It was the night before my last exam as a freshman when I saw Norman Reedus's ass on a YouTube video. In no way whatsoever, I was prepared to see him naked, crying with palm/hand prints all over his body, which looked like some botched tattoo job by some weak ass tattoo artist, while holding on to a baby before it vanishes. And oh boy, did It pique my interest.
I knew that Hideo Kojima left Konami right after the release of Metal Gear Solid V and formed his own " Kojima Productions." I also knew that they were developing a game on which no information can be found anywhere on the internet except a poster of 7 men floating over a big crater and the titular title "Death Stranding."
And then six months later, it was June 2015 when I first saw the trailer. A naked Norman Reedus is comforting a baby just before it vanishes, small palm prints on the sand, and the 7 ghosts floating over him while he looks down at a crater the size of Yellowstone. And I was still left baffled, having no idea what the game was about, its gameplay, whether its an action game, I didn't know. I searched around Reddit and YouTube to find more info on it, and nobody knew anything except blank speculations.
When the actual game dropped on PS4 last year, I was simply dumbfounded at the idea behind its grand scaling.
Gameplay and VFX:
Death Stranding is an action game but Kojima coined its genre as, "Strand Game" is the first of its kind. Many wanted to deny it, but Kojima was the creator of Stealth Genre, so it too is another genre in the making.
The player controls Sam Porter Bridges, a courier for Bridges, a company that delivers things and is one of their employees. He "Delivers Packages" to many cities that are referred to as KNOTS. After the delivery is completed, the recipient evaluates his performance with likes like a peripherally integrated Social Media. The game also consists of a well-balanced action system where if a player cant escapes a BT which has found out his position then it becomes a boss fight where you can utilize many kinds of weapons influenced by both the real world and sci-fi novellas.
The player also uses ladders and ropes to go through complex and difficult terrains.
The stranding thing has a literal use in the game. As the game is played by more players
the path used by them is shared with everyone. The makeshift houses, recharge stations, vehicles, roads, etc made by one player can be used by everyone. Even when in a boss fight, other players can help you by throwing ammunition and guns but they cant actively participate. Every player exists in the same universe but they can't see each other. And that's Kojima's stranding.
This game consists of many unique fantasy elements that are supposedly the sole creation of Kojima. In the list below, you'll find what's what.
BT's- Beached Things. Creatures who were stuck between the world of the living and the dead now roam the globe.
Beach- A place where you go just before dying or in a near-death experience.
Void outs- massive scale explosions that shadow nuclear blasts. These occur when BT's eat dead people.
Timefall- Rain in this universe causes time dilation. So its called Timefall.
KNOTS- The last City's in the USA.
BB's- Beached Babys are premature babies that are put in a pod that simulates the conditions of a mother's Womb. These babies are used by porters and connected to a device that indicates BT's proximity and alerts the porter.
DOOMS- Special genetic conditions allow people to do supernatural things such as sensing, controlling BT's, and even teleportation.
Repatriates- Special types of people who can come back from the dead. The DOOMS allows them to do it.
All of the screenshots are taken from Playstations website
The plot is too long for me to write and put into a few hundred words. So I'll tell you a morphed version of mine. This includes no twist and no spoilers, just the basic idea of how the story in-game progresses.
A supernatural event called Death Stranding has wiped out most of the population of the world. Due to this event, BT's start roaming the earth, Timefall starts to cause time dilation, and when BT's eat dead people, it creates a massive scale explosion that wipes out cities and even smaller states.
So in this messy apocalyptic situation, Sam (Norman Reedus) is a porter who delivers packages. After successfully delivering some more boxes, he arrives at Central KNOT city and is tasked with disposing of two Bodies. He has to be very careful as if the bodies are devoured by BT's near this city, the whole place will be poof and gone.
He is sent to an incinerator outside the city with the bodies but BT's ambush, devour the bodies, and cause a Voidout that destroys the city. Sam comes back to life despite being in the blast radius and dying as he is a Repatriate and, he wakes up in Capital KNOT city. There, his adoptive mother, Bridget Strand, dies due to illness. While taking her too for incineration, Sam is tasked to incinerate another thing, A BB. But he does not go through with it and decides to keep it for him.
When he comes back to Capital KNOT city again, Amelia Strand, his sister, or her hologram, was waiting for him. She then tells him how she was traveling the UCA, the former USA, going through the cities and trying to connect them to a universal network of instant communication named "Chiral Network".
But, when she reached the last city situated on the west coast, named Edge Knot City, she was captured by a group of terrorists called “Homo Demens” and their leader Higgs (Troy Baker). They have some demands which if they are not met, they will kill her.
So, Sam is now tasked with a mission to connect all the cities and rescue her sister. And from there, the actual story plot starts to progress. And in his path, he gets to meet some unique and weird characters with great origin stories.
My Thoughts on Death Stranding:
I did not play the actual game as according to its changed schedule, it's supposed to drop in July this year for PCs. But I've actually amassed 40+ hour-long experience from watching countless gameplay videos.
But, I have mixed feelings for this. Firstly, this is a very unique game, unlike anything I've seen before. Both VFX and GAMEPLAY wise. Secondly, I loved the in-game songs. They've done a fantastic job of choosing cherry-picked songs that accurately go with in-game settings. Thirdly, this game is too long, and the fantasy elements are so farfetched, at points it felt like fairy tales. Fourthly, despite calling it an action game, you can almost finish the whole game with no action excepted the forced story ones. It's more like an exploration-based resource gathering game that is entirely out of the ordinary.
So on and so on.
Basically, I am standing at both ends of a spectrum, a spectrum that defines exciting and boring. Somehow this game is both. You'll want to finish playing it all at once, but you'll get bored, and still, you'll not want to stop playing. Confusing enough?
And that's what happened to ME while watching those gameplay videos. I have actual hundred hours on this game without even playing it.
BUT, if you want to try this game out, DO NOT HESITATE. It's a once in a lifetime experience that you both do and don't want to have.
I could write a whole wiki page on this game, but I have to end it here today. If you liked reading my content, make sure to follow and comment below. Thank you for reading This. PEACE.
All the photos are either credited or belongs to playstation.com