Death Stranding Director’s Cut PC Review – No Better Time Than Now

    Title: Death Stranding Director's Cut
    Developer: Kojima Productions
    Release Date: March 30, 2022
    Reviewed On: PS4
    Publisher: 505 Games
    Genre: Action Adventure

What is Death Stranding? Who is Sam Porter? Well, I honestly didn’t know, considering I have never played Death Stranding until now. I became burnt out on the IP without even playing it after its initial launch on PlayStation 4. Whether it was the heavy discussion on the game’s narrative or whether or not it was a walking simulator, I didn’t want any part of this adventure. However, it seems I can’t escape the Kojima bug for too long as I found myself diving into Death Stranding Director’s Cut through its shiny new PC release.

Let’s get one thing clear; Death Stranding is a gorgeous game. Its cinematography is framed perfectly to accentuate the emotion of each character. Further, a sci-fi narrative greats us during the hours and hours of strange scenes depicting a supernatural anomaly with humanity on its last legs. However, from its opening moments, all I could think was, “This is weird, but I like it.”

The cause of Death Stranding, the fate of America, and the delivery of special cargo will all be figured out by Sam on his travels. Unfortunately, he is reluctant to even be a part of it all, and the brooding performance from actor Norman Reedus will have you believe that he wants out until the very end. There are some coincidences in this design, but you’ll see how it all connects if you follow the main narrative.

Still, when you aren’t walking around large open areas, you’ll be watching long cinematics. Sam has found himself in possession of a bridge baby after a group of BTs interrupts a job. While this is the match that lights the flame of our quest with Sam, there’s much more going on in this world that the player discovers, including Sam’s past. It’s messy at some points, but I feel like this is a story that only those who are fully invested will understand. Don’t worry if you don’t get it, though; I almost checked out after seeing Norman Reedus cry for the third time in the opening hour.

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The gameplay revolves around delivers and main campaign quests. The characters of this game are each story milestones in their own right as you make your way through the chapters. I began to yearn for a story event after hours of navigating this world and stumbling my way during every moment. All events are few and far between, but when the BTs strike, I don’t think I was ever truly prepared to deal with the tension they bring.

Many will likely understand this since I may be the last person who hasn’t played this game, but every element of this experience is divisive. You may enjoy the open-world sim-like navigation, but you may find the story dull or confusing. Or you may hate exploration but prefer the tense run-ins with BTs. I found things to enjoy about each of these elements, but I feel like this game just tries to do too much to be the anti-game of our generation. On a level of a Suda51 project, Death Stranding breaks every rule and doesn’t care what you think about it. It’s an experience for sure and is pretty much the definition of punk rock.

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The PC version has a few added features, but quite honestly, they are par for the course when it comes to PC gaming. That’s not a bad thing, as you have options to customize the graphics and performance of the game to your heart’s content, but I found nothing to really gush over.

Death Stranding has always been a beautiful game, but playing on an UltraWide monitor might give you a better idea of the sheer scope of this experience. It’s a testament to some fantastic graphical leaps that have happened in recent years that still manage to impress me in this newest release.

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Death Stranding is a game that you talk about with your nerdy friends, and each person seems to enjoy only one or two things about the experience. However, it’s a sum of many parts, and you’ll be hard-pressed to enjoy everything this experience has to offer, but you will have a unique and amazing time.

Am I happy that I finally played it? Of course, the game is fantastic, but I could have gone without the celebrity cameos.

A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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Azario Lopez

Hanging out max, relaxing all cool.