Death Stranding, designed by Hideo Kojima and published by Kojima Productions in 2019 was one of those games you constantly kept hearing about. Namely because of how bizarre and weird it was. The game really lived up to its reputation for weirdness – set in a post apocalyptic USA after an event known as the Death Stranding has occurred. The game doesn’t explain much in the beginning, but a few things are immediately clear – rain (known as timefall) makes time go faster on whatever it touches and there are dangerous invisible creatures known as BTs. You also quickly learn that any corpses must be burned otherwise they will attract BTs and cause a massive explosion known as a voidout.
The first parts of the game leave you with so many questions and a desire to understand and learn more about this bizarre future. The country is non existent and your mission is to journey from the east to the west coast of the USA in attempt to reconnect the bunker-like cities into what is known as the United Cities of America (UCA). In this future world there are ways to print almost anything on the so-called chiral network, however some items need to be delivered between cities by porters, this is where you come in. Playing as Sam Porter Bridges (Norman Reedus) you embark on this epic journey piling your backpack up with hundreds of kilos worth of cargo and travelling the desolate landscape and connecting cities.
The game challenges you to navigate all sorts of difficult landscapes while balancing the cargo you carry and dodging hostile factions and BTs. You can build and connect to other online players’ structures that will help navigate the world.
This really is a blockbuster game by all definitions of the word – the star studded cast features names like Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen, Lea Seydoux, Guillermo del Torro. All these and the brilliant vision of Hideo Kojima to create a really unique gaming experience. The game and story present an interesting commentary on society and human connection and elements of satire – especially considering how the whole game revolves purely around America without hardly any mention of the rest of the world, which is also presumably experiencing the Death Stranding. Ironically the game world itself is based on Iceland’s natural beauty (and it does a great job of recreating it). The game is a lot more than simply a Amazon/Deliveroo simulator.
The game will easily keep you busy for over 35 hours and even more if you try to 100% it (it took me 99 hours). The game really leans into the common gaming trope of delivering and transporting items by making you a very real delivery-man with a bag piled high with hundreds of kilos worth of cargo. The gradual addition of weapons and buildable structures introduces other familiar gaming tropes like stealth and combat which are also executed quite well. Having both humans and BTs as enemies provides a good variety of gameplay – stealth tactics or outright guns blazing against human enemies and stealthy navigation around the invisible enemies that are BTs. Interestingly the game can really be played as a fully stealth game (with a lot of walking and sneaking) or as a more combat heavy game in which you take down powerful BTs every time they pull you off your vehicle.
Overall this really is a unique game in many aspects – from the outlandish and bizarre story to the game mechanics of balancing boxes and avoiding damage from timefall. There are some minor issues like the readability of the GUI at times the blue hue and tones can make certain elements hard to see and at times menu navigation itself can seem a bit cumbersome. But aside from these very minor issues the game is absolutely worth playing, it’s also a fairly easy platinum trophy on PlayStation (and free with the mid tier Plus). The beautiful landscape and varied gameplay will keep you busy for hours.
- Always read your mails – especially when you are trying to get some of the preppers to join the UCA – if they are stuck on 1/2 stars make sure to sleep and read your mail.
- Bigger loads of cargo will give you more likes and help you level both people and yourself up faster
- You can unlock backpack customisation by building up your relation ship with Southerland (South Knot City)
- You can unlock the backpack cover which will cover and protect some of your cargo from rain or snow – this can be achieved by raising the Collector Prepper to 2 stars
- You can unlock Grenade Pouches by completing order N37 and reaching 3 stars with the Cosplayer
- Exo-skeletons are very useful for navigating the world – especially the all-terrain skeleton, you can obtain rank 3 of that by working with the Roboticist.
- There are 56 total memory chips (3 aren’t displayed in the data collection part).
- Avoid killing MULEs or terrorists. If you kill them you need to dispose of their bodies in a nearby incinerator or else they might cause a voideout which can basically kill you (makes you restart from a save point).
- Armor plates drain battery.
- Late game look to establish good zipline routes as they are a quick and reliable way to get around the map, especially the mountainous areas.
- Completing the pizza delivery missions unlocks very powerful weapons, if you play aggressively then make sure you do these.
- Kinguin CD Keys
- Wiki: https://deathstranding.fandom.com/wiki/Death_Stranding_Wiki
- Memory Chip Guide: https://www.ign.com/wikis/death-stranding/Collectibles_Guide_-_Memory_Chips#Memory_Chip_56
- Memory Chip Map: https://www.powerpyx.com/death-stranding-all-memory-chip-locations-collectibles/
- PS4 100% Trophy guide: https://psnprofiles.com/guide/9355-death-stranding-trophy-guide