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svgfahmesvgJune 8, 2022svgReviews

Gameworld Analysis | Death Stranding

The world is broken. Extinction is imminent. You are trying to carry different items and establish connections among regions. Most of the people are hiding in their bunkers as outside, a parasite looms large. No, I am not talking about the earth during March 2020, even if you feel like I am narrating the world wounded by COVID-19. This is the plot of Hideo Kojima’s epic “Death Stranding”. You are Sam Bridges, a delivery man with exceptional capabilities. From pizza to antimatter bombs, you would deliver anything- whatever the client needs. You also face off terrorists and stranded people who don’t want people to reconnect so that they can enjoy their rule of power. Often times, you might feel like a delivery guy from Foodpanda or Uber when you see yourself on the game screen, but that’s okay. Maybe it’s time to be a bit more empathetic towards them, or start thinking them as heroes. Weird that this game launched only a couple of months back. Scary, to be honest. Communications cut off, parasite lurking, people being stranded everywhere- you can almost relate the plot to the current situation of our world.

There are 3 types of humans on earth. The first one is a true lover of rain. We love to cleanse our soul with the blessed water that falls from the sky. We create a whole different world around the rain. We fantasize about it, crave about it during hot summer days. Rain can wash off whatever mud we have on our body and soul- we believe. The thought of rain ruining goodies don’t bug us. The second group is indifferent to rain. The third category consists of haters. To them, rain ruins things. Also, it’s dangerous to go out when thunder rumbles and the sky screams. If you still have any difficulty understanding this, play Death Stranding. It is a perfect example of how to hate rain and associated weather. But Hideo Kojima, the creator didn’t call it rain per se. He named this “timefall”, and if you are exposed to it, you will age at a rapid rate. The same thing will happen to every ‘thing’ out there, meaning, if you keep any tool/ vehicle/ anything in the timefall (rain), it will age faster and eventually will be decayed. Even the structures you build can also be decayed over time due to timefall. Now that’s not the only problem. The villains of the game, BTs lurk near timefall areas largely. You are probably using those sexy reverse trikes (long bikes) and roaming freely. You enter a timefall zone and don’t give a damn, because you will probably sprint away from this rain infected area in no time using the nitro. But you will be disappointed in a minute as you encounter hordes of BT. Timefall usually means that BTs are nearby, yes. The only structure you can build which won’t be affected by timefall is a timefall shelter (hahaha). They can be your protectors when you fail to find a cave to save yourself from timefall.

A typical day at Death Stranding

If you are a lover of beautiful visuals, Death Stranding has some cool visuals. You will love the countryside, green hills, and dark caves. The snowy mountains are treats to the eyes, but huge pain for the controllers as navigating through them is really challenging. Death Stranding takes place in the post-apocalyptic era and hence, you will see broken structures, bombed places.

Screenshot Courtesy: Playstation

The game setting is dark by default, so expect to encounter a touch of darkness almost everywhere. Apart from the regular world, often times you will have to face of BTs in a different world where you have to flee from a sea of tar. It’s pretty scary as monster BTs will try to hunt you as long as you are in it. Maneuvering skills could come in handy while fleeing these areas.

Screenshot Courtesy: Playstation

The structures you see or can create are modern. There are generators to recharge your battery or vehicles you use. There are postboxes where you can store valuable items safely. Death Stranding uses collaborative play in a very interesting manner. You could donate equipment, get some from others, build structures collaboratively. Bridges are necessary, but the sexiest thing is the roads. When you are on a long road, hop on a reverse trike, use the nitro boost and feel the whole thing to the core as you sprint away. Ladders will help you climb mountains, cross deep waters.

Screenshot Courtesy: Playstation

The water is not friendly at all, so tread carefully. Don’t forget to give likes to your fellow strand connections while you come against some structures they built. Yes, this game allows you to use the structures some other players have built. Fascinating, eh? You can also put up different signs in the game world to warn/ guide fellow players. I would say the whole thing is a remarkable milestone in the history of AAA games.

The private room is a place where you rest and regroup. Usually, these places turn out to be great disappointments as you only press buttons to get out of it as soon as possible. But in death stranging, you actually can spend some quality time in there. I am not going to spoil it for you, you have to discover it yourself. But don’t forget to tune into the music player from the terminal while you are in the private room. I spent hours sitting there and listening to the awesome music of Low Roar. There are some songs by other people as well, but all of them blend naturally with the game. You will only feel that these are the perfect songs for this game. Such a soothing experience here!

My favorite playlist in the private room

I won’t discuss the characters or the story today. But there are some sequences where you have to fight in world wars. Those are exceptionally built, you must love the whole experience! The experiences are no less than typical quality experiences in the call of duty series.

Then finally, there are these beaches. Every person has their own beach. You can probably say that the imaginations, dreams … they are beaches. In Death Stranding, some people can actually travel to their beaches, stay there. You are one of them. You will pass quite some time on those beaches and they are dark and beautiful if don’t be scared about the stranded and floating whales in the air and on the shore of course.

The gameworld of Death Stranding is not as beautiful as Uncharted 4 or Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, but it has done justice to its post-apocalyptic world setting. Also, the game elements are quite synergic in the world. It has little variation in terms of terrains but still manages to give a wholesome experience of the journey. The structures make sense and the equipment is interesting and useful. The feature of collaboration is one of a kind and the darkness and sadness of the environment will get you inside the story. If there was a VR version, I would definitely try it, especially the run with the reverse trike on a newly built road.

But I hate the trucks. If you have a habit of throwing away controllers in frustration, don’t drive one in the mountains.

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