Death Stranding, which looks at the facts like death from a different window, offers you one of the most different adventures you will play.
Death Stranding review: After the airborne theories, claims made from even the tiniest visuals, videos and long discussions, Hideo Kojima’s new work, Death Stranding, finally appeared. First of all, I am among the players who are happy to stand out from Hideo Kojima’s MGS series and find themselves in another project. Although the famous producer did very important works in his career, he spent most of this career with the MGS series. So I have to say that it makes me happy to sail new seas, try new stories and dynamics. So how successful is Death Stranding that he tried these innovations, and more importantly, is the game the “production we expect”? Let’s take a look together.
Death Stranding takes place in a world that we can call post-apocalyptic and in the near future. We witness the story of people trying to survive after a big destruction compared to the Big Bang or the meteorite event that brought the end of the dinosaur generation. This destruction has been so great that we can say that the world is far and different from the world we know. As a matter of fact, this great destruction revealed supernatural events and some terms that we could not fully understand. At the beginning of these triggered supernatural events is the event called Death Stranding. We can simulate a corridor for Death Coast, a bridge used when crossing the other side. Every person has a bridge, the coast. However, if feelings such as regret and resentment prevail, a fiery desire to stick to this side emerges. This reveals the Chiral Beings, as well as opening the gates of different coasts.
The Coast of Death naturally brings along the Chiral beings, the other side, and the importance of the bond babies emerges here. At this point, of course, I will not explain all the terms or key points of the game. Because following the details of them in the game and trying to make sense of them is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game. There are two key points I have to explain, though. These are Vineyard babies (BB) and Chiral Entities, which we also see in the game’s trailers.
The mystery element in the game continues until the end of the story.
We can summarize the Chiral Assets as assets that have connections with the other party and appear at certain points of the playing area. If someone is not burned in time in the world of the game, his body begins to secrete chiral substance and then he turns into a Chiral being. These ghost-like beings, which we see in the trailers, are scattered throughout most of the playground. If you get caught up in these beings that come out with chiral rains, you find yourself in a big boss battle. Unfortunately, the operation of boss wars has been left somewhat scarce in the game. The atmosphere made and changed from nothing works well, but you cannot find the depth you expect in boss battles. These bosses, which you can easily defeat if you have enough bombs, also disappear when you leave the area. This convenience also eliminated the feeling of catching chiral beings. So in the first place, you start to move fast and play goodbye after a certain period of time between these beings that you are tense, secretly advance, or even hold your breath. I can say that this situation kills the feeling of tension in the game.
Bond babies, on the other hand, are referred to as vehicles that feel these beings, or rather connected with the other side (people see it as a vehicle although it is alive). These babies, taken from the mother’s womb at the age of 28 weeks, are placed on incubators with the same conditions and help people to feel and avoid other beings. For this reason, we see babies who are mounted on character clothes.
In short, as soon as you start the game, you start to encounter many terms and events without getting the exact infrastructure. This naturally causes some confusion. The source of the big events and some dynamics in the game is not explained, but Kojima continues to gradually lay the foundation of this building he built himself as you progress. In other words, I can not say how the rudder carried the island like in the Lost series, but I can say that it manages to attain the integrity of the story and to explain its backbone.
We take control of Sam, a character who specializes in carrying things in the game and sort of cargo business. Sam draws a portrait of a character that abstracted himself from people due to some events that happened to him. He is involved in the event, and we see him drifting from one end of the country to the other. As you all know, Norman Reedus gave life to the character of Sam. Kojima’s “Do you do this in front of the camera, too?” Even when you scratch your head in an interview with the famous actor. He spoke of many such words. You also understand this while playing the game. Some moves really make you feel not belonging to the character, but directly to Norman Reedus.
Of course, apart from Norman Reedus, the game’s cast includes very important names such as Mads Mikkelsen, Lea Seydoux, Troy Baker, Margaret Qualley, Tommie Earl jenkins, Lindsay Wagner and Guillermo del Toro. While some names are only included in the Motion Capture works, others have both played the character and voiced it. When I have such an experienced staff, I can say that there is a wonderful job in terms of acting and dialogue. Kojima took a step for his dreams with Death Stranding and brought out the dialogues with different angles and presentations as if he was directing a movie. Norman Reedus performed just as expected. I still have to say that my favorite character is Mads Mikkelsen. Normally, the actor I love very much has been the most key and charisma character of the game.
Our main goal in Death Stranding is to bring people back together. For this, we need to cross America from one end to the other and connect the stations on the playground. Thanks to this link called the Chiral Network, we are trying to get America back in the same context. At this point I want to open a small parenthesis, because I will talk about some points that I like and find absurd. In his storytelling, Kojima touched on the bonds between humanity with fine touches, and also gave closed political messages on the ground. In other words, you feel the presence of these unity messages even when you cannot understand the events. The messages “We cannot stand together if we don’t come together”, “we must be united” contain beautiful meanings for every player. The point I want to criticize here is that this event is emphasized entirely through America. Okay, our story takes place in America, we are trying to get this country up, I have no problem with that, of course. But the messages of “America will collapse without America”, which are constantly in the game, turn this unity motto into a classic propaganda.
Death Stranding has a completely open world gameplay. The map of the game is divided into several regions, but I can say that the part where the main process and the story opens starts with the third part. Playing a finger in our mouth on the first map, Kojima left the player to a map with much wider and different climatic conditions. There are many different points in the game, from huge plains to canyons, from snowy mountains to areas where underground riches hit the surface. At this point, I can say that the part of the game that you will probably like the most will be the graphics and the world. Combining Decima Engine power with some photogrammetry technique, Kojima Productions has done a really good job. Although we are walking most of the game, traveling to such a beautiful world really gives peace. Of course, these beauty settlements are a bit dull. The open areas of the game are so beautiful that when you return to the small settlements, you feel like you get off the horse and get on the donkey. Yes, let’s talk a little about walking events and how the game works. Because this is the point that many players are most curious about.
The progression of Death Stranding is precisely positioned on cargo transportation. This process works wonderfully in the places you go to for the first time, which you have not seen before. So even if you are carrying cargo, you never complain about this situation. You connect new stations to Kiral Ağ, see new places and experience the game world in an insatiable experience. When I say cargo, I am really talking about carrying it. Kojima put the load on our shoulders and added a detailed carrying dynamic to the game. The condition of your load, your backing and the balance of features you have are very well established. This situation has become more detailed with the new features you have received in the following stages. Small cargo vehicles, robots or devices that work like an extra skeleton on your legs make your job a little easier. Even these skeletons have different varieties, such as power, speed or the type that runs on rough terrain.
Lack of motivation in the tasks is one of the biggest problems of Death Stranding.
The point to pay attention to while carrying a load lies in balance. For this reason, it is very important to place your weight and load properly. So if you can carry 150 kilograms and get 160 kilograms on your back, Sam is nailed to where he is already and trying to walk for two. Or let’s say you have 130 kilograms of back and you cannot adjust the center of gravity well. Then you begin to wobble to the point where the weight is. In this case, you need to balance in the opposite direction with the L2 and R2 keys, or keep your balance by pressing both keys. Of course, in this case, you can see that the endurance bar is exhausted. This balance has been adjusted so well that you can notice how the progression of the character changes even between 80 kilos and 100 kilos. Or you can feel how detailed this operation is while descending uphill, downhill, and driving on rough terrain.
Some characters’ stories have been successfully imported into the game
But as the work progresses and the same centers begin to circulate again and again, you start to blank up the side missions. While I was trying to do all the tasks in the first stage of the game, after a while, I started to quit all other tasks except the main one. Because there is almost no difference between side task and main task logic. You carry cargo in the main mission and you carry the cargo in the side mission. This allows you to break away from side missions after a certain period of time, especially if you have a time problem. Because Kojima even presented some of the main missions here as a side quest logic, and this did nothing but extend the game’s main story time. More importantly, apart from seeing the end of the game and the intermediate scenes, this mission structure does not offer you a motivation in terms of gameplay. We can also say that this lack of motivation in the functioning of the task pushes this operation of the game towards your focus only on intermediate scenes and dialogues.
For example, in the later stages of the game, you open all the big and small centers on the map. Let’s say a center is Shire in The Lord of the Rings. When you reach Shire, you get a cargo from here (let’s say you bought a rusks). You go straight to the mountain peak and take it to Mordor. When you deliver the cargo here, you receive another cargo in the sense of thanks and you need to take this cargo back to Shire. When I reached Shire, “Oh, this mission is over,” the doctor in Shire says that we must go to Mordor again, and we must deliver the medicine to the patient there. By saying “Hoppala pasha Malkara Kesan”, you go back to Mordor. Moreover, you are carrying the cargo transportation related to this pointless load while the Battle of the Helm’s Deep is on the other side. In other words, you have to carry a task that does not contribute to the main story, or rather these items that you cannot fully understand.
During this transport, you encounter some obstacles besides chiral beings and boss wars that depend on it. These obstacles include steep slopes and some kind of bandits that try to steal your cargo apart from rough terrain. These cargo hunters, who are deployed to different camp sites in the world of the game and you must have a hundred eyes during your journeys, also tried to back the action part of the game. You can use close combat or different weapons you get against these hunters. This process is a bit easy to keep up, but I have to say that hunters are a nuisance. They can hurt your head in such situations, especially if you have a heavy load. It is also possible to go secretly from the regions where these are located, but both the scanner elements (your location scanners) and your load are in trouble. So when you try to enter the grass with 10 boxes on your back, of course, you give the collar and find yourself in action.
As I said to your help in this struggle, your tools are running. There are different types of weapons in the game. You get many weapons, from grenade launchers, shotguns, grenades to Bola guns to tie your opponents. These weapons have different levels and their shells also vary. In any case, bola style weapons are generally aimed at knocking your opponent. Remember, every living game you kill means more chiral beings. So it would make more sense to stun these hunters.
There are some tools you can use besides your weapons. There are motorcycle-like vehicles called Üçteker, small cargo vehicles or van-style vehicles that you have tied to yourself with the rope I just mentioned. By loading your cargo on these vehicles, you can progress more easily as the terrain conditions allow. In other words, it is difficult to go to a place with a lot of stones and rocks with a van and a trio.
One of the key points of Death Stranding is hidden in its online system. There is a multiplayer system called Social Strand System in the game. You can think of this system, which connects the players, as a much more advanced system in Souls games. Thanks to this system, you can leave signs to other players who play the game. In other words, if there is a beautiful view on the map, it is possible to leave a mark about it. Or be careful there are chiral beings ahead, it is possible to leave symbols like that I saw a fabulous hot spring above. Operation is not limited to this. It is up to the player to join hands and improve the playing field. In other words, when you put a station in the playground where you can charge your equipment, other players can benefit from this station. Let’s say you put a ladder, shelter, made a bridge. other players can take advantage of what you do and send you likes. Likewise, you can use the stations and structures they make. For example, let’s say that due to the load limit at a time of the game, you have to set off without taking the necessary equipment. you can encounter a large flyover river or a bridge built by other players in similar areas. You know, you are silent on a long journey, but there is no water, and you will see a fountain on the side of the road. Here you have exactly this feeling in Death Stranding.
Of course, it is possible to undertake much bigger works besides such structures. For example, there are highway centers at certain points of the playground. When you donate the necessary metals, special purchases and crystals to these centers, you can build a highway to an area of the playground. If enough donations are made to all centers, a huge path appears on the playground. Moreover, you can make this donation on your own or you can come together and make the players. For example, we have gathered 5-10 players at many points and made a journey. Moreover, I must say that when you make these roads, the progress gets easier.
Apart from events such as construction and signing off, there is also a system to entrust cargo to other players. So let’s say you have a cargo duty and you don’t have time to deliver these items. You can drop these packages in any center or in small cargo boxes you make. Another player takes your fog pack and leaves it to the relevant center and gets more likes. Even in the most unusual place, even at the top of the mountain, you can encounter items or cargo of other players. Likewise, you can carry other players’ packages from there to your liking. Yes, there is a system of likes in the game and almost everything is based on this system. I can say that this system is a bit exaggerated. In short, I can say that this multiplayer system, which is based on solidarity and attachment, has become one of the best and functional points of the game, except for the abundance of appreciation.
Graphically there is a lot to say for Death Stranding. First of all, let’s underline that the game was made with Decima Engine, which we previously saw in Horizon: Zero Dawn. This engine was already a proven engine, and in the hands of Hideo Kojima wonders have been created. Although the game does not have much detail in terms of the environment, it manages to leave our mouth open with the views it offers. The huge drawing distance of the game, special effects decorated with volumetric fog and smoke effects, incredible lighting and the appearance of grass make it an enjoyable experience to watch Death Stranding. The character models in the game are also exceeded. With the familiar faces of the famous actors, the intermediate scenes turn into film sequences. The only drawback of the game in terms of graphics is that it makes the environment feel a bit empty because it is a small amount of developers. The lack of detail, especially in ruined cities, undermines the overall visual quality of the game.
After the graphic and technical parts, we need to open a bracket to the music of the game. Ludvig Forssell, who previously worked with Metal gear Solid V project with Kojima, has signed great pieces for the game. Apart from these beautiful songs, songs of many artists and groups, especially Low Roar, were also included in the game. You really feel yourself as part of a great journey when these tracks start playing. I am sure that the team is also confused about the use of music and at what stages these music will be played. Because the resulting work really rests you and the character identifies with the journey.
As a result, Death Stranding is a successful game, but we can say that it is one step away from being a classic. The game contains many different dynamics and a different functioning. Frankly, I think that Kojima should be congratulated even for this different experiment and courage. It can also be said that its uniformity and these different dynamics have been the biggest obstacle in front of the game. In short, I can say that Death Stranding is not a destination, but a game that every player who enjoys the journey, looking for a different adventure should try but needs to adjust his expectations to that extent.