At E3 2016, Hideo Kojima would reveal his next project after leaving Konami the year prior. The project would be titled Death Stranding, and the reveal trailer would only leave viewers with more questions than they had before viewing. At the time, all we knew is that Norman Reedus would be the main protagonist, and the world has gone to hell.
Three years later, here we all are. Years of teaser trailers and character reveals have brought us to this place where we are days from the game’s release. To fan’s surprise, the reviews have begun pouring in. Like some expected, they range from low 3s to high 9s. Some reviewers have dubbed this a masterpiece, while others have pointed out its a boring mess.
The anticipation of this title from a Konami-less Kojima was high. People’s expectations for what the game is could have been even higher. To put it as straightforward as I can, you play as a delivery man in an incredibly messed up world. The environment is vast, and the systems are ambitious. Anyone who has played Metal Gear Solid on PlayStation could probably remember how complicated navigating those menus were, and that design would stick with the entirety of the series. This is seen in Death Stranding as players will spend most of this time in menus as they balance their cargo.
With the reviews being as divisive as they are, I wonder, do gamers even care? For the past three years, Death Stranding has been this mystical game that we’ve anticipated trailers for and dissected strange Twitter postings as we begged for more information. Well, now that we have it, is it enough? I doubt it is. This is because Death Stranding is meant to be an experience for fans of this creator. Kojima rarely does things to cater to critics, which is why you can expect hour-long cutscenes in his games. Furthermore, he doesn’t provide to fans in just the same fashion. His creative genius comes from his mind, which is what we all signed up for when we stood and cheered for him after Death Stranding’s reveal.
Death Stranding is a game that isn’t meant to be reviewed in the same fashion that we review other titles. If you give an artist a budget with so many 0’s behind it, they’re most likely going to do whatever the hell they want. Whether people like it or not is something else entirely, but Death Stranding is coming regardless. This is a game that is meant to be a blind experience. Kojima hid a lot of these systems and features from us on purpose so that you will be able to exist in this crazy world he’s created and discover things for yourselves.
If you’ve been following this creator for long, you’ll know that worlds he creates are not simple ones. I’m not looking forward to Death Stranding to be the “end-all-be-all” game. I’m just trying to get lost in a world that I’ve been looking forward to exploring for the past 3 years.
So with the reviews out and available, I wonder, does it really matter? If you were planning on getting the game before, you’re probably still going to get the game anyway.
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