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Death Stranding: the expectation and reality of being a video game.

ANALYST
Feature
805   //    11 Aug 2019, 23:58 IST

Sam in Death Stranding
Sam in Death Stranding

Expectation:-

Death Stranding, Hideo Kojima's next big venture into the video game industry, has received numerous reactions since it was revealed three years ago on Sony's E3 2016 stage. With the smile on his face as the logo of his newly found company reflected proudly on the screen behind him, he was cheered and welcomed by almost every individual sitting in that arena.

"I'M BACK."

This was enough for the fans of this legendary and respected creative force to dream of his next big project,t which he immediately revealed was what we now know as Death Stranding.

Fast forward to 2019. Kojima Production's enigmatic Death Stranding is finally gearing up for a release this fall and is about 90 days away from our PS4s. But, one thing that continues to haunt, fascinate a huge chunk of the audience is - what Death Stranding, Kojima's most mysterious project since Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, really about. Is it a traditional video game? Is it something more? Is it even a video game at all?

Fragile in Death Stranding
Fragile in Death Stranding

When we look at Sony's PS4 exclusive lineup so far - whether it be Naughty Dog's satisfying end to Nathan Drake's adventure in Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, Aloy's mystifying journey in Horizon:Zero Dawn, or perhaps Kratos's revival in last year's Game of the Year winner God Of War - all of these games, no doubt a phenomenal experiences all of them. But, what we find in common in each of them is the level of "accessibility" they offer.

Even though all of the above-mentioned games feature mature storytelling and interesting characters, in terms of gameplay, they were all easy to get into. God Of War completely revamped itself, providing players with a semi-open world and a brand new combat system, but it was still easy to get into.

Sam, played by Norman Reedus, in Death Stranding
Sam, played by Norman Reedus, in Death Stranding
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Seeing them following this tradition so religiously, one may probably expect Death Stranding to have a similar level of accessibility. The game's open world, after all, utilizes the same game engine as the one used in Horizon Zero Dawn right?

But, what we have seen so far from Death Stranding - about 38-39 minutes of footage in the last 3 years - has mostly been cryptic, vague cinematics which focus mostly on its diversified and popular cast of characters, and some of its basic mechanics which many believe to be really plain and boring.

Walking simulator and slamming briefcases on people's faces? Really?

Currently, there are four kinds of people who are interested in Death Stranding:-

  1. The ones who have experienced Hideo Kojima's previous titles and has complete faith in his work.
  2. The ones who still want Death Stranding to be as accessible and fun to play as other PS4 exclusives out there.
  3. The people who dug really deep into the combat of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain and are expecting a similar level of complexity.
  4. People like me, who have never played any of Kojima's games, but are always excited for something new and innovative, irregardless of whether it turns out to be fun or not.

Which one are you?






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