said:
@humanity said:

I enjoyed it! So there is that. I also think that now it is especially topical to play as this delivery guy connecting people holed up in their bunkers. What a crazy time.

Huh... I hadn't thought about that. Very interesting.

When you think about it Death Stranding is basically a game about a world-wide epidemic forcing people to have to stay indoors due to health hazards out in the world, and about the dedication of the delivery guys risking their lives so that people can stay stocked up on food, medication, or even pizza. Give that Uber Eats guy a like next time he brings you your takeout.

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isomeri

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Death Stranding was one of the most original and enjoyable games for me last year. Sure it had plenty of big issues but I enjoyed walking and driving around that wasteland a whole lot. It gave me the same sort of relaxing feeling as having a walk in the woods does.

And I still think about Princess Beach pretty much daily.

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notnert427

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@brian_ said:

EDIT: Also, every time I see a shot of Norman Reedus ass in that game, I can't help but wonder if it's done to purposely off-set all the shots of Quiet's ass in MGS V. You know, to shame us of all our words and deeds. I mean, it's entirely possible that Kojima just genuinely wanted to see Norman Reedus's ass. Either one seems just as likely as the other really.

Haha; it's both.

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#23 nateandrews  Online

@humanity said:
@ntm said:
@humanity said:

I enjoyed it! So there is that. I also think that now it is especially topical to play as this delivery guy connecting people holed up in their bunkers. What a crazy time.

Huh... I hadn't thought about that. Very interesting.

When you think about it Death Stranding is basically a game about a world-wide epidemic forcing people to have to stay indoors due to health hazards out in the world, and about the dedication of the delivery guys risking their lives so that people can stay stocked up on food, medication, or even pizza. Give that Uber Eats guy a like next time he brings you your takeout.

I did a bunch of Uber Eats deliveries on my bike last weekend. My success at safely transporting coffee over potholes definitely owes a lot to my chiral adventures.